Echinacea is a well-known medicinal flower today & has been used for more than 400 years throughout history to treat infections, wounds, & as a general “cure-all.” In the past, echinacea was also used to treat scarlet fever, syphilis, malaria, blood poisoning & diphtheria. It wasn’t until the creation of antibiotics & push of western medicine that echinacea remedies became less common.
Echinacea consists of several chemicals that play a role in its therapeutic effects. These include polysaccharides, alkamides, volatile oils & flavonoids. The combination of these compounds is what makes echinacea so unique & versatile.
Today, echinacea is often used for shortening the duration of the common cold & flu or to reduce symptoms of a sore throat, cough, congestion or fever. Many studies have shown echinacea’s grand impact on the immune system & its ability to help boost immune response.
General studies have also shown echinacea’s ability to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, & have hormonal, antiviral & antioxidant effects on the body. Echinacea has been used for urinary tract infections, vaginal yeast infections, ear infections, athlete’s foot, sinusitis, allergies, & wound healing. This herb is truly powerful!
If you have heard of echinacea, most likely it is due to its presence in the products for preventing or treating cold systems. According to Mount Sinai, “One study of 95 people with early symptoms of cold and flu (such as runny nose, scratchy throat, and fever) found that those who drank several cups of echinacea tea every day for 5 days felt better sooner than those who drank tea without echinacea. A review of 14 clinical trials found that echinacea reduced the odds of developing a cold by 58% and the duration of a cold by 1 to 4 days.”
However, before you choose just any echinacea supplement off the shelves at your local grocery store, we implore you to do your research on the product to make sure it is high quality & bioavailable.
Dr. Conners’ favorite echinacea: Clear Immuno Plus