The Health Benefits of Echinacea

echinacea

Echinacea is a native North American flowering plant called the Coneflower that closely resembles the common daisy and is classified as an herb. 
This perennial plant can live for as many as five or six years and can grow to be as tall as four feet. The flowers are usually pink or purple with a larger multicolored center cone that holds the seeds. There are about nine different types of wild coneflower on several different continents. 
Echinacea has long been used to improve health. (Source)
Some of the areas of health that echinacea may benefit:

  • Immune system
  • Pain
  • Infections
  • Cancer
  • Inflammation
  • Respiratory health
  • Skin

Support Your Immune System

The most common way that echinacea is currently used is simply for immune support. It is widely used in Europe and North America for common colds
Based on what form in which the echinacea comes, the supplements all differ in their composition, due to what part of the plant material is used, the extraction methods used and the addition of other components.
It would be preferable to ingest the plant in a tea or chewed form to get the maximum benefits that come from echinacea. 
It has been noted that those who regularly consume echinacea generally experience colds and cases of flu for about half of the length of most people. It also reduces the severity and chances of getting colds. (Source)

Help for Chronic Pain

Perhaps one of the most overlooked attributes of echinacea is its ability to arrest the body’s natural pain reception. The two best ways to use echinacea for pain relief would be to either make a tea from the plant or to apply it topically directly to the area affected. Plains Native Americans learned that the plant could be chewed or drank in a tea to reduce toothaches, and this use for pain relief began to extend beyond dental application. 
Echinacea was used to treat all sorts of injuries, but it is believed that the practice came from using it to tend snake bite, and was extended to use for the purpose of treating pain associated with venereal diseases. (Source)

Kills Infections

Another way that echinacea is a great ally to your immune system is that it can directly fight off infections. When microorganisms get into the body, a weak immune system could expose you to the possibility of being overrun with illness. 
The Delaware Native American tribe used an infusion of coneflower root for gonorrhea and found it to be highly effective. (Source)
Echinacea helps the body by killing these agents, and some have even noted that it can kill serious viral infections. It can’t eliminate these viruses, but it can keep them low enough to reduce the appearances of some of the more serious symptoms that are caused by these illnesses. 

Reduce Inflammation

One of the most important processes in healing the body is inflammation. This part of the process is meant to protect the wound while it heals slowly or until you take action to heal the area. Echinacea can take down the painful swelling that can work against you in the need to speed up the healing process. (Source)

Cancer-Fighting Benefits

A benchmark of a great healing plant is its ability to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation. Given that echinacea has all of these important factors, it should be no surprise that it can extend to protect you against some of the most serious illnesses. Cancer thrives on genetically damaged areas of the body. 
The stresses placed on your DNA can cause anomalies, tumors, and cancers in the body because the damaged DNA is unable to construct organs properly. These destructive malformations can spread resulting in serious damages and death. Ingesting echinacea works to help your body protect itself from these genetic issues. (Source)

Helps Your Skin

Few people think of the skin as an organ, but it is one of the largest organs in the body. As you go through life, you are exposed to a massive array of pollutant, and irritants from every side. Skin is sensitive, and can easily become inflamed when you get too close to something that your skin doesn’t particularly like. Echinacea has the ability to reduce and protect against the agents that cause these responses. For example, Echinacea purpurea cream and gel developed in this study were effective in improving skin hydration and reducing wrinkles.
One way to use Echincea for your skin is by mashing the plant into a paste that you apply directly to the site of disturbed skin. You can also make a poultice that you press against the area. 

Helps Your Breathing

Have you ever had issues with asthma, strep throat, or a crouping cough? Echinacea is especially good at dealing with upper respiratory issues. 
In recent years, studies have revealed that echinacea has performed comparably to traditional medicines for asthma because it was quick to reduce inflammation of the bronchial tubes and lungs. Some of the other respiratory illnesses it has been used for having been diphtheria, tuberculosis, and whooping cough. (Source)
In these cases, however, much higher doses were needed, so you may want to try an essential oil, or supplement rather than drinking a tea, because the agents needed should be higher in dose than tea can provide. 
As always, make sure that you research your supplements and know what all the ingredients are. You can purchase high quality, professional grade echinacea as well as other supplements on my Fullscript Dispensary. And to top it off, you’ll receive a 15% discount too!