Also known as purple coneflower, Echinacea plants are known for two major qualities; their antioxidant properties and their ability to support the body’s immunity. As they are available in different varieties, they vary in dosage. Together, the plant has many species, but only three carry medicinal properties.
Compounds like Phenolic acids, alkalides, and caffeic acid make Echinacea treatment magic! Even better is that native Americans have been using these plants to treat ailments for centuries now. The medicinal properties of Echinacea Simulata are endless. Today, it’s an over-the-counter remedy for flu or common cold.
What Makes Echinacea Medicinal?
There’s no specific information that points to how Echinacea works. Scientific studies suggest that Echinacea works by multiplying white blood cells in the body which ultimately fight against infection. While there’s no scientific proof of this, it’s safe to say that Echinacea plants come with a combination of ingredients that are important to the body and its functioning.
Health Benefits of Echinacea
Some of the health benefits of these plants include:
Reducing Feelings of Anxiety
A majority of adults fight anxiety daily. But Echinacea plants have emerged as an aid for anxiety. They come with compounds like rosmarinic and caffieic acid that lower anxiety levels. Taking 40mg of the extract for a week will play into your calmer side.
Lowering Blood Sugar
High blood sugar puts you at risk of type 2 diabetes and other serious conditions like heart disease. Test-tube studies have found Echinacea to lower high sugar levels by suppressing enzymes that digest carbohydrates. The antioxidants the plants carry help to improve insulin sensitivity.
Offering Immune Support
Echinacea and “immune system boost” are four words that go hand in hand. It helps the body fight off illnesses and infections. A scientific study found that Echinacea stimulates tumor necrosis factor (TNF), the protein responsible for inflammation, which is significant in your body’s immune response.
Science further states that Echinacea increases the production of white blood cells, which fight against infections in the body. But remember, Echinacea can’t work alone. There’s an array of elements that work together to protect the body.
Bettering Respiratory Health
Scientists believe Echinacea could be used for treating respiratory tract infections. However, this finding has been controversial for years. For instance, these plants are said to act against cold and flu, which ultimately affect the respiratory system, but research states they don’t alleviate cold and flu symptoms. Despite this, Echinacea works against respiratory bacteria and keeps infections at bay.
As Echinacea boosts immune function, they reduce inflammation. They have both antibacterial and antiviral effects. They relieve a swollen throat, gums, and any other swelling or soreness that occurs in the body. They act as an effective remedy for conditions like arthritis.
Promoting Skin Health
Skincare routines have become commonplace today as people are looking to “reverse” the aging process, and work to avoid skin conditions like acne and eczema. Echinacea works to combat these conditions while also aiding in the healing of wounds.
Echinacea As a Traditional Healer
Echinacea is a representative of plants that are an indigenous form of treatment amongst Native American tribes. Traditional healers use these plants to treat a variety of ailments, eliminating the need for modern medicine. Their health benefits are a result of compounds like cichoric acid that’s a key element of the plants, making them an effective treatment method.
Like other forms of treatment, Echinacea plants are diverse and suit different people according to their conditions. You’ll find Echinacea teas, capsules, tablets, gels, creams, and plants. It’s up to you to find the type of treatment that will work best for you. If you’re using the formula specifically for your skin, go for a cream or gel as they will work better when applied topically.
Potential Side Effects
Echinacea products are well-tolerated by those who use them. However, most people use the plant products for shorter periods because of concerns that come with long-term use. Those allergic to Echinacea may have severe reactions and those who tolerate it still report minor digestive issues and skin rashes. However, those with autoimmune conditions should consult their doctor before using any form of Echinacea.
Echinacea comes with a lot of medicinal benefits. When used in the right way, these plants make a positive impact on the body. Suggested doses will vary on the type of Echicanea you’re using. Even while there are no real research findings on their effect on treating flu and cold, the plants have great immune-boosting effects that make them worth a try.