Echinacea which also known as Echinacea purpurea or Echinacea angustifolia is a herbal plant that is native to North America. One of native American Indiants tribe “Lakota” has used echinacea for hundreds of years as an effective medication of some animal sting and many health disease.
The echinacea which used for medication purpose obtained from the stem, leaves, and roots of the Echinacea purpurea (Purple coneflower) or Echinacea angustifolia (Narrow-leaf Coneflower). Echinacea contains many components including flavonoids, alkamides, glycoproteins, and caffeic acid derivatives. The level concentration of these bioactive phytochemical are depends on which type of echinacea and the part of the plant that being used.
Echinacea is usually taken by mouth or oral to help the function immune system. It is well known for its cold and respiratory infection remedy. The most active components in echinacea is alkylamides. The alkylamides found in great amount in the roots of Echinacea plant. The amount of alkylamides in roots is 10 – 20 greater than the one which found in leaves and stem.
Even the roots contains high level of alkylamides it is hard to cultivated so the echinacea supplement or medicine used to combine the alkylamides in roots with other part of plant. It is easy to find the character and detected alkylamides in root just by chewing it. The alkylamides will create tingle in the mouth if the roots contains it.
Health benefits of Echinaceae
Even echinacea has unlimited benefits, these benefits is the best that echinacea can bring out :
1. Prevent cold
People regard echinacea as one of best remedy for cure cold. The essential oil contained in echinacea is anti-viral and anti-inflammation properties which can prevent the body from prevent cold.
2. Strengthen immune system
A study by the University of Connecticut which Published in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases reported that people who experience cold and took echinacea as supplement heal faster than the ones who didn’t. Certain dose of echinacea give great influeve to immune system and it lower the chance of getting cold by 58%. Thats why people believe that echinacea may boost immune system function.
3. Reduce pain
Echinacea can cure almost all pain that occur in the body. This benefits has been used by native Indian tribe in America since long ago. They cure stomach ache, abdominal pain, chest pain, and other types of pain with echinacea.
4. Fight inflammation
Inflammation is the leader of certain disease that occur in human body. Echinacea has anti-inflammatory properties which can reduce and cure inflammation that may become harmful. A study by University of British Columbia reported that regular echinacea consumption can reverse and alleviate various types of inflammation effectively.
5. Prevent cancer
Amazing Echinacea Health Benefits could prevent cancer and be the best herbal plant. Some great researches have been conducted to find the impact of echinacea to the development of cancer. One study by National Institutes of Health (NIH) stated that echinacea contains phytochemical that has potential value in fighting tumor. This phytochemical in echinacea not yet found in other type of herbal plant.
6. Cure headache
Taking some echinacea supplement when you suffer headache will really help. Echinacea The alkylamides contains in echinacea is a volatile oil that can relax and calm your nerve especially the brain nerve. It also soothen the blood vessel work in the area of the brain so the pain will be reduced.
7. Relieve constipation
Echinacea also known as good laxative which promotes healthy digestion system. Based on Medical Herbalism review echinacea can be used as natural relief for constipation because it has calming effect to the digestion tract. Drinking a cup of echinacea tea may help you to get rid uncomfortable feeling in stomach and loose your bowel movement.
8. Cure animal sting and infection
Getting bited or get animal sting is annoying. It can cause inflammation on the skin. Echinacea has anti-inflammatory properties which can be used to treat the wound that is caused by animal sting. Even Indian tribe use echinacea to treat venomous bite of snake and insect.
9. Heal skin problem
Echinacea is great solution for many skin problem just like what has been written by Armando González Stuart, PhD about herbal safety. He describes that echinacea has been used by some Native Indian tribes to treat psoriasis, skin infection, eczema and to heal wound on skin
10. Faster wound healing
The alkalamydes and other phytochemical properties in echinacea has a great effect in the healing process. It fasten the regeneration of cells especially in the skin tissue.
11. Improve mental health
Taking echinacea supplement not more than 20 mg can help to relieve and alleviate stress, depression and anxiety. This benefit may be provided by the volatil oil and aromatic phytochemical that has calming nerve.
12. Cure upper respiratory problem
The strong effect of echinacea in immune system and the anti-inflammatory properties are the best combine to treat upper respiratory tract problem such as cough, sore throat, croup, dyphteria, influenza and other common cold.
13. Treat urinary infection
Echinacea stimulate the immune system function and it also help to treat infections of the urinary tract. The anti-inflammation properties of echinacea has strong effect to get rid the histamin ( protein which cause inflammation )
14. Reduce toothache
Toothache can be annoying and disturb your day if its not getting treated immediately. Having echinacea supplement can reduce the pain that resulted from toothache.
15. Promote healthy skin
Echinacea can trigger the new skin cell formation which is effective to keep your skin looks healthy and firm. Taking echinacea as skin supplement is regarded as good choice.
16. Treat tuberculosis
Tuberculosis is a disease which cause by Mycobacterium tuberculosis infectionn and causing liver damage. Taking echinacea regularly is believed can cure the infection of the bacteria and cure the symptom of tuberculosis.
17. Treat rabies
It is rarely found that herbal plant can also treat rabies. Rabies is an acute inflammation that occur in the human brain which caused by Rabies virus. Echinacea can be one of supplement which can be used to treat this disease and reduce the symptoms.
18. Treat meningitis
As well as tuberculosis, meningitis or the inflammation of human brain meningues caused by the infection by the bacteria Meningitis tuberculosa. Taking echinacea regularly and with the doctor prescription can slightly treat the meningitis infection.
19. Prevent cholera
Based on WHO report, Cholera is an acute diarrhoeal disease that can kill someone who suffer from and if left untreated within hours. Cholera can be treated by echinacea extract because echinacea has an effect in balancing the fluid balance in the body.
20. Treat impotence
According to a statement by Dr Snyder which published in the book “ Echinacea Natural Imuune Enhancer”, it is mentioned that echinacea is an effective remedy for impotence.
Beside all those mentioned benefits, Echinacea is also can be used to treat :
- Septicemia – Bloodstream infections
- Streptococcus infections
- Vaginal yeast infections
- Blood poisoning
Health Risk of Echinacea
Taking more than moderate dose of echinacea sometime can cause dizziness, nausea and allergy. It is also reported that echinacea may cause several health problem like dry mouth, fever, muscle aches, sore throat, stomach pain, disorientation, fever, insomnia and even vomiting. Make sure you take echinacea in right dose base on the direction of the usage. Pregnant women should consider to take echinacea because it may cause neural tube defect in baby and some disturbance on pregnancy. Consult your doctor if you want to consume it regularly.
How to Use Echinacea
There is no scientifically prove which describe how to use echinacea in best way but you still can apply these tips whether you want to take echinacea as your medicine :
- Take the supplement when you get the symptoms of certain health problem which has been mentioned above. Consume it until the symptom dismiss or for 7 to 10 days
- Better purchase liquid echinacea product rather that the capsule one
- If you use echinacea make sure that the preparation is free from alcohol
- Choose trusted echinacea supplement brand that has been proved the ingredients of the label are true.It is only because most product of echinacea only contain less than half amount of echinacea
Those all benefits can only be achieved if you take echinacea regular and following right dosage which prescribed in the direction of use.