5 Health Benefits of Echinacea [Infographic]
Echinacea, known for its beautiful, fragrant flowers, is commonly used to treat colds and upper respiratory infections. Scientists have also found evidence that it may help prevent neurodegenerative diseases, improve exercise performance, control acne growth, and relieve tension and stress. The herb adds a sweet, woody and grass-like fragrance to tea blends.
What is echinacea?
Echinacea is a plant that has been used extensively for generations in North America by traditional herbalists and Native Americans to support healthy immune function. The herb was referred to as Indian snakeroot for many years due to its purported ability to treat snake bites.
Today echinacea is commonly used to treat upper respiratory infections and continues to be a subject of many scientific studies investigating its immune support properties. Its name comes from the Greek word ekhinos meaning “hedgehog”, which refers to the prickly seed cone found at the center of the flower.
The health benefits of echinacea according to research
1. Energy & Brain Support
Research studies indicate that echinacoside, a compound found in echinacea, may help prevent neurodegenerative diseases, conditions which result in degeneration of the nervous system, especially the neurons in the human brain. Examples of neurodegenerative diseases include Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and brain tumor.
2. Fitness & Strength
Echinacea may help improve exercise and athletic performance. According to clinical trials conducted on healthy, recreationally active men, consumption of echinacea was found to improve exercise performance by increasing maximal oxygen consumption.
3. Hair & Skin Health
Echinacea may have potential therapeutic value in acne control. In one study, researchers in Canada found that a standardized preparation of echinacea helped control acne growth and inflammation, possibly by inhibiting the spread of the bacteria that causes acne.
The herb may also help prevent skin damage caused by UV radiation. Studies have indicated that echinacoside protects collagen from degradation.
4. Immunity and Overall Health
Echinacea is often used for upper respiratory tract infections such as the common cold and influenza because it has been reported to have antimicrobial, antioxidant, and immunomodulatory effects. Research suggests that echinacea extracts help reduce the duration of colds and the severity of symptoms. Medical researchers in Germany estimated that echinacea products may reduce the risk of upper respiratory infections by 10-20% based on a large-scale study with 320 participants.
In addition, clinical research has confirmed that the herb increases the number of white blood cells in the body and their strength of action. Echinacea is also reported to have antifungal properties because of its polyacetylenic content, and the herb has been used to treat yeast infections.
In Germany, echinacea is currently approved as a natural remedy for urinary tract infections, upper respiratory tract infections, colds, and slow-healing wounds.
5. Stress & Mood Support
Various laboratory studies have indicated that echinacea has anti-anxiety properties. According to the academic journal Phytotherapy Research, researchers have found evidence that echinacea has anxiolytic (anxiety-inhibiting) properties and could have potential as a safe alternative to conventional drugs and medications such as chlordiazepoxide, an anti-anxiety sedative.
* These are some of the pharmacological actions that have been observed or are under study in various evidence-based research studies. Herb may have other properties not listed here.
The statements on this page are for educational purposes only and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please consult your healthcare practitioner prior to the use of any herbal products, especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have allergies or medical conditions.
The information has been sourced and extracted from scientific papers, academic journals, research abstracts, and other sources. While Purify Tea makes every effort to present accurate and reliable information on this website, Purify Tea does not endorse, approve, or certify such information, nor does it guarantee the accuracy, completeness, efficiency, timeliness, or correct sequencing of such information. Use of such information is voluntary, and reliance on it should only be undertaken after an independent review of its accuracy, completeness, efficiency, and timeliness. While many traditional or folkloric remedies have a long history of use, modern research has only begun to investigate and substantiate their effectiveness. Research is still ongoing in many areas therefore conclusions are subject to change.
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