For some of us, contracting the flu is simply an inconvenience, but for others it can actually be life-threatening. That’s why doctors recommend getting a yearly flu vaccine. Drinking Echinacea tea has been found to be effective in shortening the duration of your symptoms. Studies have shown that Echinacea can reduce the odds of developing a cold by 58 percent and reducing its duration by 1–4 days. Taking Echinacea regularly may also influence the flu vaccine to be more effective at staving off the disease, according to one study.
The antioxidant properties in Echinacea purpurea are unique. A 2017 study showed that Echinacea in your bloodstream can help keep your blood sugar from spiking if you’re diabetic or prediabetic. It can also keep your blood sugar from plummeting if you are hypoglycemic. It certainly isn’t a replacement for insulin therapy or other diabetes treatments, such as managing carbohydrates. But drinking Echinacea tea or tincture is one way that you can help control your blood sugar levels.
Any herbal remedy or food that contains antioxidants can help repair your cells. Antioxidants destroy the toxins (free radicals) that age and damage the cells in our body prematurely. Because of the antioxidants in Echinacea, drinking Echinacea tea or taking a high-quality supplement can contribute to healthy cell growth in your body.
Cancer treatments tend to weaken the immune system and kill off some of our healthy cells, so drinking Echinacea tea may help to counter some of those side effects. Echinacea has also been studied as a treatment for cancer itself. The study concluded that Echinacea extracts slowed the growth of malevolent tumor cells, blocking the cancer’s ability to spread. Some might suggest that taking Echinacea is a good preventative measure for women with a family history of breast cancer. More research is needed to conclude that for sure.
Echinacea was tested as an antianxiety supplement and found to be effective. Echinacea extract helps regulate the synapses that aid communication between your body and brain. While it can’t turn off the “fear reflex” that people who have anxiety attacks experience, it can limit the physical effects of your fears and help you to feel calmer. Echinacea can be an excellent herb for those that battle with anxiety.
Echinacea with high amounts of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds could help blood pressure levels. Anxiety also plays into high blood pressure, so the effects of Echinacea contribute to controlling blood pressure in additional ways.
Because of its clinically demonstrated anti-inflammatory properties, Echinacea has been suggested as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, ulcers, Crohn’s disease, and other conditions that are caused or worsened by inflammation. The biologically active compounds in Echinacea work with your body to keep its inflammation response down. This contributes to healing and relief for many inflammation-related issues.
The notable benefits of echinacea come from its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties. It’s also identified as an immune-strengthening agent, fights the flu, helps control blood sugar, potentially reduces risk of breast cancer, helps manage anxiety, lowers blood pressure.
Echinacea is a native North American coneflower that was discovered and used as a traditional herbal remedy for more than 400 years by the Great Plains Indian tribes. Technically classified as an herb, several species of the echinacea plant are used to make medicine from its flowers, leaves and roots. Prior to 1950 and the introduction of antibiotics, echinacea held an esteemed medicinal status. As the health care industry shifted, antibiotics became the rage, and the now famed herb lost much of its esteem. It’s become a popular plant to grow. Also called Echinacea purpurea, commonly known as the pale purple coneflower, the echinacea plant is a favorite of gardeners and butterfly enthusiasts. An attractive flower that resemble daisies with mounded heads and rose, pink or purple petals, it grows on strong stems far above the foliage.
Common names: Black Sampson, Narrow-leafed purple coneflower, Rudbeckia, Sampson Root, Snakeroot, Sonnenhut.
Place a teaspoonful of dried extracts of echinacea in a container. Pour 2-3 cups of boiling water over the herb. You may add a teaspoon of grated ginger to the mixture to improve its flavor. Allow the mixture to steep for around 10-15 minutes. Add a teaspoonful of honey and fresh lemon juice (optional).
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