Herbs do more than just flavor our food or serve as a garnish. They can actually have real, true benefits to our health, too.
A small, flowering herb found throughout the prairies and woodlands of North America, Echinacea has been used for centuries by Native Americans and later European settlers. In the early years, it was used mostly as a treatment for flus and colds. Eventually, it came to be used for various other illnesses and infections, as well as a general immune system booster.
In the 1900s, it even became popular through Germany and all of Europe, after scientific research started to prove its benefits. Now, you can find it in virtually any health food store, pharmacy and even supermarket. It comes in dried form, as well as capsules, tablets, liquid extracts and even often as a tea.
But why should you start taking this age-old herb? And how can it help you achieve your health goals in 2015? Let’s look at its health benefits now.
The Benefits of Echinacea
Echinacea comes with a whole slew of health benefits that can improve your overall wellness and boost your body’s functions and systems. Here are just a few of the biggest:
It can treat and prevent colds
For centuries, Echinacea has been used as an effective method at treating colds and flus, as well as alleviating associated symptoms. In fact, it can also reduce the duration of a cold by nearly two days. Recent studies have even proven that it can actually help decrease your risk of ever getting a cold, too! According to the University of Connecticut’s School of Pharmacy, Echinacea can reduce your chance of catching a cold by a whopping 58 percent! That’s more than half!
It can fight cancer
It sounds far-fetched, but Echinacea may be able to help treat cancer, too. According to the National Institutes of Health, Echinacea’s high levels of phytochemicals make it a valuable tool in fighting tumors – particularly those in the brain. Though it is not meant to be a miracle cure, when combined with conventional therapies and treatments, it can be highly effective for cancer patients.
It can improve skin health
If you have skin issues, Echinacea may be your answer. It’s been known to treat eczema, rashes, psoriasis, stings, infections, spider bites, snake bites and more. It can even help wounds heal faster.
It can reduce inflammation
Inflammation causes pain, stress and a variety of adverse health conditions. Fortunately, Echinacea can help with this too. Studies have shown it can actually reverse inflammation and alleviate its associated symptoms.
It can act as a laxative
Echinacea is particularly good for the digestive system, and it can even be used as a mild laxative if needed. It also helps with constipation, calms irritable bowels and more. The best way to enjoy these benefits is via an Echinacea tea.
It can boost mental health
Aside from its physical benefits, Echinacea is also known to have mental and cognitive perks, too. It’s a well-known natural treatment for ADHD, and it can also help with anxiety, depression and other phobias.
It can improve the immune system
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the body’s immune system is highly impacted by Echinacea. In fact, just 10 mg of it (per kg of body weight) can effectively boost immune function and ward off infections and bacteria.
It can relieve pain
Native Americans often used Echinacea as a pain killer too, as it’s been shown to alleviate all types of aches, pains and injuries. It’s particularly effective for bowel pain, toothaches and sore throats, though it can also alleviate headaches and other general pains.
It can help with respiratory problems
Coughs, croup and other issues in the upper respiratory tract can all be treated, at least in part, with Echinacea supplementation. This is likely due to its anti-inflammatory properties and ability to boost the immune systems.
Echinacea is also a powerful disease and infection fighter, and it can help keep your body healthier and disease free for many years to come.
Other Uses for Echinacea
In addition to being a time-tested cold and flu remedy, Echinacea can also be used to treat dozens of other health problems. Over the years, it’s been known to cure or alleviate all kinds of conditions, including things like:
- Gum disease
- General aches and pains
- Urinary tract infections
- Chronic fatigue
- Yeast infections
- Blood infections
- Snake bites
Echinacea is truly a powerhouse of health benefits for your body. If you’re looking to get healthier this year, consider working some into your daily routine, either through a supplement or via a few cups of Echinacea tea. You’ll feel better for it!
Have you ever tried Echinacea before? Share your opinions on it in the comments.
Remember to share this article with all your friends and family so that they can also learn about the amazing benefits of this herb.
Together we can make this world a happier, healthier world!