The benefits of Echinacea

Perhaps one of the most beneficial plants when talking about natural health remedies is echinacea. The powerful plant is used in alternative therapy for its anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant biological properties on the human body. From healing the common cold to boosting your immune system, learn everything you need to know about the benefits of taking echinacea right here.

 

What is echinacea?

Let’s start with the basics. Echinacea is part of the daisy family and is native to North America. While it has 10 species, 3 in particular are commonly used in herbal supplements:

  • Echinacea purpurea
  • Echinacea angustifolia
  • Echinacea pallida 

Unlike other plants used as natural remedies, the echinacea plant is used as a whole for its leaves, flower and roots, as each part has active elements that garner different benefits when taken.

 

Medicinal Value

For centuries, echinacea has been used as a natural remedy, particularly for the common cold. However, given its active compounds, the benefits associated with the plant extend beyond prevention and treatment of colds, flu and respiratory diseases (although it certainly helps with these!). It is categorized as an immune modulator, which means that it supports healthy immune function and acts as an immune strengthening agent. Furthermore, this popular herbal supplement has anti-inflammatory properties, which means it is great remedy for conditions where pain and inflammation is heightened such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and other chronic inflammatory diseases and infections, including urinary tract infections. Finally, among these well-known benefits are the antioxidant properties, which aid in controlling blood sugar levels and contributes to healthy cell growth and repair. In topical use, echinacea’s anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial are used to treat skin to treat common conditions like wounds, ulcers, abscesses, ulcers, burns and other skin issues.

 

How can I take echinacea?

*The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. 

Echinacea is available in many forms including:

  • Liquid extracts and tinctures
  • Capsules
  • Dried herbs
  • Tea
  • Ointments

Because of its wide range of uses and medicinal value, the way you take it will depend on your wants and needs. We recommend it as part of your dietary supplement regime, specially during cold and flu season, and overall, since it boosts your immune system. However, these benefits are associated with echinacea capsules and other ingestion forms as a delivery method, not topical use.

 

Dosage and Preparations

Dosing recommendations for herbal remedies usually vary depending on preparations and their intended purpose. While echinacea tea is recommended around 3 times per day to get desired benefits, capsules may be set up with appropriate dosage and require one daily intake as part of your supplement intake. This is as easy as making your own capsules to setup amounts that have an impact on your health.

 

Side effects

As with any type of medicine and supplements, we recommend talking to your doctor in order to verify interactions with other medications, possible side-effects and what echinacea means for your health.

 

The takeaway

Echinacea, or the purple coneflower as it is known, is a popular plant within the herbal remedy community for its range of uses and proven health benefits. We recommend it as part as balanced approach to a healthy and natural lifestyle that includes other dietary supplements that support your health conditions and activity levels.  

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