Have you ever heard of echinacea? Echinacea is an herb which is part of a group of herbaceous, flowering perennial plants. Mainly valued for its medicinal benefits, there is more to it than meets the eye. Its health benefits include its capability to prevent and eliminate ear infections, boost oral health, treat anxiety, regulate blood sugar, speed up recovery and healing, treat skin conditions, reduce inflammation, eliminate viral and bacterial infections and prevent cancer. Read this article to learn more about echinacea!
What is Echinacea?
Echinacea is a type of flowering, herbaceous plant that is part of the daisy family. It’s mostly valued for its medicinal properties. The echinacea genus has about nine major species, typically called coneflowers (like the Tennessee Coneflower or the Pale Purple Coneflower). These attractive flowers can grow up to 4 feet tall. Their flamboyant heads are easy to distinguish, typically found in their native regions of central and eastern North America.
Echinacea is typically classified as a kind of herb, even though a lot of people think of it as a flower. Various parts of the plants, like its root, stem, leaves and flowers possess a lot of phenolic compounds, which are essential for the overall health. These compounds include:
- Caftaric acid
- Cichoric acid
The Plains Indians actually used echinacea for hundreds of years in their own herbal medicines, and in the 19th and 20th centuries, it was turned to as an herbal option for boosting the immune system and fighting infections. It’s long been referred to as one of the greatest ways to prevent conditions like colds.
Nevertheless, if used in excess, echinacea may cease to have any benefit and may even negatively impact T-cells. Always practice moderation, and you’ll be good to go.
Health Benefits of Echinacea
Here are some of the most special health benefits of echinacea:
- Helps enhance detoxification. Echinacea is actually a diuretic, laxative and carminative. Studies say that it can help heal the gastrointestinal tract and assist in detoxification.
- Good for mental health. Echinacea is beneficial in treating ADD, or attention deficit disorder, in both adults and children. Those suffering from this condition may show frequent symptoms of social phobia, depression and anxiety.
- Helps control blood sugar levels. Drinking echinacea tea can prevent diabetes spikes as well as avoid drops in hypoglycaemic patients. This is all thanks to the plant’s antioxidant properties.
- Helps heal wounds. Echinacea may help speed up new skin cell formation and help eliminate the bacteria from the system much quicker than some medications.
- Aids in oral health. Studies show that there is a connection between the reduction of gingivitis and echinacea. This makes sense if you consider that gingivitis is a bacterial infection. Regularly consuming echinacea may keep the teeth strong and healthy.
- Helps prevent cancer. Echinacea is connected to preventing cancer, as it helps stimulate the immune system= to eliminate =cancerous cells. Even though echinacea isn’t considered as an antioxidant, it may help eliminate free radicals. This is one of the echinacea’s best health benefits.
- Reduces infections. Echinacea is essential in treating recurring infections like urinary tract infections, gum diseases, ear infections, malaria and mores. This herb allows various immune boosting compounds to build up in the body.
Side Effects of Echinacea
Echinacea can be dangerous if you take too much. There are various treatments that will call for high dosages, so it’s important to consult with your doctor. Otherwise, you may experience the following side effects:
- Joint ache
- Muscle ache
- A sore throat
- Dry mouth
- Numbness of the tongue
Those who are allergic to echinacea may also suffer from rashes, itchiness and redness of the skin. If you are taking painkillers, echinacea may negatively affect the liver. Those suffering from auto-immune conditions, children and lactating and pregnant mothers should speak to their doctor before adding echinacea to their diet.