Tuesday, January 31, 2012
I have never tried Echinacea. Have you? One of my sisters uses it whenever anyone in her family feels like they are coming down with something. They think that it is great.
I am learning that herbalists and physicians have used Echinacea for all kinds of infections. It is documented that Echinacea is effective as an antiviral agent. Other studies have shown its ability to specifically stimulate T-cells, which fight virus, bacteria and tumor formation.
Large clinical trials of almost 5,000 people in Germany showed that Echinacea was 85% effective in supporting healthy skin. Echinacea is also considered to be a lymphatic cleanser and is especially indicated for conditions of the throat, like tonsillitis. It helps release toxins through the skin.
It is documented that Echinacea decreases the incidence and duration of the common cold.
So what is Echinacea......
Echinacea is also called purple cone flower and it is native to the Mid-western United States. It grows in wide open spaces and fields. Echinacea is a beautiful plant and grows to 3 feet tall and is a member of the Compositae or daisy family.
Echinacea is an herb which contains vitamin A, E, B-complex, vitamin C and minerals such as iron, sulphur, zinc and potassium. It also contains inulin, an immunomodulating starch, which also balances blood sugar.
Echinacea powder can be used as a soothing gum rub. Echinacea taken orally as a tea, powder or extract, can help eliminate a "run down" feeling and avoid the start of seasonal health issues like the flu. It should be taken at the onset of symptoms to work its best but if taken when you already are ill it will lessen the duration.
Echinacea has been shown to be nontoxic even in high amount, although some people can get runny eyes and a stuffy nose if they are allergic to the Compositae flower.
Most of this info was quoted from an article written by Ellen Kamhi, Ph.D. in "New Living" Vol. 22, No. 9, January 2012.