Echinacea, also commonly called the coneflower, is one of the most widely used herbal remedies, and it has many different uses. If you are interested in learning more about Echinacea and how to use it, please read on for specific tips. A wild flower with lovely deep purple blossoms, people like to grow it in their gardens as well as using it for its medicinal properties.
Things You Will NeedYou will need echinacea.
Step 1The primary function of Echinacea in the human body is to strengthen immunity. It does this by stimulating the body's white blood cells (which are the ones that help you fight off viruses and infections). Not only does Echnicea have anti-viral properties, it is also anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal. Therefore the principle way for generally healthy people to use Echinacea is to help them fight off the flu, colds and other infections and illnesses.
But helping to boost the immunity of generally healthy people is just one use of Echinacea. Another way individuals can use Echinacea is to fortify their weakened or compromised immune system. For instance, people who have recently undergone chemotherapy for cancer treatment or who are HIV positive can use Echinacea to strengthen their compromised immune systems.
Step 3Many people use Echinacea by drinking it in tea form or taking it in capsule form. However, in certain European countries people are actually given Echinacea intravenously when they are undergoing cancer treatment to boost their immunity throughout the course of their treatment. Sometimes it is mixed with Vitamin C to form a throat lozenge. (As you can tell, Echinacea has a great deal in common with Vitamin C, another wonderfully effective immunity booster.) You can also buy liquid flavored Echinacea for young children.
Step 4Another way to use Echinacea is topically as an herbal remedy for various skin conditions, including insect stings and bites, acne, psoriasis and eczema.
Note that while Echinacea is a great herbal remedy for treating colds, for more serious conditions like bronchitis or strep throat, which tend to require antibiotic treatments. Always see your doctor if you have any concerns about any upper respiratory condition you may be experiencing. Echinacea is a wonderfully effective herbal remedy, but remember that it is not a "cure-all."
Tips & Warnings
Of course not every natural remedy is a good fit for every individual. You may have certain allergies, for example that prevent you from using one treatment or another. Consult your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about this or any other medicine, natural or otherwise.