The second reason I'm going to wait is because of an herbal conference/festival I'm attending here in Minnesota in September. I think I will have an even better understanding of Echinacea after I take the following workshop class:
The Immune System: Not What you Think it is...with Lise
Wolff. If you think "fighting off" a cold is the role of the immune system, think again! ( The immune system reflects our response to the world, both physically and emotionally). This provocative class will shake up your understanding of how the immune system functions and what foods, herbs and flower essences make it healthy. Away with Echinacea!
Lise Wolff was my herb teacher for the full year of 2005. From her, I already have a different understanding of Echinacea than the current popular notion of it as an "immune booster" or "virus fighter". But I think waiting for this class and brushing up on my understanding of the plant and its uses, as well as the immune system's role in our bodies, will help me present Echinacea in a more useful light.
In the meantime, if you want to nourish your body and help it to "fight off" (ha ha, not a kosher way to put it in Lise's book--I've got to figure out how to get my language right, obviously) viruses and flus, see my post on Elderberry.
And if you live near Minnesota and want to spend a day on a beautiful farm in Cannon Falls (SE Minn.) taking classes from a variety of top-notch herbalists, do come to the 3rd Annual Holistic Health and Herbal Education Festival. Click on the link for more information. The HerbFest is September 13, so hurry and register soon!