4 Healthy Reasons Why Echinacea is a Wondrous Medicinal Herb

by | Jan 11, 2019 | Headline News | 7 comments

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    This article was originally published by Sara Tipton at Tess Pennington’s ReadyNutrition.com

    Tess is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint: How To Survive ANY Disaster

    Echinacea is perhaps most widely used as an herbal remedy to help fight off colds or the flu once ill. It’s often used in a tea or as a supplement to boost the body’s natural immune system, yet it has even more incredible health benefits even if you aren’t sick with a cold!

    Echinacea, also known as the Coneflower, is not only great tasting in teas, it is a pretty easy medicinal herb to grow in your own home and comes packed full of beneficial substances to help the body. It is a genus of herbaceous flowering plants in the daisy family known as Asteraceae.

    Echinacea is one of the most popular garden ornamentals with its showy purple flowers that attract all kinds of butterflies and bees.

    In fact, the entire plant from the roots, seeds, and fresh flowers are all medicinal and can be made into a flavorful immune-stimulating tea or tincture. –Ready Nutrition

    Echinacea is a beautiful medicinal plant to grow in the garden and hummingbirds love it. Because it is a perennial plant, it lasts for many years so you do not have to worry about replanting each year. It is approximately 1-2 feet (30-60 centimeters) tall when mature. It is slightly spikey and has large purple or pink flowers, depending on the species. The center of the flower has a seed head, a cone, which is also spiky and dark brown to red in color.

    4 Reasons Echinacea Is Good For You

    Recovery From Colds Or The Flu:

    Echinacea has a complex mix of active substances, some of which are said to be antimicrobial making it a great choice while combating a viral infection like a cold or the flu. The herb also contains alkylamides or alkamides, (although these are not in found in the species Echinacea pallida), which have an effect on the immune system, as well as polysaccharides, glycoproteins, and caffeic acid derivatives. Many plants, including echinacea, contain phenols, which are active substances that help control the activity of a range of enzymes and cell receptors in the plant, and protect it from infections and ultraviolet (UV) radiation damage. Phenols also have antioxidant properties, which may be good for human health.

    Studies on whether or not echinacea has any effect on the cold have produced conflicting results. Scientists from the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy reviewed over a dozen studies on the effects of echinacea on people’s risk of catching a cold. They concluded that echinacea could reduce a person’s chances of catching a cold by approximately 58 percent, as they detailed in the Lancet. They found that the herbal remedy also reduces the length of time a cold lasts by 1.4 days.

    However, other scientists reported in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) (October 2005 issue) that the ginseng herb reduces the frequency of colds, but Echinacea does not.

    Acne Prevention:

    Because Echinacea is an anti-inflammatory herb, some declare it can be used to help treat or prevent acne. Echinacea extract is capable of phagocytosis, a process of devouring damaged cells, bacteria, and other microorganisms that cause infections. Whether it is taken internally or the herb is applied topically, echinacea just might boost the immune system and resist acne-causing bacteria. Since acne is often caused by infection and inflammation, echinacea may be able to help stop the eruption before it even begins to show. Echinacea’s anti-inflammatory properties can also reduce the appearance of red and painful acne too.


    Echinacea can also be used as a gentle laxative by helping to relax your gastrointestinal tract.  The herb can help provide a mild relief from the discomfort of constipation. Drinking an herbal tea is especially effective to help with this fairly common condition. For more chronic conditions of constipation, a cup of tea every day can help loosen up the bowels, whereas 2–3 cups per day can help with sudden bouts. However, be sure not to overuse echinacea. Limit your tea intake to two cups a day maximum and take any supplements only as directed on their labels.

    ADHA (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder):

    Echinacea angustifolia is the recommended species to help with the specific ailments related to ADD (attention deficit disorder) and ADHD. The herb can be considered one of the natural remedies for ADHD. Both adults and children suffering from ADD/ADHD have a higher-than-normal chance of experiencing emotional disturbances, especially anxiety, depression, and social phobias.  But just the right dosage of echinacea can alleviate some of the distress caused by these disorders. It’s recommended to only take 20 milligrams of the herb at a time and no more. In fact, taking more than 20 milligrams per dose can actually cancel out the echinacea benefits that help relieve anxiety.

    The Bad News

    Echinacea products are commonly mislabeled; some have been tested and found to have no echinacea in them at all according to a National Institute of Health warning and reported by Medical News Today. Many of the benefits are also labeled as purely anecdotal, as studies have not been conducted in-depth on some claims.

    Echinacea generally doesn’t cause problems for most people, but some people taking the herb have reported some side effects such as an upset stomach or diarrhea.

    *This article is for informational purposes only. It is not meant to treat or diagnose any illness or health problem. Please seek help from a professional before using any supplement.

    The Prepper's Blueprint

    Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

    Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

    Visit her website at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.


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      1. ht tps://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-160924/echinacea-purpurea-oral/details/list-contraindications

        active tuberculosis
        multiple sclerosis
        Inflammation of the Nose due to an Allergy
        Asthma Attack
        Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
        Rheumatoid Arthritis”

        It does seem to help reduce symptoms of cold and flu for some people, even prevent a bad case, but look at all the problems. This is because if you currently have things like an unusual infection or an autoimmune disease, the echinacea interacts with the “mechanism of action” of various medicines taken to treat those conditions. In effect, you would BLOCK a medicine say to treat a parasite like giardia, but it would probably help your cold.

        Not good therefore under those kind of conditions where someone had tuberculosis.

        In pharmacology, there is a study called genomics. Evernotice that some drugs work for some people, but not others. The science is new, but one thought is your DNA has an effect on say something like the formations of enzymes in your liver. And so, perhaps that is why some drug is metabolized differently and therefore works in a segment of the population, but not in others.

        And if we knew more, then when a doctor prescribes a medication, they would match your DNA types to known drugs which worked more effectively with that DNA type.

        It would probably be cut down on side effects too and these combined would cut drug treatment costs.

        • Also with genomics, ever notice how some people end up having a drug work for a time, and then the body builds up a tolerance, and it loses efficacy? Well gnomics might predict that would happen, and so a physician would prescribe something else first.

          Unlike many herbs, echinacea in tincture form, can be taken in pregnancy, but care should be used in extract form if highly concentrated.

          Many Chinese pills are known to be fake or the concentration of the herb is all over the place due to lack of oversight. So you should take a certified version from a reputable company, not some fly by night one that just started packaging herbs.

        • Echinacea interacts with metronidazole which is a drug used to treat conditions like:
          Unusual stds
          Difficult to treat bacterial infectionsnlike C difficile.

          Check your prepper medical guides and you will see some recommend metronidazole for those kinds of conditions like Giardia which is often the cause of contaminated drinking water.

          Well if you had a case of the flu, but then were taking echinacea, but also had consumed bad drinking water, the two drugs would interact and the giardia infection would get worse.

      2. I take it when I feel like I am getting a cold, but I also take 2000mg Vitamin C most every day. Hardly ever get a cold or flu. However, I got dizzy spells one time because I took to echinacea for to long a period. Doctor told me to stop and dizzy spells went away. I still take it, but only when I feel a cold coming on.

      3. bwKbDpI9KUM
        It’s definitely something that will work and is not demanding. Americans though often have multiple health issues and may be on medications. So if that does not apply,then every American gardener could easily grow it and have that also a preventative that is even safe in low amounts during pregnancy. So even IF a lady was pregnant and didn’t know it, echinacea is not what is called a “mutagen” during the first 6-8 weeks, nor is likely to harm the baby through out the pregnancy.

        BUT some older Americans DO have rhematoid arthritis and they have a heck of a time finding a pain treatment plan that is effective. Therefore these folks should use caution as the flu is prevented while their pain level is exacerbated.

      4. I grow as a pollinator attractant but have no idea how to use it. So I guess I’ll stick with my elderberry tincture if I feel a cold coming on.

      5. E0UGF5grywk
        If growing echinacea next gardening season, consider growing elderberries too. You won’t get but a scant amount the first two years, but then you can harvest them. Taken as a syrup it not only is very benign but safe as well for pregnant ladies. It tastes good so you should have zero issues with kiddos. It is extremely helpful when patients are suffering very bad symptoms.

        Several seasons back, TWD featured the vet hunting for elderberries so he could make something as they all were terribly sick and that was all they had. The same might be true when the SHTF.

        The video discusses a kind of succession planting as he planted several varieties so he had a lengthy period where they came in staggered instead all at once. That is wisdom to apply to most any crop otherwise a beginner is overwhelmed if working many hours outside the home, then also having everything mature at once. Space out your plantings or vary the species so you don’t have some issue where you can’t harvest so the critters and insects do. Birds especially like berries so you may have to use netting which irritates them as they fear being ensnared.

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