Echinacea is a native North American coneflower that has been used as a traditional herbal remedy by native people for hundreds of years.
Echinacea is widely recognised as a treatment for colds and flu – being available in mainstream pharmacies. But today, not many people know that it was widely used before the advent of antibiotics thanks to its potent anti-viral effects.
Many of echinacea’s chemical constituents are powerful immune stimulators with significant therapeutic value, which is why the plant is frequently used to treat the common cold. It is packed with essential oils, flavonoids, inulin, polysaccharides, and vitamin C as echinacea constituents.
Its anti-viral effects are well demonstrated, Echinacea can reduce the likelihood of catching a common cold by 58% and shortens the duration of a common cold by nearly 1.5 days.
Native people often used it as a painkiller, and research has uncovered why. It appears Echinacea purpurea and angustifolia activate the endocannabinoid system, enhancing its pain-relieving properties. The herb has been shown in in vitro and in vivo studies to reduce inflammatory pain, such as arthritis and burns.
There are many other benefits of Echinacea being researched. Functions as an anti-inflammatory agent, ameliorates skin complaints, improves mental health, and helps with upper respiratory issues. There have even been some very promising cancer research with Echinacea – so much so that some doctors recommend it as an adjacent treatment.