Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Understanding Echinacea

By Nathan Leavitt


Echinacea is one of the most well-known herbs that folks use to help improve health. It is believed that Native Americans used Echinacea for over 400 years to help with all kinds of health problems. All through history, folks have utilized Echinacea to assist with many health conditions.

Currently, Echinacea is commonly applied to help shorten the duration of the common cold and help to increase immune system function. It is also applied to decrease fever, sore throat and cough. A number of studies recommend that Echinacea is effective in enhancing the immune system, reduce inflammation, relieve discomfort, antiviral and other wellness rewards.

Some studies have demonstrated that Echinacea can cut down the duration of the cold. It has also shown to cut down the severity of the cold and minimize symptoms of those who take it when they are sick. It is actually a perennial herb that's native to North America. It has tall stems and its flowers are pink or purple. It has a central cone that's purple or brown.

There are three species generally applied for medicinal purposes, these are Echinacea angustifolia, Echinacea pallida, and Echinacea purpurea. Echinacea preparations can differ. Different companies use different parts of the plant. This is why it is critical to buy from a reputable company with a known product to be helpful. Some brands have even been found to include no Echinacea at all.

It has several chemicals that help in its therapeutic effects. These are polysaccharides, alkamides, glycoproteins, volatile oils and flavonoids. The chemicals in the root are different than those found in the upper part of the plant. For example, the above ground parts have more polysaccharides which are known to trigger the immune system. Research demonstrates that the parts above ground have th most health benefits. Echinacea can vary from company to company in how it is prepared.

It is a very good idea to take this herb under the supervision of a healthcare practitioner which is knowledgeable about its use. Even though herbs are natural, they can still have side effects and you will discover contraindications. For example, Echinacea can improve immune function, so it need to not be used in conjunction with immunosuppressants which suppress the immune system. It is not recommended to be taken by children under a year old for the reason that it may have an undesirable impact on their immune system since it is still developing. You'll find concerns that Echinacea may possibly also be unsafe for pregnant or breast feeding women. There could also be other circumstances where Echinacea might be contraindicated. You ought to consult a healthcare specialist when taking this item.




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