CommunityBrowse groupsBlogEtiquetteInvite Your friendsSuccess Stories


Echinacea and other immune boosters

I'm curious if people have had experience taking this in any form. I am trying to boost my immune system for the cold and flu season- my young child brings home lots of bugs- and I have started taking some tea.

I've also started eating lowfat Stonyfield plain yogurt, taking vitamins and increasing my garlic intake.

Mon. Dec 12, 10:41am

Add comment  
A word of warning based on new studies

I used to be a huge fan of Echinacea and immune system boosters but I've got a few reasons to avoid them now. I recently come across some articles AGAINST them. The studies looked at "recent" flu epidemics and noticed that the highest mortality rate was actually among those with a strong immune system. They further pursued this and found that, if you use immune system boosters you run a risk of pushing your immune system into a zone where it hits "hyperdrive" if you get really sick and actually does damage. I can't remember the magazines that covered it but I know that The Toronto Star did a story on it too.

Also, on a more personal note, I had a boyfriend who developed a condition called Miller-Fisher Syndrome 3 years ago. It's super rare but basically the same thing as above...his immune system fought off an infection but was so "revved up" it continue to attack whatever it could find...and that turned out to be his nervous system. It is something that can be stopped but it took time for the effects (in his case, paralysis and blindness) to reverse themselves.

His immunologist (sp?) and neurologist both said the same thing to us: If you take care of yourself physically and mentally and take proper precautions (frequently washing hands, keeping living areas sanitary, etc.) you shouldn't need antibacterial soap/doodads or immune boosters.

Yeah, so I'm a bit of an alarmist but before Colin ended up in hospital he kept popping Echinacea hoping to get better...the Dr. said it only made things worse so I'm staying away from now on. I'm sorry if I scared you, it just that so few studies have really proven that immune boosters do help and now with this info coming out...eek!

Monday, December 12, 2005, 11:59 AM

Add comment
Echinacea is ok if you need to boost your immune system. It works really well. I'd agree that it might make sense not to use it if you are already healthy. I think that is true for anything that makes you better. You never take Ny Quil when you are well for example. (unless you are into that kind of thing of course, wouldn't want to offend anyone)

Wednesday, December 14, 2005, 11:55 AM

Add comment
I'm not sure about the effects of echinacea but this is what I do in the winter to prevent colds...

1) Take a multivitamin religiously every day (a good one for women is GNC's Women's Ultra Mega)

2) Take EnergyC or Airborne when I start to feel a cold coming on. These are vitamin boosters that help yur system fight.

3) Make sure to get more rest when feeling down. And eat lots of veggies and fruit. For some reason this is easier in the summer than winter.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005, 6:39 PM

Add comment
Actually recent studies show that Echinacea doesn't really do anything for your system, and this coming from an ND study. I am not surprised. My brother in law takes all kinds of "natural" stuff and he is forever sick. The minute I start feeling anything coming on I take E-mergen-C and I believe it works really well.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005, 8:40 PM

Add comment
I think I am getting my first cold of the season. arrgh.

Thursday, October 05, 2006, 9:23 AM

Add comment

Explore Related Articles
Weight Loss Motivation   Sustainable Weight Loss
Weight Lifting    Hypnosis and Weight Loss
Emotional Eating   Help Losing Weight
Free Weight Loss Program   Weight Watchers Points  NutriSystem
How To Change Anything

Related Content:

How To Lose Weight- The Basics
Weight Watchers Points System
The Fat Smash Diet
The Eat To Live Diet
The Beck Diet Solution
How To Get The Motivation To Lose Weight


How To Be Successful Using PEERtrainer

How To Burn Fat
Online Weight Loss Support- How It Works
Does Green Tea Help You Lose Weight?
Tips On Using PEERtrainer
Visit The PEERtrainer Community
Diet and Fitness Resources


Weight Watchers Meetings
Learning To Inspire Others: You Already Are
Writing Down Your Daily Workouts
Spending Money On A Personal Trainer?
How I Became A Marathon Runner


Preventive Health

How To Prevent Injuries During Your Workout
Flu Season: Should You Take The Flu Shot?
Are You Really Ready To Start PEERtrainer?
Super Foods That Can Boost Your Energy
Reversing Disease Through Nutrition

New Diet and Fitness Articles:

Weight Watchers Points Plus
How To Adjust Your Body To Exercise
New: Weight Watchers Momentum Program
New: PEERtrainer Blog Archive
Review Of The New Weight Watchers Momentum Program

Weight Loss Motivation by Joshua Wayne:

Why Simple Goal Setting Is Not Enough
How To Delay Short Term Gratification
How To Stay Motivated
How To Exercise With A Busy Schedule

Real World Nutrition and Fitness Questions

Can Weight Lifting Help You Lose Weight?
Are Protein Drinks Safe?
Nutrition As Medicine?

Everyday Weight Loss Tips

How To Eat Healthy At A Party
How To Eat Out And Still Lose Weight
The Three Bite Rule
Tips On How To Stop A Binge