Benefits of Echinacea and Immunity

Echinacea plant: The benefits and ImmunityEchinacea, also known as the coneflower, grows mainly in the Eastern and Central sections of North America and blooms early to late summer across the prairies. The North American Indians recognized the healing properties of Echinacea and used the plant, flowers and leaves for antimicrobial relief of infections, and to reduce pain and swelling of open injuries and snake bite. Settlers and Pioneers later used it for the treatment of scarlet fever, syphilis and malaria.

Health benefits and medicinal uses of Echinacea include:

1. Reduces Inflammation – It reduces systemic inflammation as well as inflammation secondary to skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. The plant has also been shown to help with symptoms of bronchitis, candida, herpes and similar infections.

2. Boosts Immunity – Even today, many who value natural and herbal remedies use it as an aid to boost their immune system to prevent or overcome the symptoms of colds and flu. Echinacea supports the immune system to help resist bacterial and viral invaders by increasing properdin, a natural chemical that increases the body’s cellular resistance to infection. It also activates T-cells and increases and stimulates macrophages that surround and destroy invading bacteria and viruses.

3. Blocks Pathogens – Pathogens, those microorganisms that cause disease, including tumors, use an enzyme called hyaluronidase to invade cells and tissues. Echinacea supplies an opposing chemical known as echinacin B which has been shown to inhibit the enzyme hyaluronidase and prevents the pathogens ability to invade cells and tissues.

4. Increases White Blood Cell Activity. In addition to echinacin B, the coneflower supplies the nutrients polysaccharides, alkylamides, along with echinacea purpurea cichoric acid which work together to provide strong stimulus to beneficial white blood cells that destroy pathogenic organisms and tumors and may prevent their formation.

Common uses of Echinacea. Many herbalists and those who use natural and alternative treatments recommend it to treat everything from ear infections, athlete’s foot, sinus inflammation, urinary tract infections, vaginal yeast infections and open wounds. It supplements or teas speed the recovery time of common colds and many varieties of flu. Those who use Echinacea regularly as a proactive deterrent to keep their immune system at top performance swear by its disease prevention effectiveness.

The most efficient ways to take Echinacea are as organic herbal teas format, as an edible dried or fresh flower or in a fermented organic base. Fermentation of Echinacea in an organic acid base releases the full nutritional power of the plant.

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