Echinacea, Your natural and non-drowsy alternative for common cold & flu
During this monsoon season, high volume of rainfall brings massive flooding in various areas in the country. At the same time, it also increases the likelihood of catching a common cold, flu or fever in this chilly weather. Thus, you may wonder, is there any natural herbal remedy that can help to relieve common cold and flu without the drowsiness that you would experience from some flu medications and cough drops.
What is Echinacea?
Echinacea or known as purple coneflower, has long been used by Native Americans for medicinal purposes. There are 3 common species used in herbal supplements including Echinacea purpurea, Echinacea angustifolia and Echinacea pallida.1 Echinacea can be found in various forms such as tea, squeezed juice, topical application or dietary supplement.
Echinacea purpurea as a natural, non-drowsy remedy for common cold & flu
Echinacea purpurea contains a mixture of various active components that can potentially benefit our immune health. Properties of Echinacea purpurea that can help in relieving common cold and flu includes:2-4
1. Anti-bacterial effect:
Help to protect the body against respiratory infection caused by certain bacteria strains by killing these bacteria strains
2. Anti-viral effect:
Help to fight against viral infection that is causing common cold & flu by inhibiting virus strains from replicating in our body
3. Antioxidant effect:
Free radicals are unstable molecules that may cause harm to body cells when present in excessive amounts in the body. Antioxidant properties of Echinacea purpurea help in defending the body against oxidative stress caused by these free radicals
4. Anti-inflammatory effect:
Inhibit the release of chemicals that trigger inflammation. This helps to reduce excessive inflammation that is causing symptoms of common cold & flu such as sore throat, runny and stuffy nose etc.
5. Immuno-modulatory effect:
Regulate immune system by activating immune cells (i.e white blood cells such as neutrophils, macrophages, NK cells, etc.) to fight against pathogens
Echinacea could be an alternative if you are seeking natural and non-drowsy relief for common cold & flu symptoms. It is a clinically proven herbal supplement that may help in reducing severity of common cold symptoms such as runny/ stuffy nose, sore throat, headache etc. and improvement can be seen in as short as 4 days.5
- Percival SS. (2000). Use of echinacea in medicine. Biochem Pharmacol, 60(2):155-8.
- Saeidnia, S., Manayi, A., & Vazirian, M. (2015). Echinacea purpurea: Pharmacology, phytochemistry and analysis methods. Pharmacognosy Reviews, 9(17), 63.
- Sharma, S., Anderson, M., Schoop, S., & Hudson, J. (2010). Bactericidal and anti-inflammatory properties of a standardized Echinacea extract (Echinaforce®): Dual actions against respiratory bacteria. Phytomedicine, 17(8-9), 563–568.
- G. Tharun et al. (2017). Phytochemical and Pharmacological Review on Echinacea. Journal of Pharmacy Research, 11(3), 249-256.
- Goel, V., Lovlin, R., Barton, R., Lyon, M. R., Bauer, R., Lee, T. D. G., & Basu, T. K. (2004). Efficacy of a standardized echinacea preparation (EchinilinTM) for the treatment of the common cold: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics, 29(1), 75–83.