7 Facts about Echinacea You Probably Didn't Know ...

Echinacea is a herbal remedy which people have been using for many years to treat a number of winter ills, but there are some facts about echinacea that you may find interesting.

The echinacea plants are native to North America and produce beautiful pink daisies. You can grow them in your garden if you want a wonderful splash of color and you have probably seen this herbal remedy sitting on the shelves of the health food store. If you have ever wondered what it's for, here are some facts about echinacea which may help.

1. Prevent That Cold

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Echinacea is commonly taken to ward off that nasty winter cold and if, like many others on the planet, you're susceptible to the winter sniffles and sneezes, it may be something you should consider taking. In fact, echinacea is used by millions across the globe to prevent colds and viruses. It works by stimulating white blood cell production and is thought to help keep those colds at bay. Millions of people can't be wrong, so hey! This is just one of the facts about echinacea.

2. Awful Arthritis

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Another little known fact about echinacea is that its anti-inflammatory properties are thought to help lessen the pain and stiffness of arthritis. It therefore may be a useful treatment if you're suffering from those debilitating aches and pains.

3. Irritating Inflammation

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If you suffer from gastritis, which is inflammation of the stomach lining, then echinacea may help. Again, its anti inflammatory properties are thought to soothe and treat the inflammation.

4. Fight Thrush

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If you have ever suffered from thrush, you will know how uncomfortable it is. Echinacea contains anti fungal properties that are thought to help fight this condition. The constituents in echinacea fight the yeast and fungi directly.

5. Soothe Your Skin

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Echinacea is often used to treat skin conditions such as wounds, burns, ulcers, boils and abscesses. It is also used to treat eczema and psoriasis. A study in Germany found that it may also help treat acne by stopping the acne causing organism in its tracks and reducing the inflammation.

6. How to Use

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Echinacea is available in a range of different forms. You can take it in pill or capsule form or there are teas and tinctures too. It is also available as a spray for sore throats and in the form of a cream or lotion for skin conditions. The tincture is said to work best as it is easily absorbed into the body and works faster. To make a wonderful flu-fighting tea, put a teaspoon of dried echinacea in a teapot, add some fresh ginger, preferably grated and seep the combination in hot water for ten minutes. Add some fresh lemon juice and a teaspoon of honey and fight that flu with a delicious brew!

7. How Much to Take

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There is a lot of conflicting information out there about how much you should be taking and how often but there are actually different ways to take it. Whilst some take a daily does in the winter to stave of colds and flus, some decide to take it at the onset of symptoms to prevent it from getting worse. If you decide to take it when symptoms begin to occur, continue to take it for a few days after the virus has cleared up completely.

These are a few facts about echinacea. Like any herbal and complementary medicines, speak to your health care practitioner before taking anything, especially if you're on any other medication. Does anyone else take this herbal remedy?

Sources: nhs.uk, webmd.boots.com,
totalhealthmagazine.com, and conqueringarthritis.com

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