Lodinews.com

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

Dear Pharmacist Echinacea wards off the common cold

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Friday, March 1, 2013 7:09 am

Dear Pharmacist: I’ve got a cold, and I’ve sneezed about a hundred times today! Should I start taking echinacea, and will it help me with the sneezing? — A.T., Sanibel, Fla.

Answer: It’s the season for the common cold, with over one billion cases of it in the United States each year.  Sneezing is perhaps the most annoying symptom of all.

Most people don’t realize sneezing is actually your neurological process.  Dust, a change in temperature, or even a bright light cause impulses to build up in the “sneezing center” of the brain.  Signals are then transmitted to nerve endings and “ahh choo” — the reflex of a sneeze occurs. It’s actually a protective mechanism for your body.

Tell that to the person who gets wet from your spewing mucus right?!  Most “gesundheits” clock in around 35 miles per hour! And no, echinacea won’t stop sneezing —  but it does have other virtues.

Don’t be terribly quick to cool a fever, it’s your body’s way of heating up the germs to kill them. Prevention is ideal. Stop touching germy objects such as doorknobs, cell phones, or escalator and staircase handrails. Airports, subways, malls and pharmacies are loaded with germs because so many people frequent them. I recommend gloves when you frequent these places. Think of it as a fashion statement for your immune system.

Medicine helps. If you have a stuffy nose, pseudoephedrine is helpful, or a nasal spray. For a non-productive cough, dextromethorphan can help. If you have a runny nose, diphenhydramine can be taken at bedtime, or loratadine for a non-drowsy option. Remember, over-the-counter drugs don’t shorten duration, but they do ease symptoms.  

Echinacea purpurea is a perennial flower native to eastern North America that wakes up the immune system to help you fight infections. We’ve just learned that daily consumption of echinacea may help stave off the common cold! A large study done by Cardiff University in the United Kingdom demonstrated that taking echinacea for four months significantly decreases your likelihood of catching cold; it may also shave time off your illness by 26 percent.  The study also showed that these preventive effects continued to increase with regular echinacea consumption, something that is new to our thinking. You see, many clinicians think echinacea is best when cycled for a few weeks on, then a few weeks off (as opposed to taking it routinely).

Ask your doctor if echinacea is right for you, and what your dose should be. For immune system maintenance, you might see doses around 300 mg twice per day. You can also drink echinacea tea for a lower dose.  Keep in mind, some people are allergic to this botanical class, and also, echinacea is rarely recommended for people with auto-immune disorders as it can trigger flare-ups.

So, as flu and cold season continues, consider echinacea as well as probiotics, which improve your body’s own natural killer cells. Naturally, vitamin C and zinc should be part of your arsenal.

This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. For more information about Suzy Cohen, visit her website at www.suzycohen.com.

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don’t pretend you’re someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don’t threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don’t insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the ‘Report’ link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.
  • 9 Don’t be a troll.
  • 10 Don’t reveal personal information about other commenters. You may reveal your own personal information, but we advise you not to do so.
  • 11 We reserve the right, at our discretion, to monitor, delete or choose not to post any comment. This may include removing or monitoring posts that we believe violate the spirit or letter of these rules, or that we otherwise determine at our discretion needs to be monitored, not posted, or deleted.

Welcome to the discussion.

Readers Choice Awards 2014

Video

Popular Stories

Poll

What would you like to see in Lodi's parks?

Lodi's Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department is hosting a public workshop at 7 p.m. at Hutchins Street Square to find out how it can better meet the needs of the community. What would you like to see in Lodi's parks?

Total Votes: 209

Loading…

Your News

News for the community, by the community.

Featured Events

Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists