Echinacea (pronounced ‘ekin-nay-sia’) is an herb that’s becoming very popular across the Western world. It’s not new on the herbal or medicinal scene by any means, in fact, the Native Americans used echinacea for hundreds of years before Europeans arrived on their shores and it’s just as effective a health product now. Let’s dive into these Top 5 Health Benefits of Echinacea!
1. Helps prevent general sickness
Native Americans would use echinacea to cure their common colds and prevent further illnesses. How does that work you may ask? Well, your body has T-cells (they protect your body against disease by eliminating cancerous cells) the number of which are encouraged and produced in larger numbers when you consume echinacea, so it strengthens your white blood cells. As a result, your immune system is strengthened.
2. Prevents skin infections
If you get a cut on your skin this herb can be used to prevent infections that may occur from the exposed wound. When your flesh is exposed, bacteria can easily enter your body, and multiply rapidly due to the warm and hydrated climate that the inner body provides; luckily echinacea can help put a stop to this. It can be used to treat open wounds without skin irritation and effectively kills the bacteria, also speeding up the healing and recovery process.
3. Helps fight cancer
The more you read about herbs and extracts the more shocked you become to learn how many of them can help prevent cancer; echinacea is one of them. Research has been carried out and shown that echinacea is very good at preventing the development of brain cancer for example, due to its phytochemical profile. Phytochemicals are basically any biologically active compounds found in plants. There are claims that echinacea can be used as a regular cancer therapy alternative, though it is recommended as a supplementary treatment, being used alongside regular cancer therapy at this time.
4. Can improve your skin health
If you suffer from eczema, psoriasis or typical acne breakouts, apply this herb to help reduce inflammation, redness, swelling and flakiness that often results. Whilst it may not completely cure your condition it can help to significantly reduce the appearance of a haphazard skin breakout.
5. Helps to reduce aches & pains
Echinacea is a great pain killer and it’s actually known to help reduce pain caused by skin conditions as well as tonsillitis and toothaches. If you suffer with measles, herpes or gonorrhoea, this herb can be used to allay symptoms. It also helps relieve headaches, stomach aches and surprisingly makes snake bites more bearable -please do not use that as an excuse to go snake hunting to test out the theory!
Excited about the possibilities and uses for echinacea as a cheap, natural way to avoid and treat a lot of your health problems? Well, you can go to your local whole food store or buy 500g of dried echinacea from Amazon. Simply infuse it in boiling water and voila! it’s ready for consumption (do not consume without infusing). Fan of echinacea, how has it helped you? Tell us in the comments below, join in the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter & Instagram. (Keen to discover more herbs? Try these as well as our other Top 5’s to help Keep YOUR Fit ON!)