Even if you’re not into herbal remedies, you’ve probably heard of (and maybe even tried) taking echinacea as a way to help boost your immune system. The flower, frankly, has a long history of being used for health: it was prescribed by doctors in the United States before antibiotics. Today, it is used for a number of home remedies, ranging from combatting colds to helping with acne. While studies on the effectiveness of echinacea have been far from conclusive, there is some evidence that it has anti-inflammatory properties and can help boost the immune system.
As we head deeper into cold season, it may sound like a supplement worth trying. Echinacea can be taken in pill form, as well as in drops or tea that can be consumed as well as applied to the skin. It is generally considered safe to take without side effects, though people can sometimes experience allergic reactions like they could with any plant. If you plan on using echinacea as a part of your wellness routine, or to treat a specific health condition, discuss it with a healthcare provider before adding it — or any supplement — to your diet. If you do want to use echinacea, consider one of these options.
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1. Now Supplements Echinacea
One reason echinacea has proven so hard to study is that there are several strains and various ways to prepare it. Now Supplements uses the root of the echinacea flower, which some belief to be the most potent part of the flower. Take these 400 mg non-GMO, vegan capsules as directed to help with immune system support.
2. Nature’s Way Echinacea Goldenseal
Nature’s Way’s blend, on the other hand, includes all parts of the echinacea flower (roots, stem and leaves) as well as several other herbal immune-boosting ingredients. Some studies where leaves and stems from the echinacea flower were used have also indicated positive results. The second ingredient, goldenseal, is a popular herbal remedy found in the United States and Canada that has been used to treat similar conditions as echinacea.
3. Herb Pharm Kids Echinacea Drops
While most studies look at the effects of echinacea in children and adults over 12, it is generally considered safe to give your child echinacea if they’re not allergic to it. (Of course, always check with your child’s healthcare provider before giving them any kind of supplement.) These drops can be put into juice or water for dosing, and unlike many drops intended for adults, these are also alcohol-free.
4. Traditional Medicinals Organic Echinacea Plus Elderberry Seasonal Tea
Teas are a popular way to take herbal treatments with good reason: it’s soothing to sip on the hot tea, and it can provide instant relief for scratchy throats and stuffy noses. It also helps you hydrate, which is important to your overall health when sick or fighting an infection. Here, echinacea is paired with elderberry, another herbal remedy that has shown some success in clinical studies.
5. Nuun Immunity
Nuun’s immune support tablets are packed full of herbal and vitamin remedies meant to boost the immune system. In addition to echinacea, there’s Tumeric, zinc, Vitamin C and more. The tablets are dissolved in water and create a lightly effervescent drink. Because they’re also packed with electrolytes, they also promote overall hydration. The easy-to-store-and-carry tube can also be stashed in your work desk or purse or packed in a carry-on for travel.