Echinacea is an herbal supplement used to boost immune function. It's useful for colds and upper respiratory infections, and it has been used as immune support by those undergoing cancer treatments. Here are some of the benefits of using echinacea.
1) Echinacea Can Help Prevent Sickness
Echinacea strengthens your immune system by stimulating the production of T-cells. It also increases the ability of your white cells to fend off pathogenic invaders.
A compound known as echinacein, found in echinacea, helps keep germs from penetrating healthy cells, so that viruses and bacteria don't take hold in your body.
2) Echinacea Can Shorten the Symptoms of Illness
Even if you begin taking echinacea after you're already sick, it can help to reduce your recovery time.
3) Echinacea May Be Used as a Topical Disinfectant
Echinacea helps protect your healthy cells from invasion by bacteria and viruses, even if you apply the herb topically. This means you can use it to keep cuts and scratches from getting infected. Not only will it keep the wound from getting infected, but it will speed the healing process. When used externally as a topical disinfectant, echinacea also has analgesic properties.
4) Echinacea is a Powerful Treatment
Echinacea is known to be particularly effective in speeding the recovery process of a number of common illnesses. Some illnesses against which echinacea supplements may be particularly effective include:
- Urinary tract infection
- Sore throat pain
- Enlarged lymph glands
- Upper respiratory infection
- Enlarged prostate
- Vaginal yeast infections
- Hay fever
- Ear infections
- Canker sores
5) Echinacea May Benefit Psoriasis and Eczema
When applied topically to breakouts of psoriasis and eczema, echinacea has been shown to be an effective treatment.
6) Echinacea is Good for Slow-Healing Wounds
Topically applied, echinacea can dramatically speed wound healing, so it's often used for the treatment of slow-healing wounds. It also helps to relieve the pain of the wound and can protect slow-healing wounds from infection. Echinacea is also frequently used as a hemorrhoid remedy, and is often added to over-the-counter hemorrhoid medications.
7) Echinacea Helps Heal Sunburn
When applied topically to sunburns, echinacea's healing properties help speed the recovery process.
8) Echinacea Helps Resolve Recurrent Infections
Echinacea is particularly effective in helping to resolve recurring infections, such as ear infections. When used for a few weeks, echinacea's immune-boosting compounds accumulate in the body, making its immune-boosting effects cumulative.
However, echinacea can lose its effectiveness over time, and may ultimately damage your immune system by inhibiting the production of T-cells if you make it a permanent part of your health routine. It might not be a good idea to use echinacea supplements in any form, including tea, daily for longer than eight consecutive weeks.