What you need to know about Echinacea?
There are nine species in the daisy family Asteraceae usually called coneflowers, or Echinacea. These perennial plants are grown in southern Canada and North America, but due to their easily adjustment to other areas, they can be seen around the world. Plain Indian tribes had a vast knowledge about the medical benefits of Echinacea and used it for more than 400 years to treat sore throat, headaches, coughs, and burns. The 19th century documented that Echinacea was used for treatment of snake bites, pain, headaches and anthrax. With the popularity of antibiotics during the 20th century, Echinacea was neglected for some time, but soon was once again listed as a powerful infection remedy. Nowadays more and more people are interested in healing powers of coneflowers.
One can easily recognize coneflower by its large, showy heads and its expressive colors, usually purple or pink. These flowers have tall stems and can grow up to 140 cm approximately. Their central cone, that is usually brown or pink, is actually a seed head.
Why is Echinacea a healing plant?
The essential chemicals of Echinacea that have therapeutic effect are glycoprotein, volatile oils polysaccharides, flavonoids and alkamides.
Glycoproteins are important integral membrane proteins.
The roots of coneflower contain volatile oils that are very popular in alternative medicine. For centuries, they have been used in skin treatments.
Polysaccharides are known for its benefits to the immune system.
Some studies show that flavonoids have anti-microbial, anti-cancer, anti-diarrheal, anti-inflammatory, and anti-allergic activities.
Scientific researchers discovered that alkademies possess stimulatory effects on phagocytosis, and that they trigger effects on the pro-inflammatory cytokines.
Echinacea also has vitamin A, C, E, cooper, iron, and tannins.
The most important characteristic of Echinacea is that this plant prevents the formation of certain enzyme called hyaluronidase. This is of immense importance because this enzyme destroys a natural barriers between tissue that is healthy and damaging organisms.
Moreover, Echinacea is:
Antiviral – It destroys viruses
Anti-microbial – It destroys microbes
Antiseptic – It destroys pathogenic and putrefactive bacteria
Antibacterial – It destroys bacteria
Antibiotic – It stops or destroys the growth of micro-organisms
What can Echinacea heal?
Echinacea is used to treat:
Vaginal yeast infections
Urinary tract infections
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