Botanical Name: Echinacea angustifolia, Echinacea purpurea.
Other Common Names: Purple Coneflower, Kansas Snakeroot, black sampson, coneflower, American coneflower.
Echinacea is probably the most commonly used herb in the Western World. This herb is used to prevent and treat colds, infections and as an herbal remedy for flu.
The three active constituents are alkamides, chicoric acid and polysaccharides; however, the action of these ingredients is still being understood. What useful evidence there is indicates that echinacea mainly stimulates phagocytosis, i.e it acts mainly to stimulate the immune response.
Echinacea has been used to treat prophylaxis, gingivitis, sinusitis.
It has also been utilized as a treatment of infectious illness such as influenza, colds and related symptoms like coughs, high fever and sore throat.
It is also used for bacterial infections, above all those of a chronic or recurrent nature.
The herb is thought to be of help for allergies, mild septicaemia, pinkeye and skin disorders such as psoriasis.
It has been used as an herbal remedy to strengthen the immune system and to treat conditions of damaged or suppressed immunity such as post-viral syndromes.
Echinacea has been used traditionally for the natural treatment of bronchitis and whooping cough.
Echinacea is an immune booster for those with compromised immunity from a range of issues including stress, overwork, exhaustion who are exposed to a wide range of constantly evolving viruses.
Taken orally, it is rare for echinacea to cause side effects.
In some people however, allergic reactions, such as skin irritations, exacerbated asthma, and anaphylaxis has occurred.
People who have allergies to the daisy family, which include plants such as feverfew, chrysanthemums and calendula, may find they are sensitive to echinacea.
It is advisable to discuss any allergies with a professional health practitioner before using the herb as an herbal medication.
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