Unlike turmeric, echinacea is an ancient herb used for centuries to treat and prevent infections and wounds. It has also been shown to be helpful for people with sinus problems, strengthen the immune system, and even make cancer treatments more effective. Echinacea is also anti-inflammatory, which can help with pain and fever reduction. And it’s no surprise that echinacea reduces blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetics! So if you’re looking for ways to boost your health or wellness, adding some echinacea might be just what you need. Let’s take a view of the benefits of echinacea for health support…
General Uses of Echinacea
Various lab and animal studies suggest that echinacea’s active substances boost immune function, ease pain, reduce inflammation, and have hormonal, antiviral, and antioxidant features. That is why skilled herbalists may recommend echinacea to treat:
- Urinary tract infections
- Vaginal yeast (candida) infections
- Ear infections (otitis media)
- Athlete’s foot
- Hay fever (Allergic rhinitis)
- Slow-healing wounds
Prior studies in the laboratory pointed out that the benefits of echinacea include inhibiting colon tumors if fused with cichoric acid. One study even indicated that echinacea extract exercises an antiviral action on the growth of recurrent cold sores activated by the herpes simplex virus (HSVI) when consumed before infection.
WHAT IS ECHINACEA?
Echinacea, or coneflower, is a pinkish-magenta flower generally grown in North America in woods and meadows. Native Americans in the Midwest have used echinacea as a therapeutic herb for around 400 years. The Great Plains Indians used echinacea for all conditions, from toothaches to snakebites. Explorers Lewis and Clark even discovered the benefits of echinacea on their voyages and shipped the plant’s seeds back to President Jefferson in the 1800s.
Chemical Composition of Echinacea:
Echinacea has several chemicals that play a role in its healing impacts. These retain polysaccharides, glycoproteins, alkamides, volatile oils, and flavonoids. The chemicals found in the root differ from those in the plant’s upper part. For example, the roots hold high concentrations of volatile oils (odorous compounds). At the same time, the upper parts of the plant retain more polysaccharides (substances that trigger the activity of the immune system). So the blend of the entire plant is liable for echinacea’s beneficial effects. However, research indicates that the above-ground section of Echinacea purpurea is the most useful.
Benefits of Echinacea for Health and Wellness
The Echinacea plant is still in benefit today as a dietary supplement. It has nine species, but only two of them, Echinacea purpurea and Echinacea angustifolia, are generally used in supplements. Other supplements are in pill form, teas, juices, and creams. It possesses many compounds that may benefit your health.
1/10_ It treats infections and wounds
Echinacea has been used for centuries to treat infections and wounds. In fact, the Native Americans used echinacea to treat their cuts, burns, bruises, and insect bites. They’d apply the fresh plant directly onto their skin to heal those wounds faster than they would have otherwise. It has also been shown in multiple studies to be effective in treating colds and other infections. This benefit is believed to be due to its immune-boosting properties that help strengthen your body’s defenses against bacteria.
People with eczema suffer from an inflammation of the skin; a cream including echinacea extract may benefit. Early research suggests that daily topical application of echinacea cream helped alleviate eczema-related irritation. It also helped create the protective outer layer of skin.
Be aware of probable allergic reactions, as people with eczema generally have allergies and asthma.
Antioxidants are substances that protect you from disease by neutralizing or eliminating the damaging effects of free radicals. Free radicals are atoms, molecules, or ions in your body that have an unpaired electron and can cause oxidative stress in your cells. Echinacea is a powerful antioxidant that helps fight the free radicals that cause damage to cells and tissues. Free radicals may contribute to cancer development, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, diabetes mellitus, Alzheimer’s disease, and many other chronic diseases.
Echinacea has been shown in studies to positively impact the immune system by boosting its response against infection-causing bacteria and viruses.
3/10_Echinecea Help Prevent & Treat cancer
Echinacea may help prevent and treat cancer. The herb contains compounds that can inhibit tumor growth, as well as other components that have been shown to destroy cancer cells in the laboratory. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, which may help people at risk for developing tumors due to chronic inflammation of the body’s tissues (such as smokers or those with autoimmune disorders).
A study published in 2014 found that Echinacea was effective at killing off mutated cells that cause cancer cells . This means it could potentially help prevent cancer from forming if taken regularly over time!
4/10_Echinacea strengthens the Immune system.
It is an immune stimulant. This means that it helps to increase the activity of your body’s immune system, which can be helpful when fighting off illness and disease. Echinacea is also a natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, which can help reduce symptoms associated with colds and flu. It’s also known for boosting the production of white blood cells in your body, meaning that you may fight off illness faster when taking echinacea supplements or other products containing this herb (like tea).
Researchers consider that two chemicals, polysaccharides, and glycoproteins, strengthen your body’s immune system. Your immunity helps you fight off germs that yield an infection.
Echinacea has been shown to have many beneficial properties when consumed regularly:
- It boosts your immune system.
- It fights inflammation.
- It lowers fevers.
- It reduces pain in muscles or joints.
- It helps fight bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
5\10_Echinacea Benefits people with sinus problems
Some research indicates that the echinacea plant comprises chemicals that enable your body to form new white blood cells. These white blood cells fight infection during infection in the upper respiratory tract (nose, mouth, and throat). Echinacea may boost your immune system, helping you battle colds and cases of flu caused by viruses or bacteria.
However, a 2014 study examining two-dozen other studies uncovered inadequate evidence that echinacea supplements help treat colds. While echinacea may help treat colds, it is not confirmed that it will quickly get rid of a cold.
It is often used to treat sinus infections and allergies. Echinacea may also help treat colds and throat infections. It’s no secret that we all get sick every once in a while, but when you have a cold or the flu—or even allergies—echinacea can help your body fight off what’s going on without over-medicating yourself. The best part? It’s 100 percent natural! And it works!
If you’re suffering from an inflammation of the mucous membranes, such as a sore throat or swollen tonsils, it may be helpful to try echinacea. It can also be used to relieve arthritis and rheumatism pains in addition to inflammation caused by injury or burns. Likewise, if you have an eye infection or are dealing with allergic conjunctivitis (pink eye), this herb could help ease your symptoms by reducing swelling and pain. It’s important to note that one should not use echinacea on open wounds because it can cause a severe skin reaction.
7/10_ Echinacea Helps reduce pain and fever
One of the most common uses of Echinacea is for reducing pain and fever. It relieves headaches, muscle aches, joint pain, and arthritis. This herb can also help reduce inflammation that is associated with many types of pain. Echinacea is also a powerful medicine used in the treatment of eczema and psoriasis, both inflammatory conditions that affect the skin. Researchers believe echinacea may reduce inflammation by reducing histamine production—the chemical released during allergic reactions—in the body.
8/10_Benefits of Echinacea for Heart Health
Echinacea can help improve your heart health by lowering blood pressure, reducing cholesterol and inflammation, and reducing the risk of blood clotting.
The herb contains antioxidants that can reduce oxidative stress and thus reduce the risk of atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is an inflammatory condition that results from plaque buildup in the arteries. The resulting blockage prevents nutrients from reaching your vital organs, like your heart. Echinacea’s anti-inflammatory properties can also help prevent damaging free radicals from forming or being released into the body when exposed to stressors such as smoking or pollution.
9/10_Help lower blood sugar levels & Aid Diabetics
If you are diabetic and are looking for natural alternatives to help manage your blood sugar levels, consider adding echinacea to your diet. Echinacea has been found to have positive effects on lowering hemoglobin A1c levels (a measure of how much glucose drops in the bloodstream), as well as LDL cholesterol (the wrong kind that can lead to cardiovascular disease) in people with diabetes.
10/10_An effective mouth rinse that can prevent oral infections
The healing properties of echinacea root extract make it a great addition to any oral health routine. Here are a few ways you can add echinacea to your daily habits:
Mouth Rinse: Dissolve one tablespoon of dried or fresh Echinacea in 1 cup of water and gargle with the solution several times per day.
Toothpaste: Mix 1/2 teaspoon of powdered Echinacea with two tablespoons of baking soda and use as you would regular toothpaste.
Tooth Powder: Add one teaspoon of powder to ½ cup warm water, then shake until the mixture becomes paste-like in consistency and brush as usual!
Reasons to try echinacea supplements or add them to your diet!
It is safe. Echinacea has been used for thousands of years, but no serious side effects have been reported. You can find it in many forms. There are tinctures, teas, and even gummi candies with the herb in them! You can use it for a lot of different conditions like colds and flu, arthritis pain, sore throat, and urinary tract infections.
SAFETY & DOSAGE REGARDING ECHINACEA
There is no standard recommended amount for consuming echinacea because echinacea supplements come in many forms, such as pills, juices, or creams. Only take echinacea for up to two weeks if your doctor advises you to. If your supplements cause an upset stomach, take them with food and water. Take charge of your health by following all directions on the product label or questioning your doctor before using.
T H E F I N A L W O R D S
The Echinacea plant is still in benefit today as a dietary supplement. It has nine species, but only two of them, Echinacea purpurea and Echinacea angustifolia generally used in supplements. Other supplements are in pill form, teas, juices, and creams. It possesses many compounds that may benefit your health. If you’re looking to add some echinacea to your diet, it’s easy to do. You can find the herb in tea at any grocery or health food store. Or, if you like tinctures or liquid extracts, You can find them online or in health food stores. Remember those tasty echinacea-infused cookies! So no matter where your travels take you next time, remember these tips so that your next adventure will be even more exciting!
WE WISH YOU A GOOD HEALTH!
Sharifi-Rad M, Mnayer D, Morais-Braga MFB, Carneiro JNP, Bezerra CF, Coutinho HDM, Salehi B, Martorell M, Del Mar Contreras M, Soltani-Nejad A, Uribe YAH, Yousaf Z, Iriti M, Sharifi-Rad J. Echinacea plants as antioxidant and antibacterial agents: From traditional medicine to biotechnological applications. Phytother Res. 2018 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29749084/
Tafazoli A. Echinacea for Cancer Patients: To Give or Not to Give. Complement Med Res. 2020 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/
Miller SC. Echinacea: a miracle herb against aging and cancer? Evidence in vivo in mice. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2005 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1193558/
Schapowal A. Efficacy and safety of Echinaforce® in respiratory tract infections. Wien Med Wochenschr. 2013 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7088131/ PMC7088131.
Barrett B. Medicinal properties of Echinacea: a critical review. Phytomedicine. 2003 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12622467/
Kim HR, Oh SK, Lim W, Lee HK, Moon BI, Seoh JY. Immune enhancing effects of Echinacea purpurea root extract by reducing regulatory T cell number and function. Nat Prod Commun. 2014 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19107735/
Birt DF, Widrlechner MP, Lalone CA, Wu L, Bae J, Solco AK, Kraus GA, Murphy PA, Wurtele ES, Leng Q, Hebert SC, Maury WJ, Price JP. Echinacea in infection. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18258644/
Karsch-Völk M, Barrett B, Kiefer D, Bauer R, Ardjomand-Woelkart K, Linde K. Echinacea for preventing and treating the common cold. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4068831/
Manayi A, Vazirian M, Saeidnia S. Echinacea purpurea: Pharmacology, phytochemistry and analysis methods. Pharmacogn Rev. 2015 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18258644/
Disruption of fungal cell wall by antifungal Echinacea extracts Medical Mycology, Volume 48, Issue 7, November 2010, Pages 949–958, https://doi.org/10.3109/13693781003767584
Tabassum N, Hamdani M. Plants used to treat skin diseases. Pharmacogn Rev. 2014 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3931201/
Ogal M, Johnston SL, Klein P, Schoop R. Echinacea reduces antibiotic usage in children through respiratory tract infection prevention: a randomized, blinded, controlled clinical trial. Eur J Med Res. 2021 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33832544/
O’Neil J, Hughes S, Lourie A, Zweifler J. Effects of echinacea on the frequency of upper respiratory tract symptoms: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2008 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7129680/
Speroni E, Govoni P, Guizzardi S, Renzulli C, Guerra MC. Anti-inflammatory and cicatrizing activity of Echinacea pallida Nutt. root extract. J Ethnopharmacol. 2002 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11801391/