The Herbal Benefits of Echinacea

By | January 30, 2014

The Herbal Benefits of EchinaceaEchinacea is a powerful herbal remedy that is used to not only treat infections but prevent them as well. Many have taken advantage of its preventative and healing powers for hundreds of years. This remedy has several benefits like treating sicknesses such as the cold and flu. Here is more information on the herbal benefits of this remedy and you too will see how it can boost your immune system and ward off many common ailments.

Background of Echinacea

Echinacea comes from a type of flower that grows 1 to 2 feet tall and has purple and pink flowers. One of its distinctive features is its seed head called a cone in the center. The cone is spiked and brown to red in color. The three types of echinacea plants used in herbal remedies are known by the names Narrow Leaf Coneflower, Pale Purple Coneflower, and Purple Coneflower. You might also see it referred to by other names such as American Coneflower, Hedgehog, and Snakeroot.

Benefits of Echinacea

The benefits of echinacea can be summed up into these main categories:

• Prevention of illnesses
• Shortening symptoms of illnesses
• Disinfecting
• Promoting healing
• Protecting the skin and healing certain skin ailments

One of Echinacea’s most commonly recognized benefits is its ability to prevent illnesses such as the cold and flu. It has properties that boost the immune system non-specifically. This means that it generally strengthens the immune system in all parts of the body to ward off not only harmful bacteria but viruses as well.

The active compound contained in Echinacea is known as echinacein and it works to guard healthy cells from germs that try to penetrate them. It also stimulates the production of T-cells and strengthening of white blood cells which are both crucial to a healthy immune system.

Not only is echinacea good for preventing illnesses such as the cold and flu. It also shortens the symptoms should you come down with one of these ailments.

Echinacea can be used topically as well. It has analgesic properties and can be used to disinfect skin to prevent further infections after minor abrasions. Furthermore, it helps to speed up the healing of these minor abrasions.

The herb also has anti-inflammatory properties when it comes to skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis and can be used as a topical remedy in these cases. It can also be used as a sunscreen to protect the skin from damage due to harmful UV rays.

There are many other conditions that can be treated by echinacea to include: urinary tract infection, upper respiratory infection, bronchitis, yeast infection, canker sores, herpes, ear infections, gingivitis and hay fever.

How Effective Is It?

The first question anyone would ask is how effective is echinacea in backing up its claims? A study was done by Dr. Craig Coleman of the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy to determine the effectiveness of Echinacea as a herbal remedy. He and his team of researchers analyzed 14 different trials and found that echinacea decreased the incidence of colds by 58% which is quite significant. They also found that when echinacea is combined with vitamin C that the incidence of colds was reduced by 86%. Furthermore, they found that it also shortened the symptoms of colds by 1.4 days.

You owe it to yourself to discover the herbal benefits of echinacea. The cold and flu are difficult illnesses to not only prevent but get over as well. These illnesses are problematic because you can catch them from anyone easily in a public place. Thus, echinacea should be the weapon in your arsenal to protect yourself during the cold and flu season. Studies have indicated its effectiveness as an herbal antibiotic so visit your favorite herbal remedy website or store and purchase some today.