Echinacea: small herbal plant, big health benefits


Echinacea is a popular herb, usually used for the treatment of flu and colds. The nine species it can be found under are commonly called coneflowers. Some species are used in herbal medicines while other are cultivated in gardens for their showy flowers.

Some research studies have shown some benefits of echinacea, but many people are still skeptical about its benefits on health. These studies do seem to show that echinacea has an effect on the immune system by increasing the number of white blood cells and boosting the activity of other immune cells....

Echinacea is believed to have many other health benefits. To enjoy its benefits it is better to use fresh root tincture rather than capsules. Echinacea tinctures are a mixture of herb in alcohol. National Health bodies warn consumers about being careful regarding some Echinacea products which are on the market because some of them might be mislabeled or might have no echinacea extracts at all.

(1) Echinacea can act as an antiviral and anti-inflammatory, reducing inflammation and alleviating pain

(2) It is believed to boost the immune system and reduce the severity or length of colds

(3) It may be used in the treatment of different infections, such as bladder infections, tonsillitis, malaria, vaginal yeast infections etc.

(4) Echinacea can help speed wound healing, so its often used for the treatment of slow-healing wounds. It also helps to relieve the pain of the wound and can protect slow-healing wounds from infection

(5) As a topical ointment it can be used for the treatment of psoriasis and eczema

Although rarely, some people reported side effect of echinacea, such as upset stomach, headache, sore throat, drowsiness, rash or allergic reactions....