Ask the Herb Lady

With Cathy Burkemper

Herbs & Vitamins To Help Prevent Colds

Q: If I take Echinacea every day, will this prevent me from getting a cold?

A: Although Echinacea is considered one of the best-known, safe immune strengtheners available, you should not take this herb by itself on a daily basis. It is typically recommended to take at the first sign of cold or flu and take until symptoms diminish. Do not use for more than eight weeks without taking a two week break. You can build up immunity against this herb. It is perfectly fine to take it in small amounts, as in a combination immune defense formula. Also, do not take if you are allergic to daisies.

Q: My grandmother always gave us elderberry tea when it started getting cold outside. Why do you think she did that?

A: Your grandmother probably knew that elderberries were a rich source of Vitamins A and C, both of which are known to strengthen the immune system. It has often been said that one teaspoon of elderberry syrup a day will prevent you from winter illness, including a sore throat. You will find elderberry extract in many herbal formulas to help fight cold and flu.

This herb information is for health education purposes only. It is not intended to replace the services of licensed health practitioners. Consult with a physician for any condition that requires professional care.

Do you have questions about herbs or vitamins? Send them to Cathy Burkemper, CNHP and Certified Herbalist. Write to: Herbs & More, 16021 Manchester Rd., Ellisville, MO 63011.

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