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    One of our favourite products is quite simply, a SuperHerb for your immune system.

    At the beginning of the 1950s Alfred Vogel spent some time with the Native American Oglala Lakota in the USA. The way these indigenous people used the power of nature for their health made a huge impression on him. In the course of time, a deep friendship based on mutual respect developed between Oglala Lakota medicine man, Ben Black Elk, and the explorer from far-off Europe.

    Black Elk familiarised Alfred Vogel with Native American healing and initiated him into the secrets of their medicine. He even imparted knowledge to his friend of the very plant that was to become so important to Alfred Vogel: the purple coneflower (lat.Echinacea purpurea). The Oglala Lakota had known of this plant for generations and used it as an all-round remedy: externally for snakebites, wounds and bruising and internally for strengthening the immune system.

    At the end of his stay in South Dakota, Black Elk presented his friend with a handful of Echinacea seeds. Alfred Vogel took the precious gift back to Switzerland and began to cultivate the plant, with great success. Even today, the plants used to make the A.Vogel Echinaforce®  are descended from the seeds which Alfred Vogel received from Black Elk.

    Research presented at an International Conference held in London on 27th and 28th September 2012 saw an impressive gathering of scientists discussing the implications of newly published research on an extract of freshly harvested Echinacea purpurea known as Echinaforce® drops. (Jawad M et al. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2012. doi: 10.1155/2012/841315)

    Overseen by the Common Cold Centre at Cardiff University, Echinaforce® was shown to reduce the symptoms of colds to the extent that it reduced the need to use conventional cold and flu remedies containing pain-killing medication. This is of particular interest as recent research has shown that people can inadvertently overdose on drugs such as paracetamol found in many of the synthetic cold products commonly available.

    The effect of Echinaforce® to strengthen the immune system was found to depend on the constitution of the person, with those feeling under stress or sleeping poorly responding better. There was no increase in allergic reactions during the duration of the trial – Echinaforce® was shown to have a similar safety profile to placebo treatment.

    The research on Echinaforce® also showed many other interesting results, especially on how it works on the immune system. Follow the link to access the full Echinacea Conference report.

    Taking Echinacea can greatly speed up your recovery time if you have a cold or flu bug. Several pieces of research indicate that Echinacea purpurea taken at the onset of a cold speeds up resolution of symptoms. One study showed that those using a fresh extract of Echinacea purpurea experienced a 63% reduction in cold and flu symptoms, compared to 29% in the placebo group. (Brinkeborn RM et al. Phytomedicine 1999; 6:1-5, and Goel et al. Phytother Res. 2005 Aug; 19 (8): 689-94.) Those using Echinacea were also less likely to develop colds when compared to placebo, reducing the incidence by about half. (Schoop R et al. Clinical Therapeutics. 2006: 1: 10.)

    So, next time you feel the first sign of a sniffle or the lovely lady sat next to you on the bus starts to sneeze, reach for Echinaforce® and let this SuperHero SuperHerb give your immune system a helping hand!