The excitement of the back-to-school season is also the calling card for children’s cold and flu. With immature immune systems and packed classrooms, kids are especially vulnerable to picking up viruses. As most parents can attest, there’s more than a fair share of these viruses to go around each year, but the same can’t always be said of the traditional over-the-counter medicines we might rely on to treat them. Within the past year, North Americans have already seen an alarming shortage of children’s cold and flu medicine on pharmacy shelves amid a resurging “tripledemic” of respiratory illnesses.
When we also factor in all the extra-germy surfaces and settings kids encounter just on an average school day, it might seem that contracting the back-to-school “icks”—complete with kleenex boxes and clammy foreheads—is inevitable. But with a natural solution, it’s still possible to fight the spread of infections and even relieve symptoms that make this season especially hard on our little ones.
Why do Kids Get Sick so Much, Anyways?
Just like kids have to learn their ABCs to read and write, the immune system has to learn what common illnesses look like to know how to respond and eventually adapt to them. There’s an estimated 100-plus cold viruses alone floating around each year, and luckily, early exposure to many of these can pay off in the long run (though that benefit may be hard to appreciate when battling sniffles, fevers, and uncomfortable kids all season long).
But research suggests, for instance, that kids who attend daycare with large groups of children may actually have an immunity advantage as they age. Despite experiencing frequent viral illnesses in toddlerhood, by the time they’re in grade school, these kids, and even their siblings, may get sick less often than their peers. But when the cold and flu season does come calling despite all our best efforts, echinacea may be able to help.
A Remedy for Respiratory Relief
Echinacea purpurea (a.k.a. purple coneflower) has long been revered for its medicinal properties. Its use as a “cure-all” dates back hundreds of years, and it remains a well-known favourite among many herbalists for general immune support. Today, a growing body of research has delved even deeper to discover how it might prevent and treat respiratory illnesses like cold and flu.
Understandably, the prevention and treatment of coronaviruses (CoVs) has been of particular interest for the medical community in recent years. But while the name might bring pandemics to mind, these viral strains are also the culprit behind up to 30 percent of our everyday colds.
To examine echinacea’s potential efficacy against CoVs, scientists in one study exposed cells in-vitro to a special extract of Echinacea purpurea known as Echinaforce. Various strains of coronavirus, including SARS-CoV-1, MERS-CoV-2, and HCoV-229E (the common cold), were found to be inactivated by echinacea at similar concentrations, leading researchers to conclude that it may help mitigate the spread and severity of these infections.
How Does Echinaforce Work?
Made from this same powerful extract, Echinaforce Junior comes in a chewable, yummy tablet formulated specially for kids’ taste buds. Using only fresh plants within 24 hours of harvest, Echinaforce’s “fresh factor” has proven to be ten times more effective than the dry plants used in other products on the market today.
It’s also vegan, gluten-, dairy-, and lactose-free, and is the only natural children’s medication of its kind to earn Health Canada’s approval for its science-backed “antiviral” claim. Let’s take a look at how Echinaforce blends work for us when the immune system is under threat.
As we inhale, viruses (or viral aerosols) can attach themselves to mucous membrane receptors, the protective epithelial layers, and prompt the release of viral genes into host cells. If unimpeded, this process may begin a vicious cycle of infection, as these cells can go on to produce and emit new virus particles that will infect an army of additional hosts.
Echinaforce shines with its unique array of pharmacologically-active substances which protect against the process of infection, even after it has started. A star component of Echinaforce includes the release of alkylamides. Uniquely found in this flower, these naturally-occurring compounds inhibit viral docking receptors like spike proteins and hemagglutinin to slow infection.
If acute inflammation is already underway, Echinaforce goes a step further to modulate pro-inflammatory markers like cytokines. What does that mean? Less of those uncomfortable symptoms that can keep kids feeling sick and away from the classroom for longer periods.
Arm Your Kids Against Infections with Echinaforce Junior
Outperforming even tried-and-true vitamin C when compared in clinical trials, Echinaforce Junior has shown promise as a powerful support at every stage of respiratory illness. With an added link to substantial reductions in antibiotic use for respiratory tract infections, this herbal remedy may just be your family’s key to fewer sick days and a happier back-to-school season for all.