Uses, Dosage, and Side Effects of Echinacea Flower

Echinacea is a North American plant belonging to the family of Daisy plant. The flowers have raised a cone-shaped center. The center looks like soft pine and there are multiple uses of echinacea. This flower is used as herbal medicine. It has antibiotics and wound healing properties. It is found in United States, in the Rocky Mountains. It is also grown in Europe and Canada. Several Indian tribes set the trend of using this plant as a herbal medicine which was then also followed by other people of the world. A lot of people use echinacea as tea for the herbal benefits.

Uses of Echinacea:

1. Echinacea is an Antioxidant:

Echinacea has Antioxidant properties. Antioxidants prevents the body from oxidative stress and protects it from serious health concerns like diabetes, heart disease and such other problems. The job of antioxidants is to defeat free radicals in the body. These radicals are a cause of many bodily pains, aches and other problems. There are various food items that are rich in Antioxidants, echinacea adds to the list.

2. Boosts Immunity:

Echinacea has its established popularity when it comes to boosting immunity. It makes the body’s defence system strong. Your body is therefore able to beat disease causing germs more efficiently, ultimately resulting in you falling less sick. Viral diseases like common cold are dealt with very well and you may notice that you fall ill with cold rarely.

3. Could lower Blood Sugar Levels:

Diabetes slowly erodes your body. The disease affects other organs of your body over a period of time and deteriorates them. Echinacea consumption has suggested some participation in reduction of blood sugar levels. In a laboratory study, it was found out that echinacea suppresses enzymes that digest carbohydrates in the body. This reduces the amount of sugar entering your body on consumption.

Echinacea also contains receptors that remove excess fat deposits in the blood. These fat deposits are a risk factor for insulin resistance. Hence the cells respond to insulin and sugar more easily. That is what makes echinacea one of the food items to consume for diabetes.

4. Prevents Inflammation:

Inflammation in your body is responsible for all your joint and muscular pains. It also causes various other kinds of diseases. Studies conducted on lab rats proved that echinacea controls inflammation. The adults having osteoarthritis, who consumed echinacea supplements showed visible reduction in pain.

5. Echinacea for Skin Problems:

Echinacea has anti bacterial properties. As a result the use of echinacea inhibits the growth of acne. When people between the age group of 25-40 years, used this plant, they noticed healthy glow on their skin. It also reverses the signs of aging like wrinkles, fine lines and dark patches. Various creams and ointments used for eczema treatment contain echinacea for its benefits.

6. Fights Cancerous Cell growth:

Echinacea has antioxidants like flavanoids. They attack and kill various free radical that move about freely in our body When these free radicals get oxidized, they could multiply abnormally and lead to cancerous cell growth in particular part of the body. Echinacea kills these free radicals and prevents them from getting oxidized, thereby reducing the chances of cancer. Studies have suggested echinacea having killed cancer cells in the colon and pancreas.

7.Cures Gum Inflammation or Gingivitis:

Gingivitis or gum inflammation is caused due to an action of bacteria on your gums. The gums become swollen and red. It is a minor gum problem and is usually cured with proper brushing and flossing of teeth. Using a toothpaste that contains echinacea can benefit you. Brush three times a day with such a paste for two weeks to experience the positive effect on your gums.

The reason echinacea is effective is that it has anti microbial properties which beat the bacteria and germs attackin the gums and causing gingivitis.

8. Influenza (Flu):

People who use echinacea for oral consumption have better reactivity to vaccination for flu. We have also read how echinacea is responsible for building stronger immunity. It also proves advantageous to people having breathing disorders like bronchitis. Some research shows that drinking a product containing echinacea and elderberry five times a day for 3 days then three times a day for 7 days might help improve flu symptoms.

9. Echinacea for Middle-Ear Infection:

Echinacea extracts in liquid form can prevent ear infection in children between the age of 1-5 years caused due to cold. It may not work for all kids.

Side Effects of Echinacea:

1. Rashes:

Echinacea causes a person to have rashes. They usually accompany skin irritation and itching too. They cause the skin to become red. These problems affect people who are allergic to echinacea. One must avoid using the plant if he/she s allergic.

2. Swelling:

Often, echinacea causes swelling in hands and legs. The cause of this is not known. However, an overuse of this herb may lead to swelling as well.

3. Echinacea for Children:

It is probably safe for children but the condition is that the child must be over 12 years of age. This prevents the chances of rashes due to allergic reaction in children.

4. Echinacea for Pregnancy:

Because it is an element of nature, it is possibly safe during pregnancy. However, it must be mentioned that there are no studies to confirm the safety beyond any doubts. It is better to consult a doctor or to best avoid it until the probability of its safety is proved.

5. Echinacea for breast feeding mother:

Echinacea does not lead to increased amount of breast feeding milk. However, it cannot be ascertained whether it is safe or not for a breast feeding mother. To be on a safer side, its best to avoid it.

6. Auto- Immune Diseases:

We saw that echinacea affects your immunity. But if you have an auto-immune disease like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, it is best advised to stay away from this herb as it may have adverse effects on your health.

Dosage of Echinacea:

There isn’t an exact dosage that can be determined for consumption. However, if you consume it, you might as well intake enough to suffice your needs. Here is a few suggested amount of echinacea that may aid you with its possible benefits.

  • You can consume upto 300-500 grams of powdered echinacea for improving your immunity. This quantity can be distributed over three times a day.
  • Liquid Extract can be consumed upto 2.5 ml each, three times. You can consume a total dosage of upto 10 ml per day.

Echinacea may have various health benefits but they have been rarely tested on humans to uphold that they are certainly useful. Having said that, a lot of people give echinacea a trial to take their chances of gaining from the benefits. You can make your pick by simply weighing the scales of advantages to disadvantages. To be sure, yu could also discuss this with your family doctor.

Shabnam Vandeliwala

Venturing into writing is my second most admired hobby after litigating in courts. An advocate by profession, writing gives me immense sense of satisfaction especially in the time that I'm free from other work.

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