The beauty of Echinacea doesn’t only lie in the flower
If you are prone to getting colds, flu, or bronchitis, this product is for you. These capsules can help to relieve aches and pains and boost the immune system, making Echinacea a good choice for people who want to strengthen their immune system. It has been shown to be an antioxidant that can protect cells from damage caused by oxidative stress. Although the leaves are indeed very useful, the roots have been considered the most beneficial part of the herb; being used mostly to aid in the relief of respiratory conditions. This product is mixed in a 1:1 ratio of Echinacea leaves and roots in order to ensure that you get the most out of this product. When it comes to Echinacea, there is no substitute. Let’s take a peek at this beautiful flower and see what this flower can do for us.
What exactly is Echinacea?
The Echinacea plant is a flowering herb that tends to have daisy-like flowers blooming around a bulb that looks rather soft. The plant is related to other flowers such as sunflowers, daisies, marigolds, and ragweed. This family is called the Asteraceae family. These beautiful flowers have many benefits, including helping to improve your immune system. The wildflower is primarily found in the areas around the eastern Rocky Mountains in the US and has been used by the Native Americans as far back as the 18th century. The Germans started mass producing the herb around 1939
How is the Echinacea herb prepared?
The most common way that Echinacea has been prepared for use as a supplement is by drying the plant. There are a few different ways to dry the plant, depending on your time, resources, and needs. Mass production uses industrial dryers that most likely work a lot like how the household dehydrator functions, by blowing lukewarm air into the surrounding chamber.
One way to dry your Echinacea plant is to hang up your plant upside down in a cool, dry place to let it dry out on its own. Another way is to cut the plant into smaller pieces and place the plant in the same kind of space as the first method.
Did you know these fascinating facts about Echinacea?
All parts of the Echinacea plant are edible ( from flowers to roots), and all the varieties contain some medicinal properties. There are, however, three varieties that have more medicinal properties than the rest. These are E. Purpurea, E. Pallida, and E. Angustifolia.
Echinacea may help to reduce symptoms of mild covid 19. Covid 19 is a respiratory illness, and Echinacea has shown to have some positive effects on viral respiratory conditions like the common cold and flu. It may not cure Covid 19, especially when the condition is serious and hospitalization is needed, but it may at the very least help to ease symptoms of mild cases.
We all know the saying: “A rose by any other name would smell just as sweet”. The saying is also true for the Echinacea plant and its many other names. These names include Purple coneflower, Black Sampson, Black Susans, and Scurvy root.
Pioneers used to call this herb the Thirst plant because of the salty taste the roots have when ingested and helped to reduce a person’s thirst when water was hard to find.
One of the most interesting facts about Echinacea is something that is known as allelopathy. It creates a chemical that keeps rival plants from growing near the herb ensuring that other plants don’t hog all the water and nutrients that the herb may need to grow big and strong.
It was a Native American who discovered the healing abilities of Echinacea while observing how wounded elk got better after eating the plant.
Nutritional information for Echinacea.
According to Eatthismuch.com, every 100 grams of Echinacea contains:
- Calories 250
- Total Fat 0g
- Net carbs 50g
- Protein 0g
- Sugar 0g
- Sodium 0mg
- Fiber 50g
- Vitamin C 60mg
What can Echinacea do for you?
- Echinacea may help to improve your immune system.
The extracts found in Echinacea are considered an immunomodulator, which means that the herb helps to regulate the immune system. When the immune system is compromised, the herb can help to boost it. When it is healthy, the herb can help to keep it that way. A healthy immune system helps to keep disease away and can help your body to recover from the disease much faster. When you are sick, your immune system can help build up antibodies against the disease, ensuring that the next time you get sick with the same disease you won’t suffer as much, or you may not get sick at all.
- Echinacea contains plenty of antioxidants.
The compounds in the herb act as an antioxidant that helps your body to reduce the number of free radicals in your body, which in turn lowers your risk of developing chronic inflammatory conditions. Certain antioxidants are the flavonoids Cichoric- and Rosmarinic acid and can be found in higher amounts in the flowers of the herb. Echinacea also contains Alkamides that can also help to improve the antioxidant capability of the herb. Alkamides help to revitalize the antioxidants already in your body and then also help these antioxidants reach the molecules in your body that are more sensitive to oxidative stress.
- Echinacea may help to calm anxiety.
Anxiety is an all too common occurrence in today’s society. It can keep you up at night and can even negatively affect relationships. In fact, anxiety can have a negative effect on every aspect of your life. Echinacea has proven to reduce anxiety thanks to compounds known as Alkamides, Rosmarinic- and Caffeic acid. An extract called Angustifolia extract also helps to reduce anxiety, which studies have shown to work not only for mice but for humans as well.
- Echinacea may aid in the reduction of inflammation.
Inflammation is the body’s natural self-defense mechanism. It is how the body heals itself, the problem comes in when the inflammation isn’t reduced after the injury or disease has been healed. Prolonged Inflammation can cause a lot of long-term, chronic disease, and pain. Studies on mice have shown that Echinacea has reduced prominent inflammation markers. Another study showed that individuals who suffered from Osteoarthritis found notable relief from pain, inflammation, and swelling. Curiously, these individuals did apparently not respond that well to typical non-steroidal inflammatory drugs but noticed that supplements with Echinacea proved to offer relief.
- Echinacea may reduce the risk of developing cancer.
Cancer is one of the biggest threats facing our daily lives nowadays. It is a condition that has to do with the unbridled growth of cells. These cell growths can happen just about anywhere in your body and can make you incredibly sick. The treatment of Cancer can also be incredibly unpleasant. Over-processed, fake, and chemically preserved foods all contain harmful chemicals that contain toxins that harm our bodies over time. Unfortunately, it is possible that genetics can predispose some individuals to the development of certain cancers.
Studies have shown that Echinacea may help to reduce the risk of cancer by preventing cells from growing in ways that they shouldn’t. It may also help to kill off any cancer cells that are already growing, although it is not a guaranteed effect. For that, more studies need to be done. So far, it seems that most of the studies done have been as test tube studies, but these studies found that certain compounds found in Echinacea can trigger what is known as controlled cell death. It is thanks to the immune-boosting properties of Echinacea, which come from the amino acids found in the herb, such as Chicoric acid.
- Echinacea may help to speed up recovery from respiratory conditions.
It is well known that Echinacea has antiviral properties along with the immune-boosting properties that I mentioned earlier. Echinacea won’t cure a common cold or any other respiratory illness but may help to speed up the recovery of these illnesses. This includes mild Covid 19. Several studies show Echinacea may alleviate some of the symptoms experienced during colds and flu and could also reduce the risk of developing colds and flu in the first place. It is important to make sure that the quality of the supplement you use is of the best quality, as it may affect the effectiveness of the herb itself.
Echinacea may have some risks
Echinacea is considered safe in the short term but may have some side effects. These include intestinal distress such as stomach pains and constipation, heartburn, and vomiting. Other side effects include a rash.
It is safe to consume Echinacea for up to a week while pregnant, there aren’t enough studies to show if using it for longer is safe, so it is better to be careful.
It is best to avoid use while breastfeeding, as there is no evidence to prove that it is safe.
Echinacea is considered safe for children between the ages of two and eleven, but side effects may be more severe in children if they do occur.
Individuals suffering from Atopy (individuals who are more prone to allergies) may want to avoid using this supplement.
Individuals who suffer from Auto- Immune conditions such as Lupus or Multiple Sclerosis should avoid using Echinacea, as the herb may aggravate these conditions.
Echinacea may interact with certain medications.
Possible interactions include:
- Caffeine: Echinacea may slow down the rate at which Caffeine breaks down in your body, this may cause some side effects relating to too much Caffeine in your system, such as Jitterers, headaches, and a fast or irregular heartbeat.
- Medications that affect the liver may slow down the rate at which the medication is broken down, such as Cytochrome P450 3A4 or CYP3A4. This may also affect the side effects experienced by these medications.
- Immunosuppressants interact with Echinacea since the herb works to boost the immune system, lowering the effectiveness of your medications.
- Echinacea may interact with Etoposide and cause unwanted side effects.
- Echinacea may interact with Midazolam and decrease its effectiveness. It may also cause unwanted side effects.
- Using Echinacea and warfarin may reduce the effectiveness of the medication and increase your risk of developing blood clots. Ensure that you check your blood regularly if you decide to use Echinacea and Warfarin at the same time.
- Using Echinacea and Darunavir at the same time may decrease the medication’s effectiveness and may cause unwanted side effects.
- Docetaxel interacts with Echinacea and decreases the effectiveness of the medications and increases the risk of experiencing unwanted side effects.
- Echinacea interacts with Etravirine and may decrease the effectiveness of the medication and increase the risk of experiencing unwanted side effects.
- Echinacea interacts with Lopinavir and decreases the effectiveness of the medication. It may also increase your risk of experiencing unwanted side effects.
- Echinacea affects the way the above-mentioned medications break down in the body. It may slow down the breakdown or increase it, changing the way the medication works.
Last thoughts on Echinacea
Echinacea is more than just a beautiful flower. The entire plant contains medicinal properties and has a great many benefits from improving your immune system to helping you get over colds and flu sooner. Our Echinacea may help you to live your best life! Our Echinacea capsules offer a gentle way to reap all of the benefits that nature has to offer.
Written by: Arin Spangenberg
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