Explore these 5 Seasonal Benefits of Echinacea

This popular herb is used in natural healing..


Health, Nature
This popular herb is used in natural healing.

(Nataliia Kuznetcova / Shutterstock.com) 

Echinacea is a very popular medicinal herb and has been used in natural healing around the globe. Indigenous people in North America have used it to treat many different ills but this purple flower is best known as an over-the-counter remedy for colds and flu, according to Healthline. That makes it a must-have during the winter season.

The herb is native to North America and three of its nine species are used for healing. The plant's roots, leaves, and flowers are used in extracts, teas, tinctures, supplements and echinacea is an active ingredient in natural throat lozenges and cough syrups.

Could Help Prevent Colds
Echinacea is best known because of its proven benefits in preventing or lessoning the duration of the common cold. That’s because the herb helps to boost your immune system. In fact, a review of 14 studies found that taking echinacea could reduce the risk of catching a cold by more than 50 percent. That’s why you should be prepared before the cold and flu season begins. 

Infection Fighting Properties
The herb can also help your body fight off infections according to WebMD. That’s because the medicinal herb contains two chemicals – polysaccharides and glycoproteins – that help your immune system  function better by creating white blood cells that work with your body to fight infections. These chemicals help to fight infections in your upper respiratory tract and may also help with urinary tract and ear infections too.

High in Antioxidants
Echinacea is also packed full of antioxidants – flavonoids, cichoric acid, rosmarinic acid, and alkamides –, which help protect your body against oxidative stress, according to Healthline. High levels of oxidative stress have been linked to chronic illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers. Higher levels of antioxidants are found in the flowers and fruit of the plant.

Could help Reduce Anxiety
For people who have high levels of anxiety or suffer from the seasonal blues could also be aided by using echinacea. Today, one in five adults in the US suffer from anxiety so a natural way to calm is welcomed. The antioxidants (alkamides, rosmarinic acid and caffeic acid) has been found to reduce anxiety, according to a 2010 study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research.

Good for Wound  and Skin Care 
Echinacea can also help heal skin infections and promotes wound healing, according to Well + Good. “When it comes to skin infections and wound healing, using a topical cream [that contains the herb] is definitely the way to go,” Charles Passler, DC, a nutritionist and life coach told the magazine. "It can be helpful in preventing the recurrence of these infections, as well as accelerating wound healing.” So keep echinacea cream in your medical kit.

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