Echinacea is an herb; the leaves, flower and root are often used to make different kinds of medicines. There are several species of Echinacea, some are used in general recipes too. They are also known as cone flowers.

Functions of Echinacea

  • Although Echinacea has not been studied in great detail, it is said that consuming Echinacea can help reduce the symptoms or severity of the common cold and flu.
  • However, Echinacea cannot prevent the occurrence of cold or flu.
  • When used along with other medications and creams, Echinacea can help prevent or treat vaginal yeast infections.
  • It is said that Echinacea can help prevent or treat skin infections and diseases. It is effective in the treatment of open wounds and ulcers too.
  • It may be used in the treatment of urinary tract infections.
  • It can also be effective in the treatment of migraine attacks and severe headaches.
  • It is also known to heal Eczema when used topically.
  • It can help provide relief from the pain of bee stings too.
  • It is also effective in preventing recurrent genital herpes in some people.
  • It can be used to treat chronic fatigue syndrome.
  • It can be used to treat or prevent hay-fever as well.
  • It can help heal several kinds of body and skin allergies.
  • It can also be used to treat ADHD or attention deficit disorder.
  • It can be used to treat influenza too.
  • Certain chemicals in Echinacea can help decrease inflammation in the body.
  • Research also suggests that Echinacea can help to stimulate and strengthen the immune system in the body. It contains high amounts of polysaccharides. This helps stimulate killer activity of healthy cells therefore helping to protect the body against viruses and infections on the whole.
  • It is also considered to be one of the best natural blood purifiers. It can therefore be used as a detoxification agent.
  • It can help in the treatment of several kinds of fungi and related infections too.
  • Echinacea can be used as a natural anti-bacterial agent.
  • It is a rich source of copper, iron, tannins, proteins, essential fats, vitamins A, C and E.

Tips and Warnings

  • When used for short periods of time, Echinacea is considered to be safe.
  • It may not be safe for long term use.
  • People may suffer from several side effects if used in the long term.
  • Common side effects include fever, nausea, vomiting etc.
  • Some people may experience a foul taste in the mouth if had for long periods of time.
  • Other associated side effects may include diarrhea, sore throat, dry mouth, headache, numbness in the mouth or tongue, dizziness, insomnia, joint aches or muscle numbness.
  • It is not safe for pregnant women or those who are breastfeeding to consume Echinacea.
  • Constant use of Echinacea may lead to worsening of asthma problems or severe rashes too.
  • Echinacea should be had for short periods of time only.