Echinacea supplements

Echinacea supplements Prescription Counterparts:

Echinacea is a worthy competitor of all sorts of prescription and over-the-counter nostrums. For bronchitis, you might want to try it before you take atropine (Donna-tal), codeine, or dextromethorphan (Sudafed). For a cold or the flu, give it a chance before you resort to acetaminophen or a decongestant. For rhinitis, take some standardized capsules or drink echinacea tinctures and teas before turning to drugs such as cromolyn (Gastrocom) or phenylpropanolamine (Dimetane).

Echinacea supplementsDosage Options:

A twice-daily dosage of two 500-milligram capsules of echinacea standardized to contain 125 milligrams each of E. angustifolia root extract, including at least 3.2 to 4.8 percent echinacoside. That's a real mouthful, but That's how the strongest potencies are measured. Anything less may not work as well. More traditional forms of the plant also will impart some phytochemical medication, such as a tea made from 2 teaspoons of dried roots in a cup of water three times a day, 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of echinacea tincture daily, 300 to 400 milligrams of a solid extract up to three times a day, or up to 1 teaspoon of a liquid root extract three times a day. You can also add a dropper of echinacea tincture to teas and other preparations, including poultices, compresses, mouthwashes, and other tinctures.

Some herbalists say that you shouldn't take echinacea for longer than 2 to 8 weeks because your body might get used to it and no longer respond. The jury is still out on this. If you're concerned, try taking it for a week or two, abstaining for a few days, and then repeating the pattern.

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