Improving and maintaining good health is always a great idea. When you feel good, you go about your day differently. You smile more, laugh more, and have the energy to do things. But improving and maintaining your health requires you to use the right remedies.
Sometimes, that’s certain medication, especially if you have a specific condition that demands it. Other times, it’s natural remedies that come straight from the earth.
For example, echinacea is one of many therapeutic herbs with several benefits for your wellbeing. This powerhouse of a remedy enhances your health on multiple fronts, including your immune system and blood sugar levels.
However, if you’ve never used this herb or are unsure of echinacea’s benefits, don’t worry. In this article, you’ll not only discover how this herb can boost your health, but you’ll also learn how to use it correctly.
What is echinacea?
The name “echinacea” refers to a group of flowering plants that are in the daisy family and native to North America. You’ll find people using these plants worldwide. For centuries, Native Americans relied on them to cure various ailments.
Because of their shape, you’ll likely hear consumers refer to echinacea as “coneflowers.” Their petals are usually purple or pink, and they sprout around a seed head or “cone” that’s spiky.
Another thing to keep in mind is that there are nine types of echinacea that you may notice most often. Three of them are common in herbal remedies and include the following:
- E. purpurea: Its petals are narrow
- E. angustifolia: This type is the most potent, and its petals are pale.
- E. pallida: This one is mostly for ornamental purposes and has purple petals.
What’s great about echinacea plants is that they have many active and nourishing compounds. They typically contain phenolic acids, caffeic acid, polyacetylenes, alkamides, and much more.
How echinacea’s benefits boost your health
People continue to use echinacea because it’s so therapeutic. Echinacea’s benefits are versatile and impactful—they can significantly boost your health, and research studies confirm it. In fact, here are some of echinacea’s benefits.
1. It may combat colds
One of the best benefits of echinacea is its ability to help combat colds. In a recent review that examined several studies, researchers found that echinacea decreased the odds of developing a cold by around 58 percent. The herb also shortened the duration of the cold by 1.4 days when used in higher dosages.
2. It’s high in antioxidants
Another one of echinacea’s benefits is its antioxidant properties. These types of properties are molecules that help combat oxidative stress, which can lead to diabetes, chronic diseases, and heart disease. A few of these antioxidants are rosmarinic acid, cichoric, and flavonoids.
The cool thing about echinacea is that its alkamides can boost antioxidant activity, help antioxidants reach molecules that are more susceptible to stress, and revitalize worn-out antioxidants.
3. It may reduce anxiety
Around one in five Americans experience anxiety, but echinacea plants may help alleviate this condition.
One study found that echinacea has specific compounds that may decrease anxiety. Some of these compounds are caffeic acid, rosmarinic acid, and alkamides.
Another study that examined mice also found that three out of five echinacea samples were effective in alleviating anxiety. Even better, the mice didn’t become less active because of the herb when compared to higher doses of traditional treatments.
A study that looked at mice and humans also produced promising results. Researchers found that E. angustifolia quickly reduced anxious feelings in both groups.
4. It may decrease blood sugar levels
When you have high blood sugar, you can experience severe health conditions. Heart disease and type 2 diabetes are two consequences that may pop up.
However, research indicates that echinacea may have the power to reduce blood sugar levels. Some studies suggest that echinacea extracts jumpstart the PPAR-y receptor to make your cells more sensitive to insulin’s benefits.
This specific receptor removes excess fat in your blood that can lead to insulin resistance. So activating the receptor is ideal as it’ll make it easier for your cells to respond to sugar and insulin.
5. It has anti-inflammatory effects
While inflammation is your body’s way of defending itself and encouraging healing, it can sometimes last longer than it should and get out of hand. When this happens, it can lead to several issues, including chronic diseases.
But research suggests that echinacea may help decrease excess inflammation. One study that examined mice found that the herb reduced memory loss that inflammation caused and decreased inflammatory markers.
Another study that lasted for 30 days also found that adults with osteoarthritis experienced a significant reduction in swelling, chronic pain, and inflammation when they took an echinacea supplement. The participants believed the supplement was very helpful—and surprisingly, they didn’t respond well to traditional non-steroidal inflammatory drugs.
How to take echinacea correctly
If you want to enjoy echinacea’s benefits, you need to know when and how to take the natural remedy. With some products—like herbal tinctures that contain echinacea and other herbs—you can take the remedy daily.
But if you’d prefer to use an herbal tincture with echinacea solely for colds or general immune function, you can take the remedy when necessary. Using it during cold and flu season is an excellent idea, or you can just enjoy it when you’re trying to combat cold symptoms.
Regardless of the decision you make, after you buy an herbal tincture, use three drops per five pounds of body weight. If you’re trying to combat a cold, you may want to double your dose for the first few days. Also, you put your remedy into a cup of tea or coffee to make the liquid easier to consume.
Where to buy remedies with echinacea
Before you start looking for products to enjoy echinacea’s benefits, there’s something you should keep in mind. Not every herbal product is labeled correctly.
ConsumerLab.com conducted a study and purchased echinacea products from different brands. After testing the remedies, the independent research company found that one product was contaminated with lead. Two other remedies did not have the amount of echinacea suggested by their labels.
These types of incidents are common in the health and wellness industry. Many brands incorrectly label their products and make false claims, but that’s why it’s so important to buy remedies from reputable brands.
For example, Kat’s Naturals uses a detailed and thorough process to make herbal tinctures that are potent, effective, and therapeutic. Even better, all of the herbal remedies are Vegan and Leaping Bunny certified. And Kat’s Naturals has a Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) certification and many other credentials to support its credibility.
If you buy products from the brand, you’ll be in good hands. You can purchase Kat’s Naturals Immunity—which contains echinacea and other therapeutic herbs—and enjoy it without fear.
Experience echinacea’s benefits by purchasing a bottle of Kat’s Naturals Immunity.