ECHINACEA – USES AND BENEFITS

Echinacea is one of the most popular medicinal herbs used today.  It has been used for over 400 years as a natural cure to the common cold and is mostly associated with immune defense and anxiety relief, but studies are being done on its benefits in many other areas of natural health. It has many health benefits because of its high concentration of vitamin C, alkyl amides, selenium, and more.  Echinacea supports many systems of the body and helps reduce or prevent some common diseases and ailments. It can be taken in many forms, capsules, tea, salves, and even the raw plant.

Regular consumption boosts the immune system and can help reduce the chances of catching a cold by 50%. In a study of over 2,400 patients, it was found echinacea purpura shortens cold or flu duration and relieves symptoms. It also cuts the risk of re-infection of respiratory illnesses by half.  It has also found that echinacea reduced the incidence of pneumonia, tonsillitis and ear infections. If using it for immune defense, get echinacea purpura that is in the form of freshly pressed ariel parts of the plant, instead of the root.  This contains the correct compounds which are key to help you get over a cold.  Dosage is typically 900mg for the duration of the illness.

For anxiety relief, a specific Echinacea Angustifolia extract has been shown in some studies to have a relaxing effect in the brain similar to Valium or Librium but without the side effects.  The compounds in the extract, alkamides, affect the cannabinoids receptors in the brain a lot like CBD, helping a calm but focused state of mind.  In the studies it was found that in just three days anxiety levels were significantly lower, some even noticed on the same day.  The benefits stayed stable for the entire duration and for two weeks after the treatment stopped. If you’re using it to relieve anxiety you need a root extract that is made of Echinacea Angustifolia called narrow leafed coneflower.  For relief of ongoing anxiety,. the dosage is 20mg to 40mg twice a day.  For occasional anxiety, like flying or giving a presentation its 20mg to 40mg about 20minutes before the event.

Another use of Echinacea that has been used for years as a pain killer for toothaches by drinking it as a tea or applying it directly to the tooth.

It also helps reduce inflammation which is the basis of many diseases.  Research shows regular consumption of the tea containing echinacea helps alleviate pain from inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.

Asthma, bronchitis and tuberculosis and acute sinusitis are also helped with echinacea because it has the potential to open airways.

Studies show that echinacea contains phytochemicals that may combat cancer. More studies need to be made but people have used it for many years for this.

Another surprising benefit of this herb is its alternative use to treat urinary tract infections.

With its immune-boosting and anti-inflammatory properties, it can be used to help relieve and treat sore throats.  Using it as a tea or spray for sore throats, tonsillitis and coughs are beneficial.

Among echinaceas other is the ability to help constipation and digestion. It has been used for years, as a tea, to help the discomfort from digestion and constipation.

Because of its immune defense echinacea has been known to help fight viral and bacterial infections. The overuse of antibiotics has caused concern so some prefer to use natural alternatives, As a cream, it can also lower the rate of reoccurring skin infections like psoriasis and eczema and acts in wound healing. Keeping skin looking young and healthy is also a great benefit of the multi-purpose plant.

As you can see, Echinacea is a very helpful alternative tool to help you overcome and prevent common ailments and diseases. Always remember to contact you, physician, before starting any alternative measure to make sure it is safe to interact with any medications you may be taking.  Just because it is natural, doesn’t mean it can’t interact with some medications.

 

 

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