Have you ever wondered what are the benefits and side effects of Echinacea, a natural vitamin supplement?
Echinacea, sometimes called cone flower, is a wildflower found mostly in meadows and wet valleys in the Midwestern United States. It is most known for its natural medicinal properties, but it is also commonly grown in gardens because it’s so pretty, with striking, purple daisy-like flowers. The natural medicinal properties of the plant are found in the flower, leaves and the root.
Echinacea’s Therapeutic Potential
Echinacea is a natural immune system booster. It stimulates white blood cells, which attack the viruses and bacteria that lead to illness or infection. Because of this, Echinacea is being researched as a potential benefit to people with AIDS, though it is not currently part of current AIDS treatment because its full effect on the immune systems of patients with AIDS is still not fully understood.
Echinacea is commonly used to treat acute respiratory ailments like colds. Some research has found Echinacea to be effective as an antiviral anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. In some parts of Europe, Echinacea is taken in an IV as supplemental treatment for some forms of cancer. Some European medical professionals also inject Echinacea to remedy urinary tract infections.
Many people have also used Echinacea externally to help skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis and insect bites. It has also been used as an ingredient in hemorrhoid treatments and to soothe sunburn.
Echinacea Side Effects and Precautions
In rare cases, some people experience allergic reactions, including rashes, increased asthma, and anaphylaxis. In clinical trials, the most common side effects were intestinal discomfort (pain, nausea) and dizziness. These side effects were generally mild and temporary.
Echinacea is available in whole herb or extract powder or liquid extract, either by itself or as an ingredient in a nutritional supplement. Echinacea can be purchased in most health food stores and some drug and grocery stores.
Is Echinacea a natural supplement you would be interested in trying?