Medicinal properties of Echinacea
PROPERTIES OF ECHINACEA
Common noun: Echinacea, purple cone flower.
Scientific Noun: Echinacea angustifolia Echinacea purpurea, Echinacea pallida.
Family: Daisy family. Compositae
Habitat: It grows wild in the Western United States in grasslands, sandy soils and hills, but it can be found cultivated as a garden plant in many regions.
Characteristics of echinacea / description
The genus Echinacea contains a number of plants in the daisy family very similar to daisies. They are noted for their large flowers with very long ligules and a large floral disc, sometimes thorny. Although there are nine species in this genus, the three mentioned above are the most commonly used as medicinal plants, being Echinacea angustifolia in Europe and Echinacea purpurea in America those that have a more general use.
Components of Echinacea
- Acids: ascorbic (seeds) butyric acid, ferulic acid, chlorogenic acid (plant) p-coumaric, syringic, caffeic, salicylic acid (leaves)
ECHINACEA HEALING PROPERTIES
Traditional Use of Echinacea
Echinacea is a plant that has been used traditionally by North American Indians, especially to heal the wounds of the arrows or the bites of serpents. A whole range of applications involving these plants as a disinfectant or bactericidal has been traditionally attributed. (Transmitted diseases, wounds, eye problems, mouth sores, sore throat, cold, etc.)
With the advent of antibiotics, it lost enough reputation until it recovered again in the last quarter of the twentieth century. Currently, it is a plant that enjoys a great fame, especially in American natural medicine. Its use within the USA is increasingly in vogue.
Echinacea: A Plant for the immune system
Echinacea is a plant with antibiotic properties. A remedy to enhance defenses against colds, flu and many kinds of infections.
The reason for this property is due to its ability to stimulate the immune system, producing more white blood cells. The echinacin, caffeic acid and chicory are the components that produce this stimulation. Also it has ben proven its power to stimulate production of interferon, a protein that the body itself produces to neutralize the virus.
Although it may be used in the form of dried plant, standardized echinacea supplements allow a more practical and safer way to be taken. They can be found in the form of tablets, capsules, tinctures, etc. It is best to take it under the terms of the patient information leaflet.
MEDICINAL PROPERTIES OF ECHINACEA
- Respiratory diseases: The antiviral and anti microbial properties of echinacea can be used to treat respiratory diseases.
It may also be taken before the onset of these diseases, as a preventive remedy especially for people who have more chance of infection (school children, old people, people with weakened defense system, or people who are in contact with patients)
Major diseases of the respiratory system for which echinacea is very suitable are:
Echinacea to boost your immune system
- States of bodily infections and bodily weakness: its role in stimulating the immune system is very useful for treating infectious diseases of repetitive character. Among infectious diseases that take advantage of a weakened immune system, we can include the following:
- Otitis or earache: Very useful to increase your body's defenses, preventing or combating ear infections (Infusion of a spoonful of dried plant per cup of water. A couple of cups a day) (It can be taken as supplements in doses of 600 mg daily, divided into three intakes)
Its use in AIDS treatment is highly controversial because many doctors believe that it has no effect on this disease and may even harm the health of patients. Others argue that, although their intake slows its progress, it seems to control the appearance of other opportunistic infections that take advantage of the deterioration of the defenses that AIDS causes in the body.
It has even been established in some cases its effectiveness in eliminating cancer cells. Experiments conducted in Germany demonstrated the efficacy of this plant in treating colon cancer. Numerous investigations are being carried out to discover the healing power of echinacea in other different cancers.
Echinacea for digestive diseases
- Digestive diseases: As a plant for the stomach, it stimulates appetite by increasing salivary secretions and helps digestion in "lazy". stomachs. It is an effective remedy for those who have dry mouth.
(Infusion of a spoonful of the dried plant per cup of water. A couple of cups a day) (It can also be taken as supplements in doses of 600 mg daily, divided into three doses)
- Inflammation of the muscles and tendons: The anti-inflammatory power of echinacea is useful for treating injuries of muscles and tendons, especially those that are produced by stretching or repetitive movements in work or in certain sports (computer work, football players, tennis players, etc.)
It can be very suitable, for example, for tendinitis or bursitis. (Infusion of a spoonful of the dried plant per cup of water. A couple of cups a day) (It can also be taken as supplements in doses of 600 mg daily, divided into three doses)
Main properties of Echinacea
External use of Echinacea
In external use the fresh juice of the plant or the tincture can be applied to treat skin problems enhancing its healing and preventing skin infection.
The main applications are:
- Acne: It is able to reduce the symptoms of acne in all its manifestations (pustules or pimples) and prevents their infection. (Drench the affected area with the liquid from the fresh plant. Dilute a few drops of tincture in water and apply a gauze over the affected area)
- Eczema: The implementation of previous treatment on eczema helps healing it.
- Herpes: Taken as a supplement along with goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis), it helps reinforce the defenses, heals wounds and protects them from infection. (The usual daily intake is 800 mg of echinacea supplement divided into 4 doses and 500 mg of daily goldenseal supplement also divided in 4 doses)
Contraindications and Toxicity of Echinacea
No cases cases of poisoning or toxicity in the use of this plant have been found. However, its use should not last more than two months because, beyond this period, its power to boost the immune system decreases. It is best to take a rest for a week before continuing with the same treatment.
Do not use in people allergic to daisies or other species of the Compositae family. If you experience skin reactions or respiratory problems, stop using the product and consult your doctor.
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This material is for informational purposes only. In case of doubt, consult the doctor.