7 Health Benefits of Echinacea

The truth about these flowers. Image via Pexels/Skitter Photo
The truth about these flowers. Image via Pexels/Skitter Photo

Echinacea is a widely consumed herb across the United States. It has been used as a medicinal supplement by native Americans for over 400 years, owing to its healing properties.

It is most often used to treat illnesses, such as:

• Respiratory infections

• Yeast infections

• Wounds

• Influenza

• Ear infections

• Inflammation, and a variety of other conditions.

Echinacea is a flower belonging to the daisy family. They are generally grown in open, wooded areas. Although there are nine recognised types of Echinacea, only three are used as ingredients in medicine;

• Echinacea angustifolia, with narrow petals

• Echinacea pallida, with pale petals

• Echinacea purpurea, with purple petals

The upper regions and roots are both used to make tablets, tinctures, teas, oils and herbal extracts.


Health benefits of Echinacea

As mentioned above, echinacea provides several health benefits. Seven of them are as follows:

#1 High in antioxidants

Echinacea is dense with antioxidants. These are molecules that prevent oxidative damage from affecting your cells. That in turn helps prevent a number of chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, etc.


#2 Treats infections

Echinacea is supposedly most popular in fighting off colds. Although it's not significantly effective in reducing the effects or duration of a cold, supplements have shown to reduce the risk of catching a cold in many people. It's also helpful in treating yeast, urinary tract and ear infections.

#3 Lowers blood sugar levels

Test tube studies have shown that echinacea extracts can help suppress digestive enzymes and control the amount of sugar entering your blood.


#4 Reduces inflammation

Although inflammation is a natural everyday occurrence, it can get out of hand at times, causing discomfort and other problems. Echinacea supplements can be helpful in countering that and providing relief.

#5 Boosts immunity

Echinacea's ability to combat infections in turn boosts the immune system. Your body will gradually become capable of fighting off infections better with regular supplementation. That would facilitate improved functioning of various physiological processes.


#6 Reduces anxiety

Echinacea contains compounds such as alkamides, rosmarinic acid and caffeic acid, which are known to reduce feelings of anxiety in adults. While more research is still being done on the subject, echinacea is on the rise as a potential aid.

#7 Improves skin health

Echinacea extract is also used as an ingredient in skincare products due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. It's effective in reducing the growth of bacteria that cause acne. Moreover, it's also said to provide hydration to the skin and prevent wrinkles.


Takeaway

Maybe echinacea isn’t as popular as it once was, but it’s still a useful supplement and provides us with a variety of benefits. Try out some supplements starting today, and note the visible effects of this plant in your body.

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Edited by Bhargav