Rudbeckia is a wild plant whose flowers resemble those in daisies, and it grows in the central part of the United States. Natives have been using it for centuries for healing wounds and as an antidote against snake bites. Rudbeckia was quickly accepted by European immigrants and their physicians as a powerful means of combating infections. Today, it is a common garden plant in the United Kingdom.
How does it work?
Rudbeckia is a natural antibiotic and anti-infection agent that helps fight bacteria, viruses, fungi and other microorganisms that cause the disease. It stimulates the activity of different immune system cells, which is most important to stop the infection. In addition, it also stimulates the creation of interferons – agents that act against the virus. This effect is short-term and is advised to take rudbeckia regularly; in acute infections it means every few hours. Rudbeckia normalizes the immune response in autoimmune conditions such as eczema (dermatitis) and is traditionally used for this purpose.
PREVENTION: rudbeckia helps in preventing the two most common viral diseases: cold and flu. It is the most effective if you start using it at the first signs of illness. In a study involving people prone to a fever, after the eight week long administration of rudbeckia, the incidence of disease decreased by 35% compared to a group who took placebo. Research has shown that this plant is also useful in alleviating pain, clogged nose, in fever, cold and flu. In short, the problems are milder and disappear sooner.
ADDITIONAL USEFUL EFFECTS: rudbeckia is useful in recurrent infections, such as oral candidiasis, urinary tract infections, and middle ear infections. It is sometimes used in the treatment of streptococcal and staphylococcal infections, herpes (including genital, oral herpes and herpes zoster), bronchitis and sinus infections. Autoimmune diseases in which rudbeckia can help are lupus, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and similar conditions. The role of this plant in the treatment of chronic fatigue and obesity syndrome is also investigated, as well as on cancer patients whose immune system is weakened by treatment (chemotherapy and radiation).
Rudbeckia preparation can be applied to the skin; it may help in treating all kinds of wounds, skin and mouth ulcers, eczema, burns, herpes on the lips and decubitus ulcer (wounds that appear if a person is lying on the bed too long). Tincture is used to treat the sore throat and tonsillitis.
How to take it?
DOSAGE: as rudbeckia comes in various forms, check the exact dose in the packaging instructions. Most tablets do not contain extracts, but root powder.
For cold and flu: larger doses are needed, up to 200 mg, five times a day. According to a study conducted on patients who had flu, patients who received 900 mg of rudbeckia per day felt better than those who took only 450 mg or placebo. For other infections: the recommended dose is 200 mg, three to four times a day.
For long-lasting use to enhance immunity: to achieve the best effect, especially if you are prone to chronic infections, you should replace rudbeckia preparations every three weeks with some other nutritional supplement to enhance your immune system, such as goldenseal, milk vetch, taheebo or healing mushrooms. There is also a rudbeckia tea, which is mainly prepared as a mixture with other plants.
USE GUIDELINES: sometimes, after eight weeks of taking rudbeckia preparations, a week-long pause is advised. However, most herbalists advise on the continued use of these preparations in the treatment of autoimmune diseases such as eczema. Rudbeckia can be taken with or without food.
Possible side effects
No side effects were reported in people who took recommended dose, as well as no adverse reactions in pregnant or breastfeeding women. It should be noted that people allergic to plants from the group of dairies may also show a reaction to rudbeckia. Contact your doctor if a skin rash occurs or if you experience breathing difficulties.
IMPORTANT: rudbeckia preparations should not be used as a substitute for antibiotics or other medications, but as a supplement to prescribed therapy. In progressive infections such as tuberculosis, rudbeckia is often ineffective.