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Echinacea effect on gut bacteria

echinacea Bacteroides microbiome

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#1 Athan

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Posted 08 January 2019 - 04:49 AM

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Good morning everyone and wishes for a Healthy and Happy New Year !!

 

I've recently used some echinacea tablets (2 tabs every morning) for a cold I had and I noticed a positive change in my IBS-D. The "normal" watery stools were gradually replaced by formed ones and my visits to the toilet became less frequent.

 

Echinacea is normally used as an alternative herbal medicine for colds, but it could have some possibly helpful effects (for IBS people).

 

Firstly it is an anti-inflammatory, which could theoretically decrease inflammation in our gut.

Secondly, it changes the balance of gut bacteria. A study found an increase in bacteroides bacteria. From what I understand, this is under discussion, regarding the positive or negative effects, because bacteroides are normal gut bacteria which can protect against dangerous bacteria.

 

From my experience, the effect is a positive one. Even after I stopped using it, my gut seemed to be in better condition than before. I couldn't continue for a long time, because I've read that echinacea use should not be continuous, because it affects our immune system.

 

What I intend to do is use it periodically and see what happens after some months.

 

Are there any other people with similar experience ??

 

Some relevant articles are these :

 

https://www.webmd.co...ea-side-effects

 

https://en.wikipedia...iki/Bacteroides

 

 

 

 

 


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#2 beatingIBS

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Posted 20 January 2019 - 07:48 AM

Hi

 

In my treatment that I'm following, I'm taking echinacea for boosting up my immune system, and I've been taking it for a few months now. It's true that I've been feeling consistently better and improved but I cannot say it's because of that alone, since I'm doing more things than just that.



#3 Noca

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Posted 25 January 2019 - 08:13 PM

Post again in 6 to 8 months and tell us if it is still working.



#4 beatingIBS

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Posted 31 January 2019 - 09:52 AM

Hi 

 

Already stopped taking it for a 1,5 wk now. Only thing I can say for sure is that my immune system is much stronger. 



#5 APR

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Posted 24 February 2019 - 04:28 PM

Whether echinacea could be helpful for IBS is an interesting question, because the current discussion or debate I see among researchers is whether it could cause an imbalance.  They are framing at as:  a bunch of people are taking echinacea for colds and strengthening the immune system, but could it have a negative side effect on gut balance?  The sites I found never even posed the question of whether it could actually be a helpful treatment for IBS.  In fact, some sites seemed to pose caution about people with IBD [more so than IBS] taking it until more research is done.

 

I will say that as yet, the supposed risk seems to be just hypothetical, as there has been no research that really looked at changes in digestive health over time among those taking echinacea relative to a control group that wasn't taking it.  Ideally, they would conduct an experiment where randomly selected individuals are divided into two groups, and one group is instructed to take echinacea and the other is instructed to abstain from echinacea and otherwise continue their same diet, activities, etc.  But at least, it might be helpful to survey a group of people about their gut issues over time, comparing those who took echinacea from those who didn't.  That wouldn't be as scientific, but it would be something.

 

At this point I am still skeptical.  There have been numerous cases where researchers have found some possible effect of some herb or medication that was hyped as a big issue, but turned out to make very little difference to people's health, in reality, or it was only relevant to a small group of people.



#6 Athan

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Posted 26 February 2019 - 01:39 AM

Yes my friend, a clinical trial would be the official and scientifically approved method.

 

But, I'm 49 now and I've had IBS since I was 13-14. I really don't have any more patience for clinical trials and doctors patting my back. So, I've made myself a lab rat and have been trying various meds, herbs and "magic potions", hoping for a relief.

 

I am skeptical like you, but my hopes rise every time I witness an improvement (as I have with echinacea).



#7 mellosphere

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Posted 26 February 2019 - 05:52 PM

Interesting. How often and what dose are you taking?

Edit: sorry i saw you posted this info already

#8 mellosphere

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Posted 30 March 2019 - 08:17 AM

Athan, any new updates on this since last month?

#9 Athan

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Posted 31 March 2019 - 03:43 AM

Hello mellosphere

 

I've stopped taking the echinacea for two reasons.

Firstly, because I developed something like a mild dermatitis on my face and I couldn't tell if it was coming from the herb or from spring allergies.

Secondly, because it's use is supposed to be periodical and not continuous, so as not to destabilize our immune system.

 

What I can verify is that it had a positive impact on my daily IBS-D symptoms and I will start it again later on.

 

For the time being I'm using a combination of 4 probiotics (my post is here https://www.ibsgroup...otics-vs-ibs-d/)

which have an even better results on my IBS-D symptoms. Note that I've used probiotics before (VSL 3) with no effect at all.

 

I've also started using an extract I've made from elm tree bark. It's s very easy to make, just 4-5 strips (6-8 cm long) of external bark, boiled in water for 10-15 minutes, will produce 4 lt of rich red liquid, tasteless, with a rich earthy aroma.

I drink one glass every morning with no food. It was recommended to me from a person living in a mountain village, who remembers all traditional herbal remedies (grandmother to grandmother). It is supposed to be a cure for stomach ulcers and great for diarrhea. Since I have stomach problems along with my IBS-D, I thought I'd give it a try.



#10 AZGuy

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Posted 21 April 2019 - 02:19 AM

I'd be careful with the echinacea. I have no proof but I took it daily for probably 4-5 years and soon afterward I developed IBS-D, IBD and what some also considered Crohn's like issues when I was 35yo. I cant say that its but its ironic that it all happened about the same time when I was taking all these kinds of supplements. I probably destroyed the lining of my gut and its never repaired itself. I've been dealing with this now for 13 years. In fact so bad I'm on disability for it. So I would be very leary of supplements that aren't regulated or tested by the FDA.



#11 Athan

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 03:04 AM

I'd be careful with the echinacea. I have no proof but I took it daily for probably 4-5 years and soon afterward I developed IBS-D, IBD and what some also considered Crohn's like issues when I was 35yo. I cant say that its but its ironic that it all happened about the same time when I was taking all these kinds of supplements. I probably destroyed the lining of my gut and its never repaired itself. I've been dealing with this now for 13 years. In fact so bad I'm on disability for it. So I would be very leary of supplements that aren't regulated or tested by the FDA.

 

Echinacea for 4-5 years ? It is a bit too much probably.

 

What other supplements did you use ? Vitamins ?



#12 AZGuy

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 03:28 PM

 

Echinacea for 4-5 years ? It is a bit too much probably.

 

What other supplements did you use ? Vitamins ?

That was all from what I recall. It was many years ago. But I think it might have contributed to my current situation.



#13 Athan

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Posted 30 April 2019 - 10:22 AM

That was all from what I recall. It was many years ago. But I think it might have contributed to my current situation.

 

It could have, especially considering that echinacea is regarded as nature's antibiotic... Continuous use and for such a long time, could even destroy your immune system.

 

That's why I use it sporadically and for short periods (i.e. for 2-3 weeks, every 2-3 months).



#14 legbuh

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Posted 02 May 2019 - 04:12 PM

You know, whenever I get a cold I take Zinc, Echinacea, and cold medicine.  I've also noticed my symptoms get better and I always assumed it was from the cold medicine.  Or from the fact that I knew for the most part I wouldn't have to leave the house.  :)

 

I am going to give it a try.







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