The use of Echinacea in treating infections, diphtheria, blood infections, scarlet fever and syphilis had been practiced by Native Americans for more than 400 years. For a period, the use of Echinacea dwindled due to the introduction of antibiotics, however, today it is once again a well-known, well-used herb.
There are nine species of the Echinacea genus, which is why there are a few different common names. For example:
” Echinacea pallida – Pale purple coneflower
” Echinacea purpurea – Purple coneflower
” Echinacea paradoxa – Yellow coneflower
” Echinacea angustifoli – Narrow-leaf coneflower.
The effectiveness of each of these Echinacea species may vary. Regardless of the species they are all referred to as “coneflowers”.
Lowers Risk of Colds and Cough
Studies have shown that Echinacea can lower the risk of “catching a cold”. In addition to preventing or treating the common cold, Echinacea is also used for treating other conditions brought about by a weakened immune system, such as flu, coughs and fever.
It is also used for treating pharyngitis and for boosting the immune system.
How Echinacea Works to Boost the Immune System
The clinical, chemistry and pharmacological applications of Echinacea, as shown in different studies conducted by different groups of researchers, has revealed that this herb has the ability to stimulate ‘phagocytosis’ in the human body.
Phagocytosis is the process where lymphocytes and white blood cells work together to fight against any invading disease-causing microorganisms.
Some of the processes in the body that are affected by the active compounds found in Echinacea, include:
- Improved activity of immune system cells
- Increased number of immune system cells
- Promotes faster healing of wounds
- Protects healthy cells against bacterial invasion.
Provides Relief of Constipation
Echinacea also has healing properties that are helpful for those who have stomach and gastrointestinal problems. It functions as a calming agent and contains laxative properties that help in softening bowel motions, which is a relief for those who suffer with constipation.
Heals Eczema, Acne and Other Skin Conditions
In Germany, the use of echinacea for topical applications has been widely accepted by the government. They use Echinacea for treating eczema, acne, wounds, and other skin conditions.
A clinical study showed that approximately 85% of 4,500 study participants experienced improvement in their eczema after being treated with echinacea. Those results are very impressive and for those with eczema conditions it is certainly worth a try.
Improving Fine Lines and Wrinkles
Echinacea is also used for line and wrinkle reduction. It contains tannins and other substances that have astringent qualities. Regular use of Echinacea may help improve fine lines and wrinkles and make them less obvious. It may not get rid of them completely…but does any product, natural or otherwise?