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  1. TopTop #31
    Jammer
     

    Re: PD: Got a cold? Study says echinacea won't help much (What now?)

    Definitely suck zinc lozenges (or allow them to dissolve in your mouth). The aftertaste isn't fun, but I toss in a bite of fruit or something after it's done dissolving and there's less problem with aftertaste. Now, the product recommends one every three or four hours, but I have better luck with 1/2 lozenge every two hours for a couple of days. I swear I get away with the pre-cold not developing into a full-blown cold most times if I do this.
    However, if the cold is already mature, the zinc won't help. Forget trying zinc if that's the case; save your money and tastebuds and go to chicken soup or whatever you do. Studies show zinc lozenges reduce the length of the cold when you begin early, but my experience is that we can even avoid a full-blown cold by catching it very early.
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  3. TopTop #32
    The Owl
     

    Re: PD: Got a cold? Study says echinacea won't help much (What now?)

    Quote claire ossenbeck wrote: View Post
    Perfumes in the US in the 60's and 70's were mostly chemically fabricated until "Lauren". it was the first American scent I could wear/enjoy. When I went to Grasse in France and saw the rooms full of roses to be distilled and the fields of lavender and tried the blends at the perfumeries I realized the differences. I could wear most of them, whether I enjoyed them or not, because they were plant-based. And did they smell better!
    Re Echinacea - Whatever placebo works! I've convinced myself echinacea works and so it does... or seems to. I rarely get colds and influenza I might get a mild case of once a decade or so.
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  5. TopTop #33
    jesswolfe's Avatar
    jesswolfe
     

    Re: Study says echinacea won't help much, so now what?

    There is a good site for info about immune system strengthening. The important part is that it tells you how much of each vitamin to take and that for some vitamins taking mega doses actually will harm your immunity.

    http://www.holistic-online.com/cance...e-immunity.htm
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  7. TopTop #34
    zkoolman
     

    Re: PD: Got a cold? Study says echinacea won't help much (What now?)

    Greetings and Happy Holidays to all, however you choose to celebrate (or not !):

    I always enjoy reading about all the excitement over the latest "silver bullet". Not meaning to burst anyones bubble, but there simply isn't any one fix. There are so many variables, from genetics to environment and on and on.... Bottom line for me from all I've seen and experienced: Eat healthy, drink lots of water, exercise with some regularity, get a certain amount of sun on the regular, avoid excesses of any kind, and breath lots of clean air. I have been a vegetarian for 56 years, way before it was cool or hip. By looking at me you would say I am a carnivore, as I am 6'5" and 260#. No belly and healthy as a horse. People often laugh when I tell them I am a vegetarian. My construction crew doesn't and they often struggle to keep up with me, though they are 20 + years my jr. And then they have to be all coffee'd up, or whatever, just to get through the day. The body is a amazing machine..... But as with man made machines, you put garbage fuel in and it cannot function to its optimum capability and if you put enough garbage fuel in, it can eventually fail.
    Any one agree with all or part of this thinking ??

    Quote Allorrah Be wrote: View Post
    WOW! This is a HOT thread! I have learned so much from all the responses, I really appreciate the question, Barry!
    Thanks again for getting this going! I'm saving all of this information so, if I ever start to get sick again, I'll know exactly what to do... and I'm stocking up on the Emergen-C and even some Echinacea, in spite of its questionable efficacy.
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  9. TopTop #35

    Got a cold? Study says echinacea won't help much (What now?)

    Dear community,

    Here is the gift of my experience.

    In all my years of studying natural ways to promote health; I have found traditional Chinese medicine to offer the best results, from diagnosis to treatment.

    In their wisdom, the same germ can cause illness in different people for different reasons; this is why one herb may work for a cold in one person and not the other.

    You have to start with knowing what your specific body's weakness is, and why that allowed the infection, etc, to impact you; then you can address the remedy which is right for you.

    I, and many other people, have found excellent results from Pindy Wong, of Almond Grove Acupuncture in Petaluma. Her practice is about much more than just Acupuncture; she is listed in the yellow pages.

    Having been through serious illness with no health insurance; I found Pindy's care to be the best, and most affordable investment for my health. She is also candid about the limitations.

    Please mention me if you go.

    Here's to your good health!,

    Colleen Fernald
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  10. TopTop #36
    geomancer's Avatar
    geomancer
     

    Re: Got a cold? Study says echinacea won't help much (What now?)

    Regarding the immune system and colds, here is a copy of an article that I posted back in October. Many reputable studies indicate that once a cold has started, it is the immune system that creates the symptoms.

    Richard

    (This is a copy of your post to WaccoBB.net)

    From: geomancer Supporting member
    Category: WaccoReader
    Thread: How Not to Fight Colds


    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/05/op...html?th&emc=th

    October 4, 2010
    How Not to Fight Colds
    By JENNIFER ACKERMAN
    Charlottesville, Va.

    IN early fall, a few weeks after the start of school, cold viruses wing their way from one young nose to another and thence to families and the workplace, infecting people at three to four times the rate at other times of year. And so the cold season begins and, with it, the relentless sneezing, coughing and sniffling that continue well into winter.

    Most of us come down with at least a couple of colds a year; children get up to a dozen. But we all know people who seem never to catch one. What’s their secret? Do they have extraordinarily robust immune systems, and the rest of us, pathetically weak ones? You might think this was key, given the number of nutritional supplements, cold remedies and fortified cereals on the market that purport to augment the immune system — often with the help of vitamins, zinc or ginseng — and by so doing stave off colds.

    But science and experience don’t back this up. On the contrary, if you’re keen on tamping down your own cold, “boosting” your immunity may be the last thing you want to do.

    To understand why this is so requires a bit of knowledge about how colds work. There are more than 200 cold viruses, the most common of which are rhinoviruses (from the Greek “rin-,” for “nose”). When you encounter a particular strain, your body eventually produces antibodies to it, which remain on hand to quash that virus the next time you’re exposed. But with so many flavors of cold virus circulating, there’s always a new one to catch.

    From the look of it, these ubiquitous cold bugs are mischief-makers in our bodies. For decades, people thought this was the case — that the runny nose, sore throat and sneezing we experience with colds resulted from the destructive effects of the virus itself on the innocent cells of our noses and throats. After all, flu viruses work this way; they destroy the cells of our respiratory tract, wreaking havoc in our airways.

    But, as medical science has realized over the past few decades, the most prevalent cold viruses in fact do little direct harm to our cells. In one experiment in 1984, researchers at the University of Copenhagen performed biopsies on nasal tissue taken from people suffering severe colds, then did the same after the subjects had recovered. To the scientists’ surprise, none of the samples showed any sign of damage to the nasal tissue. Further vindicating the viruses themselves was another study around the same time showing that rhinoviruses infect only a small number of cells lining the nasal passages.

    Here was a new insight in cold science: the symptoms are caused not by the virus but by its host — by the body’s inflammatory response. Chemical agents manufactured by our immune system inflame our cells and tissues, causing our nose to run and our throat to swell. The enemy is us.

    Indeed, it’s possible to create the full storm of cold symptoms with no cold virus at all, but only a potent cocktail of the so-called inflammatory mediators that the body makes itself — among them, cytokines, kinins, prostaglandins and interleukins, powerful little chemical messengers that cause the blood vessels in the nose to dilate and leak, stimulate the secretion of mucus, activate sneeze and cough reflexes and set off pain in our nerve fibers.

    So susceptibility to cold symptoms is not a sign of a weakened immune system, but quite the opposite. And if you’re looking to quell those symptoms, strengthening your immune system may be counterproductive. It could aggravate the symptoms by amplifying the very inflammatory agents that cause them.

    In any case, the supplements, remedies and cereals that claim to strengthen immunity (and thereby protect you from colds) do no such thing. It would be one thing if by some magic they made your body produce antibodies to any particular virus. But they don’t. And though some of these products contain ingredients that have been shown in studies to affect elements of the immune system, there’s scant evidence that they bolster protection against infection by cold viruses. No one knows which immune agents — other than antibodies — accomplish that.

    There’s another intriguing paradox here. Studies suggest that about one in four people who get infected with a cold virus don’t get sick. The virus gets into their bodies, and eventually they produce antibodies to it, but they don’t experience symptoms. It may be that people like this are not making the normal amounts of inflammatory agents.

    It seems counterintuitive, but there it is: People with more active immune systems may be especially prone to cold symptoms. So getting a cold may be a positive sign that your biochemical defenses are working normally — a glass-half-full view of getting the sniffles.

    Jennifer Ackerman is the author of “Ah-Choo!: The Uncommon Life of Your Common Cold.”

    This is a copy of a public posting on a thread/category that you are subscribed for individual email updates.
    Use the button above to reply publicly. You can reply privately by just clicking "Reply" to this email.
    Waccobb.net - Connecting Conscious Community in the North Bay!
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  12. TopTop #37
    Alexandra Brooks's Avatar
    Alexandra Brooks
     

    Re: Study says echinacea won't help much, so now what?

    Interesting article. Thanks for posting. Alexandra Brooks
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  13. TopTop #38
    Loel
    Guest

    Re: Study says echinacea won't help much, so now what?

    Let's take a look at this study before we cast negative judgment on echinacea. For instance:

    • Were the participants taking any other herbs or medications that might have other effects?
    • What were the health conditions of the participants?
    • Did they have obesity? digestive disorders? consume alcohol?
    • Was the echinacea used truly fresh root or a 'product', a tincture or capsule, which may have gone beyond its shelf life?

    These factors would have weighed in on the results.

    We must remember that the effects of echinacea are cumulative, i.e., it must be taken regularly over a period of weeks. Then, if you are in otherwise good health, it will strengthen your immune system. Having a strong immune system will stop you from getting a cold, or, at least if you get one, it won't be as severe. Echinacea is NOT an instant remedy to cure a cold, and should not be marketed as such!

    Most importantly, we must remember that the pharmaceutical industries, now in cahoots with the FDA, are now doing everything they can to quell the herbal medicine movement, after all, it would put them out of business if we all grew and used our own herbal medicines! So, as these powerful corporations gain more and more control, expect to see lots of 'studies' negating the effects of medicinal herbs, ignoring the countless other legitimate clinical trials that have proven many herbal medicines to be very effective if used properly.
    Last edited by Barry; 12-27-2010 at 02:03 PM.
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  15. TopTop #39
    stuartdole's Avatar
    stuartdole
     

    Re: Study says echinacea won't help much, so now what?

    Interesting background article on colds and the immune system in the current issue of Scientific American (January 2011 - probably on newsstands now). Page 30.
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  17. TopTop #40

    Re: PD: Got a cold? Study says echinacea won't help much (What now?)

    Quote Barry wrote: View Post
    This is certainly disappointing. Even though I have taken Echinacea most times I'm sick, I can't say I've ever had the feeling that it helped.
    What's worked for you? Is there any science behind it? How can tell that it made a difference?
    For starters, taking Echinacea when you are already sick won't do much, it might help recover sooner a little bit. The time to take Echinacea is when you were just at a party, getting off a plane, around a sick person or otherwise exposed to germs. It prevents a cold, not cures a cold. It helps boost your bodies natural defenses to overcome a virus invasion. Taking it at the very first signs of a possible cold - achiness, scratchy throat - can help. When you are sneezing and have a runny nose its probably too late.

    These are some interesting articles and info you all are sharing, but I've never taken health advice from the New York Times or any other newspaper. I have been using Echinacea for over 20 years in the manner I mention, and it works. Its a real bummer when I do get a cold, maybe once every two years, and almost always because I didn't have my Echinacea (or I was utterly worn down). The particular formula that works best for me, is the Echinacea & Propolis throat spray. Since I often first start to feel it in my throat, this spray seems to clear it up, take it about 3-4 times a day if I'm feeling I might be fighting a cold, and just once or twice if I'm just dealing with preventative exposure.

    Herbs have been being used for hundreds of thousands of years by humans because they WORK, not because people were just taking placebos for the heck of it. It does matter how you use them. They are not a cold medicine that's supposed to stop symptoms like Dayquil. If you are already sick, the very best solution for quick recovery is to STAY IN BED and EAT WELL. It seems so many people have a hard time stopping working, and run around sick feeling terrible. You will recover faster with good food and just sleep, sleep all day if you have to. When I get sick I stay in bed and rest and usually am through my cold in two days. Compare that with people who keep working and remain sick for a week or two.

    The times I got sick more often in my life is when I was on a vegetarian diet, or on a cleanse, not getting all the nutrition this body needs (everyone's different!)

    Really good food (like organic, fresh, local) and plenty of sleep (most people need 8 hours!) is the best prevention there is.
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  19. TopTop #41
    mpatterson's Avatar
    mpatterson
     

    Re: PD: Got a cold? Study says echinacea won't help much (What now?)

    So many wonderful ideas. In my experience as a naturopathic doctor I first of all want to repeat what has been stated already: The best thing to do when you are sick is to STAY IN BED AND REST. Rest is better than just about any supplement because it engages the parasympathetic nervous system response, which is when healing actually happens.

    With that said there are two supplements that I ALWAYS recommend when people have a cold or flu:
    1) Mushrooms: My favorites are either New Chapters Lifeshield Immunity or Host Defense MyCommunity. Both of these mushroom complexes increase Killer T-Cell activity (these are the Red Beret's of the immune system) and actively fight off any pathogen that is in the body.
    2) Sambucus Elderberry Syrup: Elderberry has been shown to clinically decrease viruses, and cold's and flu's are viruses not bacteria.

    The last thing that I just want to state is that it was stated in the above article that,

    "It's not a compelling result in either direction," said Mark Blumenthal, executive director of the American Botanical Council, which follows research on herbal products. He said Barrett is on the group's advisory board.

    Therefore, this isn't strong enough data for me to stop recommending echinacea to my patients.

    In Health,
    Dr. Melissa Patterson
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  21. TopTop #42
    mpatterson's Avatar
    mpatterson
     

    Re: Study says echinacea won't help much, so now what?

    Two more things that also significantly effect health that need to be stated again:
    1) It is vitally important to make sure that you eat well; but not too much. Small amounts of food throughout the day, are much better than large meals that your body has a hard time digesting.

    2) Lastly, if you are stressed take a break. Stress plays havoc on your endocrine system, nervous system and immune system. Often time people get sick because there body is telling them that they are stressed out and need to take a break. So do yourself a favor and listen to your body.
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  23. TopTop #43
    AllorrahBe's Avatar
    AllorrahBe
     

    Re: PD: Got a cold? Study says echinacea won't help much (What now?)

    Where might we get these mushrooms and syrup in West County? Do we need to make an appointment to see you and get a prescription, or what? Thanks for your help!
    Rev. Allorrah Be
    Circles of Light Ministries



    Quote mpatterson wrote: View Post
    So many wonderful ideas. In my experience as a naturopathic doctor I first of all want to repeat what has been stated already: The best thing to do when you are sick is to STAY IN BED AND REST. Rest is better than just about any supplement because it engages the parasympathetic nervous system response, which is when healing actually happens.

    With that said there are two supplements that I ALWAYS recommend when people have a cold or flu:
    1) Mushrooms: My favorites are either New Chapters Lifeshield Immunity or Host Defense MyCommunity. Both of these mushroom complexes increase Killer T-Cell activity (these are the Red Beret's of the immune system) and actively fight off any pathogen that is in the body.
    2) Sambucus Elderberry Syrup: Elderberry has been shown to clinically decrease viruses, and cold's and flu's are viruses not bacteria.

    The last thing that I just want to state is that it was stated in the above article that,

    "It's not a compelling result in either direction," said Mark Blumenthal, executive director of the American Botanical Council, which follows research on herbal products. He said Barrett is on the group's advisory board.

    Therefore, this isn't strong enough data for me to stop recommending echinacea to my patients.

    In Health,
    Dr. Melissa Patterson
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  25. TopTop #44
    The A Team's Avatar
    The A Team
    Supporting Member

    Re: PD: Got a cold? Study says echinacea won't help much (What now?)

    .... are you searching for a silver bullet or are we out of balance?

    If the the only acceptable way to have time off is to be sick, and even being sick (being human and vulnerable to illness) is unacceptable- maybe it is time for a rethink!
    My past experience working in hospitals, there were marks against employees for staying home with the flu, rather than exposing patients with HIV, cancer and newly post -op.

    Maybe the question is what have you decided about being sick? and can we advocate for our own health on the job and at home.
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  27. TopTop #45
    Dynamique
    Guest

    Re: Study says echinacea won't help much, so now what?

    Echinacea study misses the point

    A new study finds that echinacea won't help you beat the cold -- which is nonsensical, since no one said it would in the first place.

    Not by itself anyway -- but more on that in a moment.

    First, let's take a look at this study -- and you'd have to have a nose plugged up by a cold yourself to miss the stink it's giving off.

    Researchers gave 710 cold sufferers either echinacea, a placebo, or nothing, and had them record their symptoms in a journal and provide regular nasal samples to test for the presence of the cold.

    Overall, they found that echinacea reduced cold duration by about half a day, and symptoms by around 10 percent, according to the study in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

    But what'd they expect, a miracle cure? Everyone knows echinacea is just one small piece of the immune system puzzle.

    It can help -- a little -- but if you really want to kickstart your body's defenses and leave the sniffles out in the cold, you need to add vitamins C and D and the mineral zinc to the mix.

    Do yourself a favor, though, and don't wait to get sick to get started: The best way to limit the damage from a cold is to avoid getting it in the first place.

    That means taking those supplements now, while you're still healthy, along with the other immune boosters that should already be in your regimen: vitamins A and E, magnesium, and fish oil.

    Then, end each day with a nightcap. Studies have shown that regular drinkers are less likely to get the cold even when they've been deliberately exposed to the virus.

    Hey, you'll need something to swallow those vitamins with anyway. Why not a gin-and-tonic?

    The cure for half-baked research,

    William Campbell Douglass II, M.D.


    Quote Barry wrote: View Post
    [I]Here's an AP article, published by the PD, that says echinacea makes next to no difference. What do you think? Has it helped you? If not what has? See my comments in the following post.

    Barry
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  29. TopTop #46
    Barrie's Avatar
    Barrie
    Supporting member

    Re: Study says echinacea won't help much, so now what?

    Regular aerobic excercise is supposed to help your immune system fight off colds, etc. so I do that. Also, when I feel a cold or flu circling my immune system's wagons I start drinking Sambucol or a generic elderberry preperation. It either wards off the infection or makes it pass more quickly. Barrie

    Quote Dynamique wrote: View Post
    Echinacea study misses the point

    A new study finds that echinacea won't help you beat the cold -- which is nonsensical, since no one said it would in the first place.

    Not by itself anyway -- but more on that in a moment.

    First, let's take a look at this study -- and you'd have to have a nose plugged up by a cold yourself to miss the stink it's giving off.

    Researchers gave 710 cold sufferers either echinacea, a placebo, or nothing, and had them record their symptoms in a journal and provide regular nasal samples to test for the presence of the cold.

    Overall, they found that echinacea reduced cold duration by about half a day, and symptoms by around 10 percent, according to the study in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

    But what'd they expect, a miracle cure? Everyone knows echinacea is just one small piece of the immune system puzzle.

    It can help -- a little -- but if you really want to kickstart your body's defenses and leave the sniffles out in the cold, you need to add vitamins C and D and the mineral zinc to the mix.

    Do yourself a favor, though, and don't wait to get sick to get started: The best way to limit the damage from a cold is to avoid getting it in the first place.

    That means taking those supplements now, while you're still healthy, along with the other immune boosters that should already be in your regimen: vitamins A and E, magnesium, and fish oil.

    Then, end each day with a nightcap. Studies have shown that regular drinkers are less likely to get the cold even when they've been deliberately exposed to the virus.

    Hey, you'll need something to swallow those vitamins with anyway. Why not a gin-and-tonic?

    The cure for half-baked research,

    William Campbell Douglass II, M.D.
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  31. TopTop #47
    Claire's Avatar
    Claire
     

    Re: Study says echinacea won't help much, so now what?

    This most excellent thread on cold and flu care was so full of preventative suggestions that I thought I'd bring it back up to the top.
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  33. TopTop #48
    Lisa W's Avatar
    Lisa W
     

    Re: Study says echinacea won't help much, so now what?

    I am recalling a training I rec'd from Gaia Herbs (a 5 star company) back in my Whole Foods days. Gaia has studied the different constituents of the different varieties of Echinacea. Just like marijuana, they each have unique properties that work in different ways in the body. I don't recall specifics but suggest you contact them or at least check out their website to see what kind of echinacea they use as they purport to use the one that works most specifically on the immune system. I do remember that echinacea is best used in an acute situation where you are feeling something coming on and want to stimulate the immune response (T cells) now. Whereas, astragalus is a tonic immune herb that can be taken long term to help prevent imbalance. So, there's your herbal lesson for the day. To your health, Lisa
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  35. TopTop #49
    Barry's Avatar
    Barry
    Founder & Moderator

    Re: Study says echinacea won't help much, so now what?

    This is part of a long thread with many great posts! If you are seeing this in the digest, use the website button to see this thread on the website.
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  36. TopTop #50
    SandBar's Avatar
    SandBar
     

    Re: Study says echinacea won't help much, so now what?

    Basically its been shown through scientific research for years that echinacea, at best, is good,sort of, ONLY in the acute phase of a cold, maybe the first week only. It should never be taken long term and it should NEVER be taken by people who have hyperactive immune systems - such as those with autoimmune diseases and allergies. Not sure about people with HIV - echinacea is thought to activate T cells, an immune population (the population infected by the HIV) and active in immune responses.

    My credential for adding to this answer - should one be needed - did a post-doctoral fellowship in immunology at UCSF Medical School - taught immunology for years - so always look at any claims made that influence immune health.... since we all need to know what to do, what to trust.
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