Echinaforce® Echinacea is a licensed medicine made from fresh extracts of Echinacea purpurea herb (95%) and root (5%). It is available as drops (tincture in 15ml, 50ml & 100ml bottles) and as tablets (42 tablets & 120 tablets).
Echinacea is a plant native to America but is now cultivated extensively in Europe. The plants which go into our product are cultivated organically in Switzerland at our own herb farms.
Up to 10 species of Echinacea have been identified, but only three (E. purpurea, E. angustifolia and E. pallida) are used medicinally. Echinacea purpurea is considered to be the one which has been most widely researched and this is the species we use.
Our Echinacea is produced using extracts of freshly harvested, organically grown Echinacea purpurea herb and root, picked fresh and used within 24 hours of harvest. The benefit of using freshly harvested herbs has been demonstrated in research - extracts produced from fresh plants contain almost 3 times more active substances compared with those obtained from equivalent amounts of dried herb*.
This is why, when you need a herbal remedy to help you fight the misery of colds and flu, not all Echinaceas are the same.
*Tobler M et al: Characteristics of whole fresh plant extracts. Schweizerische Zeitschrift fur GanzheitMedizin, 1994
1. What are the health benefits of Echinaforce®?
Our Echinacea drops and tablets may be used to relieve the symptoms of the common cold and flu, helping the body fight these and other similar infections of the upper respiratory tract.
2. How does it work?
It works by strengthening the body's immune system - the benefit of this is that the body is able to fight infections better.
3. Are summer colds different from ordinary common colds experienced during the winter?
No, these are similar infections. However, summer colds may give rise to more symptoms relating to the throat (irritated, sore or tickly throat) because of the prevalence of air-conditioning. Nevertheless, summer and winter colds behave and respond to treatment in the same way.
4. How do I know if I have the flu?
It can sometimes be difficult to tell. Flu (or influenza) produces similar symptoms to the common cold but these are usually more severe. In addition, you may experience fever, sweats and muscle aches.
5. Can I take Echinaforce® if I've had the flu jab or vaccination?
There are no contraindications to the use of Echinacea tablets either before or after the flu vaccination.
6. What about swine flu, bird flu and any other new flu infections that may come our way during the winter?
Swine flu, avian flu (bird flu) and other variants of flu are all infections caused by the influenza virus. Echinaforce® will help strengthen the immune system and relieve the symptoms of these infections in the same way it does with other flu infections or the common cold.
7. What is a head cold?
There really is no proper definition for the term 'head cold'. It is a commonly used expression usually indicating that symptoms, such as a blocked nose or sore throat, are confined to the head.
8. Can I take Echinacea when pregnant or breastfeeding?
The use of the herb during pregnancy or whilst breastfeeding is not recommended in the UK. If you wish to take Echinaforce® in these situations, it is recommended that you consult a doctor or other healthcare professional.
Although there is no evidence that use of Echinacea by pregnant or breastfeeding women will be harmful, only a few studies have been performed to demonstrate that it is safe to do so. In the absence of more conclusive evidence, the UK Department of Health takes the view that the benefits of using products containing Echinacea herb during pregnancy or breastfeeding are outweighed by the risks.
9. I have read the patient leaflet inside my Echinaforce® Pack and am now worried about all the possible side effects listed. I have taken it for years and never had any problems – will I get any of these side effects?
The Patient Information Leaflet has been written as part of the licensing process and the section on possible side effects is largely common to all licensed Echinacea products marketed in the UK. It does not reflect any increase in adverse reactions to Echinacea products in general or Echinaforce® in particular.
As you have used the product with only beneficial effects for years it is extremely unlikely that you will have any problems in the future. If you have any further concerns please do ring our Helpline (0845 6085858) and we will happily talk them through with you.
10. I suffered anaphylactic shock many years ago due to prescribed medication, and have just read in the Echinaforce® leaflet found within the pack that anaphylactic shock is a possible side effect. I have used Echinaforce® before and didn’t have any bad reactions, but now I am concerned.
The Patient Information Leaflet has been written as part of the licensing process and the information relating to possible side effects is largely common to all licensed Echinacea products sold in the UK.
It does not reflect any increase in adverse reactions to Echinacea products in general or Echinaforce® in particular. Anaphylactic shock is associated with extreme allergy to a product or ingredient and if you have previously taken Echinacea with no ill effects you are not allergic to it and are extremely unlikely to have any problems taking it now.
If you have any further concerns please do ring our Helpline (0845 6085858) and we will happily talk them through with you.
11. I have glaucoma and can’t take some cold and flu remedies because they contain antihistamines. Can I use Echinaforce®?
Yes. There are no contraindications with Echinaforce® for people with glaucoma.
12. Will Echinaforce® affect my blood pressure? It is high and I have been told not to use some cold and flu remedies.
There are no problems for people with high blood pressure taking Echinaforce®, which is an extract of freshly harvested Echinacea purpurea and does not contain any antihistamine medication.