Wrong about echinacea

It looks like I was wrong about echinacea. I had been saying that it is an effective anti-viral and immune-stimulatory herb hat should only be used for 2 weeks at a time. Now, after reading some more definitive research, I see that it is not only OK to take echinacea on a continual basis, but it actually is beneficial to take it this way. Therefore, my old adage that any company that puts echinacea into a daily vitamin doesn't know what they're doing and should be regarded with suspicion is wrong. This is a perfectly reasonable thing to include in a multivitamin, and (as demonstrated in the article on echinacea) may well extend life-spans. The research on mice showed a increase in survival in mice at any age, increasing with the age of the mice.
However, this doesn't mean that any old kind of echinacea will do the trick: other research shows that it is the alkylamides that are responsible for the anti-inflammatory effects and the polysaccharides and glycoproteins are responsible for the immune-stimulating effects, while the echinacosides and other things that OTC echinacea products are typically standardized for don't seem to have much activity, though the phenolic compounds do seem to help
keep the alkylamides from degrading. Also, the dried plant materials lose potency quickly, so good echinacea doesn't come in a powder (unless you take massive amounts).
Also, I finally found the answer for which part of the echinacea (E. Augustifolia seems like the best, and E. Purpurea may be close, but E. Palladia isn't very good) to use when:
Roots harvested in the fall have the anti-inflammatory effects that are good for colds (typically the body will have already eliminated the virus before you start showing symptoms, so the inflammation is just part of the mopping-up process and there is no role for antibiotics at this point especially since colds are caused by a virus which wouldn't be affected by antibiotics even if they were still present despite your doctor having given you antibiotics in the past for a cold - this is an example of bad medicine from listening to too many drug reps and not reading any research or even just about any current literature on treatment of the common cold, but forgive my digression).
When the flowers are in early maturity, the aerial parts contain the immune-strengthening compounds that are good for keeping infections from starting in the first place.

So, I apologize to all the companies I had maligned for putting echinacea in their multivitamins (though they'd better check to see they're putting the right things in there) and especially to everyone who had heard my talks and also had it stuck in their heads the wrong way. It is for them that I am putting this in plain text so we call all get it straight once and for all.