Echinacea refers to a group of flowering herbs in the daisy family. The herbs have cone-shaped flowers and occur naturally in eastern and central North America where they thrive in open wooded or moist to dry prairies. For centuries before the advent of antibiotics, Echinacea flowers were held in high regard due to their medicinal properties. But as antibiotics gained ground, the health benefits of echinacea flowers were buried and almost forgotten in the new race for the miraculous pharmaceutical products.
[Note: The Right Flowers is not a medical site. Knowledge of and information about the therapeutic benefits and applications of flowers, while known through the ages, does not constitute medical advice. If you are having health issues, you should consult with a physician.]
However, with time, people started to realize that antibiotics also came with nasty side effects. To avoid or manage these side effects, they turned again to alternative remedies such as echinacea.
Now, if there is one flower that has epitomized good health and herbal medicine for the last two decades, it’s the purple coned echinacea flower. During the 90s, the flower was plastered on the walls of alternative medicine healing centers, supplement stores, and pharmacies.
Echinacea medicinal fame is not idle talk. It contains many potent compounds with therapeutic capabilities including flavonoids, polysaccharides, alkamides, volatile oils and glycoproteins. Health benefits of echinacea flowers include:
Fighting colds and flu
Most people consider colds and flu as an inconvenience; for others, it is a life-threatening experience. Studies show that drinking echinacea infusion reduces the duration of cold and flu symptoms significantly. In addition, other studies have indicated that using echinacea infusions lowers the development of cold and flu by 58 percent.
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Reduces the risk of breast cancer
Studies show that echinacea is highly effective in reducing the risk of breast cancer and slowing down the development of malevolent tumor cells which blocks the ability of cancer to spread. Echinacea infusions are also known to help in alleviating the effects of cancer therapies which tend to weaken the immune system.
Promotes cell growth
Foods or remedies that contain antioxidants are great for repairing body cells because these compounds destroy free radicals that damage cells in the body and make them age prematurely. Since these flowers contain antioxidants, using echinacea infusions helps in promoting cell growth in your body.
Due to the anti-inflammatory properties of echinacea, it is considered a great remedy for managing ulcers, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, and other conditions caused or aggravated by inflammation.
Finally, though the health benefits of Echinacea flowers were almost buried for years by popular pharmaceutical products, their potency still stands strong and they are slowly being acknowledged and confirmed by scientific studies.