Immune system / 1996

Botanical name: 

From XYZ Sun Sep 23 01:42:27 2001
Subject: Echinacea and AIDS
From: Christopher Hedley
Date: Wed, 5 Jun 1996 23:56:54 -0700 (PDT)

I had a sudden picture of the layers of the immune system-

In many respects the picture 'immune system' is a poor one to work with. Much better to work with the concept of vital force (or choose your own words here) The concept of vitality encompasses suface level protection, blood level protection, intercellular level protection etc down to the basic, constitutional energy. Echinacea works mainly on the blood level. If the disease is all on that level Echinacea may be used as a simple, if not it must be backed up or the the vital force is split.

eg. It will strengthen protection against new bugs and keep the blood clear, so that the flow of vital energy is not blocked there but, if underlying levels of vitality have been eroded, then they must be addressed as well. Thus the logical way to use the energy of Echinacea is either in high doses as immediate reinforcement against attack or in sustained small doses backed up with constitutional or building herbs and strategies.

To use a military analagy (normally I dislike applying military analagies to health but I have just been watching Braveheart), Echinacea is the light cavalry. Soldiers will tell you that it is the infantry that wins wars. Napoleon said it was stomachs.

You can't win wars by sending your light cavalry straight into the other people's heavy artillary... but it does make for a bloody good film... better than Braveheart anyway...

On bioregions; the Echinacea in our bioregion seems to grow only in my friends' gardens. Does this make it an endangered species ? Should we make my friends gardens into nature reserves ? Probably best not. Around here that usually means that someone will run a motorway through them.

On internet advice; someone rang me up today with a query re use of St JohnUs Wort for glioma. She had diligently searched the internet and come up with a pretty much garbled load of garden soil containing a few nuggets of wisdom. Still it must be good advice because it is widely diseminated !

On Bastyr; as far as I know they were the first people to propogate the view that Echinacea should not be used for HIV+ people since it was 'an immune stimulant' and would therefore spread any virus which chose to make its home in there. This was theory and not clinical observation. I don't know if they have revised their view.

I am taking part in a seminar on treating AIDS next week. Any choice nuggets of clinical experience out there ?

Love to all from Christopher.

PS heavy fairy density around here now that summer has finally hit us. Looking forward to the mid-summer fairy viewing bonanza.