Library of Nature: Echinacea

You surely have heard of Echinacea, a flower that is most often appreciated for its beauty and scents. But you might not have heard about its medicinal benefits recognized scientifically. Let's see the properties and benefits of Echinacea and how to use it for medicinal purposes. 

The Properties and Benefits of Echinacea

Prevents and Shortens Flu and Cold Symptoms

Undoubtedly, the most common use of Echinacea is to combat seasonal conditions, such as sinusitis, pharyngitis, flu or common colds. Some studies indicate that it is as effective as the most common anti-flu but safer since it has fewer side effects. A recent study suggests that it is safe and effective in preventing the common cold.

Immuno-Enhancing Properties

Echinacea significantly stimulates the body's natural defenses. It has a real impact on immunity and, therefore, can be used to prevent various diseases of viral or bacterial origins. Echinacea has long been used to prevent colds, flu and ear infections, as several preliminary studies have shown in this area. This is because the plant helps prevent respiratory infections, especially in people with respiratory problems.

In addition, some studies conclude that this plant helps stimulate the immune system, especially for its effectiveness against radiation. A 2013 study confirms that Echinacea protects the body from radiation damage, such as UVC radiation, and is used in skincare products[1].

Anti-inflammatory Properties Prevents the Onset of Cold Symptoms

By consuming it for prevention and as soon as possible after the onset of cold symptoms, Echinacea is even more effective. The ideal is to carry out regular cures ranging from seven to ten days from the onset of cold symptoms.

Evidence suggests that the benefits of Echinacea in this regard are linked to its considerable anti-inflammatory properties. Its active ingredients help block the molecules of inflammation: cytokines. Echinacea is also associated with propolis and ascorbic acid (vitamin C).

For the same anti-inflammatory properties, Echinacea is also shown to be effective in reducing gingivitis when combined with other herbs.

Anti-bacterial Properties Help Alleviate Urinary Tract Infections

Echinacea is one of those plants that has long been used as a natural remedy for cystitis and urinary tract infections. Its antibacterial properties make it one of the most powerful natural solutions against chronic or occasional cystitis.

Other Properties of Echinacea

The medicinal uses of Echinacea are mainly reserved for the prevention and treatment of colds. But it has also proven to be effective in improving oxygen capacity during exercise in healthy people. It contributes in particular to improve your resistance to effort and physical performance, as suggested by a recent study[2]

In addition, Echinacea is effective against vaginal yeast infections when combined with an antifungal cream. It makes it possible in particular to reduce the recurrence of conditions in this context. It is believed that this property is linked to its stimulating virtues on the immune system and natural defenses.

Now you know the medicinal virtues and benefits of Echinacea. Don’t forget to share this information with your family and friends who love herbs and are curious to learn more about them.

[1]Kosalec, I., M. SegvicKlaric, N. Kopjar, and M. Milic. "Inhibition of Genotoxic Effects of UVC Radiation on Human Keratinocyte HaCaT Cells by Echinacea Purpurea (L.) Moench Herbal Extract." (2013).

[2]Davison, Glen, Corinna Kehaya, and Arwel Wyn Jones. "Nutritional and physical activity interventions to improve immunity." American journal of lifestyle medicine 10, no. 3 (2016): 152-169.

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