Body Sense

WINTER | 2015

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www.massagetherapy.com—your resource for all things bodywork 11 A few years ago, echinacea (Echinacea angustifolia) was all the rage; in fact, I think we have this commonplace purple flower to thank for introducing much of the Western world to the health benefits of herbs. That's a lot of pressure for one little plant species. As is the case with all celebrities, there were those out there who just wanted to malign, discredit, and generally turn public favor against the herbal "golden child" of the moment. Despite the fact that Native Americans used echinacea to treat colds for generations, and despite reports of the herb's high immune-boosting success, people began to foist studies on us showing how ineffective echinacea really was. A recent study, however, seems to back up centuries of anecdotal evidence on the benefits of echinacea: in a randomized, double-blind, controlled clinical trial, researchers found that an echinacea-based hot drink was as effective as Tamiflu (the conventional gold-standard treatment) in the early treatment of influenza. 1 In other words, echinacea really does work. { { Keeping the Doctor Away with Echinacea By Amy Jirsa Echinacea Echinacea angustifolia Parts used: leaves, flowers, roots. How to harvest: dig up roots after the first frost of the season, when the plant is 2 years old; leaves and flowers can be harvested in the first year on a sunny day after the dew has dried. Effects on the body: immune-boosting, antiviral. Effects on the mind and spirit: reconnects you to your core—the part of you that makes you happy, dance, sing, spin around, and live with excitement. Safety first: use with caution if you have a daisy, ragweed, or sunflower allergy. continued

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