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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Immune Boosting Echinacea

 Echinacea is also known as purple coneflower, and it happens to be one of my favorites in my flower bed. Taken internally, it is used to boost the immune system, fight colds and flu, and fight infection. Echinacea is great to boost an immune system that has been compromised by a prolonged illness, surgery or antibiotics. Since it does boost the immune system, those with autoimmune diseases should stay away from it.  Used externally it can speed wound healing and reduce inflammation.  Try making an echinacea tea for a skin toner for sun damaged skin or to help with eczema.
 
Studies show that echinacea itself does not cure diseases, it helps the body resist and fight the illnesses, making it stronger. Those using echinacea, tend to fall ill less often, experience milder symptoms, and recover sooner.

When making echinacea preparations, you use the root. I have echinacea growing in my flower beds and I want to keep it that way, so I have to buy cut herbs from the health food store. 

Use it as a tea for topical applications, as a tincture, or fill your own capsules if using internally. 

Echinacea is safe in normal doses for children and nursing mothers, but refrain from using it while pregnant. 

Do you have any experiences with echinacea?

~marisa




9 comments:

MAYBELLINE said...

I recently planted the purple coneflower in my front yard but nothing has germinated. At least, I haven't seen any signs of life. Perhaps my pet snails and slugs are building up their immune systems! Boogers.

Teaspoon said...

Sadly for some of us, pollen allergy to flowers in this family carries over to various preparations. It doesn't affect all pollen allergy sufferers, so folks need to assess their own risks and anyone with a pollen allergy to this group may want to use extra caution.

marisa said...

Teaspoon, thanks for adding that!

Maybelline, as always, I love your comments. LOL.

David said...

Marisa, I have tried to grow the Cone Flower but it always succumbs to wind and the stem of the plant breaks. I always thought the flower was used for the tea but it's the root that has to be used to make the tea. Hmmmm. It's a good thing I didn't try to make any.

My garden seems to be thriving in spite of the flip flop in weather temperatures. One week in May it was upper 30s at night and the next week it was a record 101 then back down to 50s. The plants are seeming to love it and are growing terrifically well. Only my radishes turned out to be a bust. They went to all tops and no radish. Too much nitrogen I think. I'll have to cut down on the city compost next time I plant radishes. Everything else looks like a bumper year so far. If I can just keep that hail and wind away that is.

Have a great day in the garden.

Jacque said...

I have not planted this yet, but it is a goal for me. I do use echinacae in a tincture with goldenseal, licorice root, and ginger. It is the BEST cure all for any bacteria or fungus. My family swears by it. Our sickness are very short lived in our home. Thanks for talking about herbs. This is great!

teekaroo said...

I always thought that you used the flower in tea as well. Guess I have some learning to do in this area.

Deb W said...

Thanks for doing another 'herbal' post. I was surprised by this: "Since it does boost the immune system, those with autoimmune diseases should stay away from it." Who knew! Since Echinacea is so widely recommended during the cold and flu season, I never thought there might be a reason to stay away from it. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia over 10 years ago (I think that's an autoimmune problem, so I'll go looking for alternatives. ???

I Heart Salt Lake said...

I have used echinacea for colds. I haven't ever thought about growing it though. I think I may try growing some...

Alice said...

A friend told me echinacea lowers blood pressure? Is that true? Mine is already low, so I have to be careful about that.