Echinacea refers to the number of flowering plants which are famous for their medicinal applications.
The Echinacea genus includes 9 species which people often call coneflowers.
Echinacea resembles a flower, which makes numerous people believe it is.
Nevertheless, in fact, echinacea should be regarded as an herb.
According to archeological evidence, Native Americans started to make use of echinacea for medicinal purposes over four centuries ago.
Some of the most common health problems which echinacea aimed to cope with were malaria, fever or blood poisoning.
The popularity of echinacea seemed to drop significantly because of the emergence of antibiotics.
Yet, in many countries, such as Germany, it is still common to use echinacea as a great cure for a lot of ailments.
Germany is also the country in which many researchers have analysed echinacea nutrition facts to understand its health benefits.
The richness of some chemicals which are therapeutic might be the best feature among echinacea nutrition facts.
Echinacea contains volatile oils, flavonoids, polysaccharides and glycoproteins.
All of them are responsible for different echinacea health benefits and present in different parts of the plant.
For instance, the roots of echinacea hold a considerable number of volatile oils.
Meanwhile, more polysaccharides are present in its above-ground parts.
Health Benefits of Echinacea
Many products in the market come from different parts of echinacea, in the form of extracts, capsules or tinctures.
They will have different impacts on your health, but in general, these impacts are positive.
Below are top 5 health benefits of echinacea which you should know so that you do not miss one of the best herbal medicines from the nature.
One of the best health benefits of echinacea might be associated with the immune system.
However, in fact, this benefit still remains controversial.
A number of studies claimed that echinacea might be a great relief from common colds (1).
With the use of echinacea, some people suffering from cold experienced fewer complicating symptoms, namely, fever or scratchy throat.
In a study with 95 people having flu and cold, the consumption of echinacea tea on a daily basis was beneficial for the recovery.
Some clinical trials proved that echinacea might result in a 58-percent reduction in the risk of cold (2).
Nevertheless, there are other studies which are against this idea.
They state that echinacea does not always bring the same effects in every circumstance (3).
There are many variables, such as which parts of echinacea you choose or the severity of your cold.
Bottom Line: Despite controversy, echinacea is still a promising booster for your immunity, helping you avoid common colds effectively.
2. Respiratory Issues
Thanks to its anti-inflammatory quality, one of the best health benefits of echinacea is to get rid of respiratory problems.
People with bronchitis can find echinacea useful to get rid of irritations caused by this problem, such as the concentration of mucus.
Bottom Line: The application of echinacea even expands to the treatment of some respiratory problems.
3. Against Cancer
Benefits of echinacea on the cancer prevention perhaps are one of the most important in the long term.
It is reasonable to believe in these echinacea health benefits because this herb is powerful to cope with foreign substances.
By strengthening your immunity, echinacea is supportive to hinder the growth of cancerous cells (9).
Even though the antioxidant property of echinacea is not as widely known as its anti-inflammtory one, nutrients from echinacea can still fight against free radicals.
Bottom Line: With its positive influence on the immune system, echinacea can be a great addition to help you stay away from cancer.
4. Skin Health
Echinacea also appears in the list of top herbs that have protective effects against harmful ultraviolet radiation (12).
Therefore, it is highly possible that one of top health benefits of echinacea is to improve your skin condition.
For years, echinacea has remained a common and effective recommendation for those who suffer from eczema or psoriasis (13).
With strong anti-inflammatory property, echinacea can have positive influence on the inflammed skin areas.
It is also antiviral and antibacterial, which means to prevent worse complications on the skin.
5. Oral Health
This comes directly from its antibacterial quality.
You should consume echinacea tea a few times per day, especially after meals to eliminate bacteria.
In order to prepare echinacea tea, you just need to follow these steps:
- Get the leaves of echinacea and steep it with water in 5 minutes.
- Then, get it strained.
- You can pour raw honey into it to improve the flavor and benefits.
- Drink the mixture regularly.
While many health benefits of echinacea need more studies to be certain, this herb might be dangerous in some cases.
Some people are allergic to it. Therefore, it is a good idea to consult doctors before you make the decision to use it.
Besides, echinacea is not suitable for those using pain-killers. It might worsen the function of your liver.
Although echinacea is good for immunity, HIV/AIDS patients had better avoid echinacea because of some possible complications.
Disclaim: The effectiveness from using these foods on certain problems and diseases will be depended on the body condition of the applicant.