Dr.Karol, MD

The doctor with alternative solutions

Radical Remedy: Echinacea

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Echinacea can be used for many more things than just the flu.

With increasing resistance of bacteria to antibiotics; the growing resistance of the influenza virus to vaccines, and the often ineffective prescription medications for the common cold, it is no wonder that many people are looking to natural alternatives to strengthen their immunity.

The body of evidence in favor of Echinacea to do just that is quite convincing. This amazing plant contains compounds called Cichoic Acid and Echinacoside. The first one has been shown to eliminate (by a process called phagocytosis) bacteria and viruses by immune cells called phagocytes. It also inhibits the ability of the HIV virus entering into and thus infecting immune cells. Echinacoside on the other hand provides antibiotic activity against Staphylococci and Streptococci; both very common bacteria that cause numerous infections.

But perhaps the most interesting quality of Echinacea is that it contains compounds called Alkylamides which bind to CB2 receptors. These are receptors (along with CB1 receptors) are the same receptors that THC and other cannabinoids Medical Marihuana bind to. These receptors are located on immune cells that play important roles in regulating the immune system by having both a stimulatory and an inhibitory effect. On some cells they inhibit inflammation; on other cells they stimulate the immune system by increasing the production of antibodies.

Thus these active compounds inhibit some components of the immune system where it may be overactive (like for example in Rheumatoid arthritis) and stimulate other parts of the immune system where such stimulation is desirable.

It’s like taking a natural medicine with practically no side effects which has two opposite roles in different parts of the body and where both are beneficial to our health. Please show me one synthetic pharmaceutical that can do that. So try Echinacea and not just when you catch a cold to shorten the duration of symptoms but also prophylactically to prevent the cold and other infections and possibly even dreaded cancers.

Author: Dr. Karol, MD

Alternative medicine expert, educator, medical health advisor and author. Recognized as a health expert who is highly knowledgeable in conventional medicine, supplementation, botanical medicine, clinical nutrition and diet and exercise programs. Karol graduated with a B.Sc. with distinction from the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg. Following this Karol completed a doctor of medicine degree as well as the medical post-graduation internship in Europe. Karol started his media career by hosting the radio Radical Remedies portion of The Natural Health Show. The Natural Health Show brings together a collection of health experts to discuss natural health solutions in a way that’s easy to understand. Karol also speaks on health matters and the potential of healthy ingredients on video blogs and at health tradeshows. He currently works closely with and represents some of Canada’s leading health product companies. Karol is currently the Medical Director of Vitarock.com, an online store for all things healthy. Here Karol reviews the products considered by Vitarock to ensure they meet the company’s four core pillars; to be pure, green, safe and fair. He also interacts directly with Vitarock’s online shoppers, being available by phone to provide a free medical consultation and to recommend the best possible products. He is also a senior advisor for dicentra, one of Canada’s leading regulatory and scientific consulting firms. Karol reviews science and compiles reports for Health Canada and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to help companies bring new and exciting products and ingredients to market. His overall philosophy is that as a society we should implement a more personal approach to our existing medical system showing more empathy, personal attention, as well as emotional and psychological support to individuals in need of help. He also believes in the value of integrating modern Western medical practice with natural remedies, exercise, time spent with nature, and a healthy diet rich in super foods.

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