Echinacea Supplements & Information

 

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Resembling a black-eyed Susan, Echinacea is a North American perennial that is indigenous to the central plains where it grows along road banks, prairies, fields, and in dry, open woods. Also called "snake root," because it grows from a thick black root that Indians used to treat snakebites. Interestingly, the Plains Indians used various species of Echinacea to treat poisonous insect and snake bites, toothaches, sore throat, wounds, as well as mumps, smallpox, and measles. The settlers quickly adopted the therapeutic use of this plant, and since that time Echinacea has become one of the top-selling herbs in the United States. Since the early 1900's, hundreds of scientific articles have been written about the benefits of Echinacea; however, most of the research during the past 10 years has focused on the immunostimulant properties of the plant.   Read more below...

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Herbalists consider Echinacea one of the best blood purifiers and an effective antibiotic. It activates the body's immune system increasing the chances of fighting off any disease. This popular herb has been used to help ward off the common cold and to relieve the symptoms of hay fever.

The constituents of Echinacea include essential oil, polysaccharides, polyacetylenes, betain, glycoside, sesquiterpenes, and caryophylene. It also contains
copper, iron, tannins, protein, fatty acids, and Vitamins A, C, and E. The most important immune-stimulating components are the large polysaccharides, such as inulin, that increase the production of T-cells and increase other natural killer cell activity. Fat-soluble alkylamides and a caffeic acid glycoside (called echinacoside) also contribute to the herb's immune empowering effects. Along with this, it has been shown in animal and human studies to improve the migration of white blood cells to attack foreign microorganisms and toxins in the bloodstream. Research suggests that Echinacea's activity in the blood may have value in the defense of tumor cells.

It has been found that Echinacea properties may offer benefit for nearly all infectious conditions. Studies show Echinacea prevents the formation of an enzyme that destroys a natural barrier between healthy tissue and damaging organisms. It is considered an effective therapeutic agent in many infectious conditions including upper respiratory infections, the common cold, and sinusitis. The herb is a mild antibiotic that is effective against staph and strep infections. Discovered to aid in the production of interferon, Echinacea increases antiviral activity against influenza (flu) and herpes (an inflammation of the skin and mouth). It may reduce the severity of symptoms such as runny nose, sore throat, and reduce the duration of illness.

Besides all of that, Echinacea's antibacterial properties can stimulate wound healing and are of benefit to skin conditions such as burns, insect bites, ulcers, psoriasis, acne, and eczema. Its' anti-inflammatory properties may relieve arthritis and lymphatic swelling, too. In homeopathy treatments, it is used for chronic fatigue syndrome, indigestion, gastroenteritis, and weight loss.  
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Scientific Name

Echinacea purpura, Echinacea angustifolia, Echinacea pallida   vgo to top

Also Known As

Coneflower, purple coneflower, black Sampson, Sampson root, sonnenhut  

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Uses 

  • To treat the common cold

  • As an antiseptic 

  • To stimulate the immune system 

  • To treat viral infections 

  • For faster wound healing   vgo to top

  

Warnings

This product is regulated by the FDA as a dietary supplement. Unlike approved drugs, supplements are not required to be manufactured under specific standardized conditions.   vgo to top


Side Effects

  • Headache

  • Dizziness

  • Nausea

  • Constipation

  • Mild stomach pain

  • Dermatitis (swelling, irritation and redness of the skin)

  • Anaphylaxis (a serious allergic reaction) has occurred, but rarely.   vgo to top


Special Point

Do not use echinacea for more than eight weeks.   vgo to top

 


Information on this site is provided for informational purposes and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical profession. You should not use the information contained herein for diagnosing or treating a problem or disease, or prescribing any medication. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, promptly contact your health care provider.  Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.  Please review the Terms of Use before using this site.  Your use of the site indicates your agreement to be bound by the Terms of Use.

 

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