People have heard the natural vitamin called Echinacea kicked around from time to time but what is this herbal remedy people are talking about? Echinacea has become a popular herbal remedy, but the full potential is not completely known by many in the health industry. For hundreds of years, Echinacea was used by numerous cultures to promote better health.

Echinacea comes from an above plant. The various parts of the plant are used for teas, juice and natural vitamins. This supplement is traditionally used to treat or prevent colds, flu and other types of infections. Echinacea stimulates the body's immune system which in turn fights infections. Some other uses are various skin problems like boils and acne.

Some herbalists will recommended this type of supplement for other various heath conditions. There are mixed opinions regarding Echinacea and whether or not is actually does help with colds and the flu bug. There have been studies that didn't find much benefit from Echinacea, weather it was used as a juice for treating colds or an unrefined mixture for adults. But yet other studies show the Echinacea can be beneficial for treatment in upper respiratory infections in adults.

Studies today are showing to date that Echinacea does not appear to help with colds and infections. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine continues to back the study of Echinacea for the treatment of respiratory infections. They are also studying the potential side effect on the immune system when it enters the body.

Keep in mind your allergies before taking Echinacea. Types of people that will experience a reaction are those who are allergic to plants in the daisy family which is ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds and daisies. People with asthma or atopy also will be subject to potential side effects. The supplement Echinacea usually doesn't cause side effects when taken orally but some can have allergic reactions which can include but not limited to rashes, asthma, anaphylaxis and gastrointestinal.

As always keep in mind your reactions to natural supplements including Echinacea. Speak to your health professional to find out if the supplement you want to take is ok for you. Make sure you not only let me know what you're going to take but what, if any you're currently taking to make sure there won't be any conflicts so to speak. You can always check out the NCCAM web site for more information as well.