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feeder 1.2 english 102

feeder 1.2 english 102 - Peter Bohlen English 102 Echinacea...

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Peter Bohlen English 102 Echinacea Echinacea is one of the most highly praised herbal remedies among the alternative medicine world. There are many claims about the wonderful healing powers of echinacea, but can we trust all the claims and supporters of echinacea? Science generally suggests that most of the claims of echinaceas’ healing powers are simply a placebo effect, with no scientific support. However, many of the supporters of echinacea claim that the amounts of echinacea used in the trials were only a fraction of what is suggested by true herbalists. With the proper amount of echinacea, it is suggested that the following problems can be alleviated or eliminated; bronchitis, colds, coughing, fevers, sore throat and tendency to be infected. Echinacea is typically among the top selling alternative medicines, grossing 100 million dollars every year. 1 So why is there such a large discrepancy between herbalists and scientists? Recent studies released in July 28, 2005 in the New England Journal of Medicine performed many different studies on the effectiveness of echinacea. The study involved use of placebos and 437 volunteers to test the claims of echinacea. The results of the study came back with no statistically significant effects of echinacea on the rates of infection or severity of symptoms. 2 Why aren’t the results matching the claims that echinacea makes? Echinacea supporters do not agree with these claims, and counter saying, “The amount of echinacea used in (Turners) study 1 2
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was roughly three times less than what veteran herbalists recommend.” 1 These two contradicting arguments seem to be an ongoing struggle between supporters of the herb and scientists. If herbalist’s claims are correct, then it means that the amount of echinacea needed to combat illnesses is much larger than scientists calculated. Echinacea is unique in that it is claimed to stimulate the immune system, increasing the white blood cell count, which leads to the production of antibodies to fight off foreign pathogens that invade our body causing harm. Normally it takes our body an extended amount of time to completely fight off viruses and other small
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