Echinacea

Echinacea Plant

Echinacea Flowers

Echinacea Benefits

This herb works wonderfully for colds and flu. Drinking a tea made from echinacea can greatly reduce the severity and duration of these two illnesses. It’s also widely used for treating upper respiratory tract infections and sore throat. It’s also an effective anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibiotic and detoxifier.

Echinacea is one of the most researched herbs in existence. Millions of people have used it to boost the immune system to help fight off viral, fungal and bacterial infections. It can reduce inflammation, destroy free radicals and increase white blood cells. It is a powerful blood purifier. The polysaccharides contained in Echinacea are what’s responsible for it’s infection fighting properties.

The immune system is partly made up of white blood cells. These cells defend the body against harmful invaders, such as viruses. The lymphocytes can also assist the white blood cells in cases of fast replicating viruses if need be. If these processes are not working properly, the body can’t withstand the assault from the virus and illness occurs.

Taking the herb Echinacea helps to enhance the working of the immune system. It helps the body produce more white blood cells so the body has enough to fight off viruses, such as the flu and common cold. It also increases the release of interferons which also help fight invasion from viruses. This herb is so powerful, it is even able to completely destroy some viruses.

Besides fighting viruses, Echinacea can also fight against bacterial and fungal infection.

Echinacea can also build resistance to respiratory and digestive infections. It is often used to treat infections of the respiratory system and sinusitis.

This special herb can help keep the glands clean and in good working order. For this reason, it can be used to treat prostate troubles, tonsillitis, swollen lymph glands, strep throat and even ear infections.

Echinacea isn’t the type of herb you take every day. You can start taking it at the first sign of illness. Most people use it like they would an antibiotic, just when needed.

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Echinacea Uses

  • Reduce the duration and symptoms of colds and flu
  • Boost immune system
  • Fight viral, fungal and bacterial infections
  • Blood purifier
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Treat sore throat
  • As an antioxidant
  • Fight respiratory infections
  • Ease pain
  • Ease stomach cramps
  • Treat skin problems
  • Treat certain types of cancer
  • Treat sinus infection
  • Treat tonsillitis
  • Treat indigestion and diarrhea
  • Treat snake bite
  • Treat lymph node inflammation
  • Treat urinary tract infections
  • Treat slow-healing wounds
  • Treat yeast infections
  • Treat ear infections
  • Treat athlete’s foot
  • Treat sinusitis and hay fever



Scientific Name

Echinacea purpurea

Common Names

Purple coneflower, coneflower, purple encinacea

Where It Grows

This plant is native to Central and Eastern North America

Which Part Of The Plant Is Used

Roots, leaves and flowers

Echinacea Roots, Leaves and Flowers

Echinacea Roots, Leaves and Flowers

How It Works

Echinacea contains volatile oils, glycoproteins, flavonoids, polysaccharides and alkamides. These are the substances that are believed to impart the herbs healing properties.

How It’s Used

Echinacea is dried and made into powder. This powder is them put into capsules or pressed into tablets. It can also be mixed in liquid to form a tonic or made into tea. It can be used externally as an ointment.

Precautions and Side Effects:

Never take any herb if pregnant or nursing without talking to your doctor first. Echinacea may cause a mild tingling sensation on the tongue and sometimes dry mouth.

Description and History Of Echinacea

Echinacea is a hardy, tall perennial that get up to three feet tall when full grown. It has an erect stem and bristly leaves. At the very top of the plant is a large purple daisy-type flower with a cone shaped orange center. It grows mainly in open woodlands and prairies. Echinacea is one of the best knows herbs in existence. Almost everyone has heard about using it to relieve the symptoms of colds and flu.

Native Americans have used this herb for centuries. They often used it externally to treat wounds and snakebite. They used it internally for many health problems, such as toothache, coughs, sore throat, digestive upset and rabies. The herb has had a loyal following in the west since the 1890s.

Editor’s Comments

I have taken Echinacea tea many times for colds, sore throat and flu. It really does help. I’ve also used it in capsule form to help detox my blood and to build up my immune system. I always take it daily a week before and during travel. I also use it frequently during cold and flu season.

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References


The Herb Research Foundation: Herb Information Greenpaper
Medline Plus – Echinacea report
ECHINACEA – Still Out In The Cold

 

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