Historically, echinacea is indigenous to North America and was widely used by Native Americans as a medication against infections. They would also apply it topically for treating cuts, burns and especially insect and snake bites.
Meanwhile, Europeans later began to discover the effectiveness of echinacea and, in time, even carried out extensive research studies on the herb. Echinacea is sometimes known as purple coneflower.
Such research confirmed three main health benefits
- Strengthening the immune system – particularly when those who have a weakened immune system are under stress or overworked.
- Anti-viral properties - including to provide extra protection from those types of viruses that cause colds and flu.
- Anti-inflammatory properties - so important today with inflammation being at the root of so many chronic conditions.
Echinacea is also helpful for the following conditions
- Post-viral fatigue syndrome
- Inflammatory skin conditions such as acne
Just a few words of warning about Echinacea
Do not take at the following times:
- When you are pregnant or breast-feeding
- If you are taking immuno-suppressant medication or chemotherapy
- If you have an auto-immune condition
- If you have allergies including asthma.
Echinacea products include lozenges, cold relief remedies and pure extract products and are readily available on line or from health stores.