Read on to learn about the echinacea plant, where it comes from, and why you should add it to your daily supplementation program.
7 Amazing Facts About the Echinacea Plant You Might Not Know About
What Is Echinacea?
The echinacea, also known as purple coneflower, is a flowering plant in the daisy family. It commonly grows in wooded areas and prairies in North America.
What makes the echinacea plant unique is the fact that you can use every single part of it. Its flowers, stem, petals, and roots all have extracts that can be used in supplementation and medication.
Some of the most popular and useful echinacea benefits include the following:
1. Eases Inflammation
Certain parts of the body inflame as a defensive response to trauma and infection. But if the inflammation becomes worse than it’s supposed to, it can lead to issues such as arthritis pain, swollen joints, and osteoarthritis flare-ups.
Luckily, you can reduce bodily inflammation by adjusting your diet and consuming anti-inflammatory foods supplements such as the echinacea plant.
It can reverse the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Meanwhile, chicoric acid, a major compound in echinacea, can help reduce inflammation-induced memory impairment.
2. Alleviates Symptoms of Anxiety
Echinacea has been found to lead to a faster decrease in anxiety-like behavior compared with chlordiazepoxide.
Keep in mind, however, that further research on the relationship between the echinacea plant and anxiety is needed before one can guarantee the supplement’s effectiveness. For now, you can turn to natural options such as Chill Pill by Dr. Seeds.
3. Helps Manage Blood Sugar Levels
High blood sugar levels can lead to serious complications, such as type 2 diabetes. Once you’re diagnosed with it, your nerves, eyes, kidneys, and other body parts will be at risk of failure.
The best way to address this issue is to prevent the development of type 2 diabetes in the first place.
A test-tube study from 2017 reveals that echinacea purpurea flower extract can help the body better digest all kinds of carbohydrates. If your body puts these nutrients to use, there won’t be any excess sugar and carbs entering the bloodstream.
Another study shows that the echinacea plant’s metabolites can activate PPARgamma compounds in the body.
PPARgamma Compounds Definition: These are receptors that remove excess fat cells in your bloodstream.
By removing the extra fat cells, you can then improve the body’s sensitivity to insulin. This is important because insulin resistance makes it much harder for one to regulate their blood sugar levels.
4. Boosts Immune System Function
Echinacea has powerful antiviral properties that may protect your immune system from infections and viruses. Studies even suggest that echinacea extract not only prevents diseases but also helps you recover faster as well.
If you want to maximize its immune system-boosting effects, make sure to follow a well-balanced diet and regular exercise regimen. Keeping your body fit and strong is the best way to decrease susceptibility to diseases, after all.
5. Stimulates Healthy Cell Growth
Echinacea has antioxidant properties that combat free radical damage and stimulate cell growth. Not only does this make you look younger, but it can also make you feel better and more energetic.
The best way to ingest its antioxidant properties is by drinking echinacea tea daily. You can opt even use this as an alternative to coffee if you feel that caffeine doesn’t sit well with you.
6. Combats Flu Infections
Echinacea is a popular natural remedy for flu. Its powerful antiviral and antibacterial properties play a vital role in both traditional and modern medicinal management of viral infections.
Studies show that regular intake of echinacea plant supplements can reduce susceptibility to the flu by 58% and shorten the duration of the condition by one and a half days.
7. Reduces Symptoms of Skin Disease
Echinacea plant extracts are shown to help alleviate symptoms of skin issues such as:
- Acne: A 2011 study suggests that echinacea’s anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties can be used to get rid of pimples and acne caused by Propionibacteria. It can wash away impurities while soothing the inflamed areas.
- Eczema: Studies suggest that echinacea purpurea extract can reduce skin inflammation and blister flare-ups caused by eczema.
- Wrinkles: If you want to get rid of wrinkles, then you need to keep your skin smooth and hydrated, and that’s exactly what echinacea extract does. A study on 10 healthy adults from the ages of 25-40 shows that echinacea gel can improve the skin’s hydration state.
Note that echinacea extract has a relatively short shelf life, so do not apply it on your skin unless you’re 100% sure that it’s not yet expired. To ensure the best results, consult with your dermatologist on the best echinacea cream options for you.
Supplementing with Echinacea
The easiest way to consume echinacea is to buy premade supplements. There are plenty of options in the market that vary in potency and dosage.
There’s bound to be one that matches your supplementation goals.
If you’re looking to make your own batch of supplements, however, try making homemade echinacea tea:
- The first thing you need to do is clean the flowers, roots, and leaves to remove any harmful bacteria.
- Once you’ve gotten rid of the dirt, set aside the leaves and flowers then dice the roots into small cubes.
- Afterward, leave the leaves, petals, and chopped roots to dry on the screen.
- After a full day of sun drying, remove from the screen and then store in a dry, airtight jar.
- When you want to drink, steep the flowers, roots, and leaves in boiling water. After a few minutes, you’ll have a refreshing, rejuvenating fresh batch of tea!
The echinacea plant is a popular ingredient in health supplements and over-the-counter drugs. It’s commonly known for its antiviral, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties, but it also offers other health benefits as mentioned above.
If you plan to medicate with it, make sure you consult a medical professional beforehand. It’s plant-based and safe but some medications may not interact well with these types of herbs.
Would you consider adding echinacea plant pills or tea drinks to your supplement regimen? Tell us why or why not in the comments section below!
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