5 Health Benefits of Echinacea You May Not Have Realized
Echinacea augustifolia is one of the most powerful healing herbs known to mankind. The first health benefit commonly attributed to Echinacea is its immune boosting ability, but there are many more health benefits that Echinacea has to offer beyond what you may have ever realized.
1. Echinacea Fights Cancer and Reduces Side-Effects of Cancer Treatment
One of the many talents of Echinacea augustifolia is the ability to fight cancer. The National Institutes of Health stated that the “medicinal value of phytochemicals contained in Echinacea is clearly evident and indicates that these agents, as well as phytochemicals not yet discovered in other herbs, may be valuable tools to combat tumors.”
Echinacea may also be helpful in fighting the damage caused by radiation in cancer patients. A study in Serbia evaluated chromosome aberrations in lymphocytes amongst the workers exposed to radiation. After the workers were given 275 milligrams of Echinacea tablets for treatment, the aberrations in lymphocyte chromosomes were lowered by a significant amount. The number of defective cells that destroyed themselves also increased. Researchers concluded that Echinacea may be beneficial for the prevention of adverse health effects in workers exposed to radiation.
Another German study found that Echinacea may be effective for reducing chemo-therapy induced leucopenia (low white blood cell count). Researchers isolated a polysaccharide from the herb and injected the compound into 15 cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. The shots began three days before the patients’ first chemo treatments. Two weeks later, the leukocytes were about 50% higher in the patients who received Echinacea opposed to the control group.
2. Echinacea Elevates Red Blood Cell Count
Erythropoietin (EPO) is a hormone that promotes the formation of red blood cells through bone marrow. In another Echinacea study, 24 healthy young male participants received either 8,000 milligrams of Echinacea divided into 4 doses a day or a placebo. Blood samples taken throughout the 28 day trial indicated that the Echinacea group had up to a 63% increase of EPO.
3. Echinacea Improves Mental Health
Most herbs are best taken in moderation, and Echinacea augustifolia is no different. It can be helpful in treating specific symptoms related to ADD/ADHD such as anxiety, depression, and social phobias. However, a daily dose exceeding 20 milligrams a day was found to negate the benefits. Echinacea is considered a leading treatment for anxiety relief in the field of herbalism.
4. Echinacea Is a Powerful Anti-Inflammatory Agent
A study conducted by the University of British Columbia revealed that regular Echinacea consumption can effectively reverse and alleviate various types of inflammation. Echinacea tea is a good way to get your anti-inflammatory boost on a daily basis.
5. Echinacea Reduces Wrinkles and Benefits the Skin
The potent benefits of Echinacea were first discovered by the Native Americans. They used the herb to treat common skin conditions including eczema, psoriasis, snake bites, bug bites, inflammatory skin conditions, skin infections, stings, and wounds. Echinacea has been known to regenerate skin.
Research conducted in Thailand revealed that the use of a cream or gel containing Echinacea for just one month reduced wrinkles in participants by up to 14.92%. The levels of skin hydration in all of the participants experienced a significant improvement from the topical application of Echinacea.
In this article, I revealed 5 health benefits of Echinacea that you may not have known, and I didn’t even address the plethora of other benefits that science has discovered. Echinacea augustifolia is a boon to mankind, and it is not surprising that Echinacea leads the herbal market as it continues to increase in value.