Echinacea (Latin name: Echinacea Purpurea) belongs to the Asteraceae family. It is found mainly in South America. Depending on the climate, it can bloom from early summer until autumn.
Echinacea’s Health Benefits and Uses
Native Americans used this plant for its medicinal properties. More specifically, it was used as an ointment for wounds, burns, and bites from reptiles, but also for toothache, infections, cough, sore throat. It is now known to protect the body from the common cold.
It is often associated with boosting the immune system. It is very often used to speed up the treatment of the common cold. However, it can also have side effects such as nausea and dizziness, in large quantities. It has flavonoids, ie antioxidants, and protects cells from oxidative stress, as they bind free radicals. Recent studies show that it also has anti-inflammatory properties mainly due to the presence of ingredients found in its flowers and this results in the strengthening of the immune system. It is also used to treat anxiety and depression.
Furthermore, it is also used in the pharmaceutical industry, due to its ability to mobilize leukocytes, responsible for the body’s defenses. Finally, due to the anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial effects of the plant, its extract is used in skin products to restore the outer layer of the skin.
It should not be consumed continuously, as this can have the opposite of the desired results and can actually damage and weaken the immune system.
Available Forms of Echinacea:
- cut stems
- cut radix
Caution! Herbs should not be consumed uncontrollably. Consult your doctor before consumption. They are not substitutes for drugs and can cause side effects and allergies.