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The Many Health Benefits of Echinacea

Posted Nov 26 2011 6:00am

For hundreds of years people have been using the herb Echinacea as a way to cure various ailments. Whether it be to help build up the immune system, treat an urinary tract infection or remedy a skin condition, Echinacea comes in a variety of forms and can be used to treat an array of illnesses.

What is Echinacea?

Echinacea is a herbaceous flower that is used to make herbal supplements that can be taken orally, as well as liquid extracts or as a tea. Echinacea is alternatively known as the American cone flower, purple corn flower, comb flower, black Susan, black Sampson, hedgehog, Indian head, scurvy root, Kansas snakeroot and snakeroot.

Echinacea is an alternative form of medicine that people often use in place of traditional prescription drugs. However, it is important to realize that herbs are not green drugs - herbs are natural enhancers of various parts of the body and immune system, and do not consist of one “active” ingredient that serves a specific purpose.

Think of prescription drugs as a “quick fix” and herbs as long-term promoter of well-being and over-all health. Using herbs equals healthier, well-balanced bodies, and a healthier bodies equals a healthier and more well- balanced planet .

Health Benefits of Echinacea

Echinacea has long been known as the herb that boosts your over-all immune system and help ward off the common cold. While vaccines (such as flu shots) can be received in order to immunize against specific strands of viruses, Echinacea boosts the immune system in ways which are non-specific.

So, unlike antibiotics, which are designed to kill specific types of bacteria, Echinacea helps our own immune system better equipped to fighting bacteria, viruses and atypical cells– even cancer cells.

Some other uses for Echinacea include inflammatory relief due to skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. It has also been known to stave off bronchitis, candida, herpes, and an assortment of other infections. Echinacea is also supposed to facilitate the quick healing of skin abrasions, as well as lessen symptoms and recovery time of viruses.

The next time you feel yourself coming down with a cold , experience a skin rash or cut open your hand from slamming it in the garage door, try Echinacea rather than automatically reaching for over-the-counter or prescription drugs. Not only will you save money in the long run, you will be helping humanity pave the way for a safe, healthy, non-toxic Earth.

[CC Image by kfjmiller via Flickr]

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