Boosting Your Immunity with Echinacea
If you pay attention to the natural health community, then you’ve probably heard that echinacea benefits your health in a variety of ways – including its benefits associated with cancer, inflammation and pain. With a long history of therapeutic use, there is a treasure trove of research to support its popularity.
What Is Echinacea?
Echinacea is a native North American coneflower that was discovered and used as a traditional herbal remedy for more than 400 years by the Great Plains Indian tribes. Technically classified as an herb, several species of the echinacea plant are used to make medicine from its flowers, leaves and roots.
Benefits of Echinacea
Boosts the Immune System
Echinacea can have a powerful impact on the immune system; over 14 clinical trials have confirmed its ability to encourage good health all year long. Other studies show echinacea to be among the most effective supplements for seasonal wellness.
Echinacea is a source of antioxidants like vitamin C, beta-carotene, flavonoids, selenium, and zinc. One study found that a particular echinacea tincture had more than Gingko biloba.
Facilitates Oxygen Transport
Echinacea increases erythropoietin production in the bone marrow, this, in turn, promotes red blood cell production and increases the capacity of the blood to transport oxygen.
Reduces Redness and Swelling
Systemic swelling, redness, and discomfort in the body can have multiple sources, including an unhealthy diet or strenuous exercise. Consuming echinacea or applying skin care products that contain echinacea essential oil can help reduce and alleviate tissue irritation.
Promotes the Health of Cells
Consuming echinacea promotes the health of protective cells in your body. Many of the compounds in echinacea support immune cells and encourage healthy cell growth.
Supports Oral Health
Echinacea has been evaluated in combination with other herbs like sage and lavender and found to reduce bad breath. It’s believed this effect is partly due to echinacea’s ability to neutralized the harmful organisms that cause bad breath.
Alleviates Physical Discomfort
Native Americans used echinacea to reduce aches and pains. Today, research has shown its potential for promoting comfort following surgery.
Encourages Normal Skin Health
Echinacea supports a normal complexion by helping to discourage blemishes and irritation. Other studies found that it helps hydrate the skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.