Word Constructions ~ Health Articles and more


About Word Constructions

Packages Offeed by Word Constructions

Services offered by Word Constructions

Contact Word Constructions


For free monthly writing tips and information, subscribe to our newsletter

Proud Sponsor of:

Save Time Online for Health resources


"Tash has so much passion for what she does and can come up with interesting articles on almost any topic within a few hours."  Ally Lamont of www.webgraphicsbyemail.com.au

      Contact Word Constructions

This article is available for free use on your web site or in your newsletter.

It must be acknowledged as written by Tash Hughes of www.wordconstructions.com.au and copyright remains the property of Tash Hughes.

Please notify us of your use of this article or to request information on commissioned articles.



You may also be interested in the following articles:

Chicken Pox Vaccine

Slap Cheek or Fifth's Disease

The uses of aspirin


What is folate?

Prostrate Gland Simplified


What is Echinacea?

By Tash Hughes of Word Constructions

Echinacea is a plant native to Eastern USA. The name Echinacea is derived from the Greek word echinos meaning hedgehog – this relates to the spiky centre of each flower.

The Echinacea plant

There are 9 different species of the plant, although Echinacea purpurea is the easiest to grow and therefore the most common variety.

The plants

  • Like full sun or light shade in hot climates
  • Grow in poor and dry soils
  • Flower in mid-summer to early autumn
  • Are grown in many parts of the world now
  • Are about 60 -120 cm tall and 45 – 50 cm wide
  • The flowers are on long stems which usually don’t droop
  • Are related to the Daisy family
  • Grow from a thick, black root.

Echinacea History

Echinacea was used by the native Americans for many years. One of the key uses they had was for treating snake bites, so Echinacea is also known as snake root. They also used it for treating insect bites, smallpox, sore throats, measles and toothache.

During the 1800s, European settlers also began to use Echinacea medicinally. This continued until the use of antibiotics became widespread as the ‘cure anything’ drug. Echinacea has become popular again as a herbal treatment in the last 20 or so years.

Medicinal Uses

Three of the Echinacea species are generally used for medicinal purposes, largely because they are easier to cultivate. The medicines can be derived form the root or the above ground parts of the plant, depending on the species.

Echinacea can be used as an extract, juice or dried.

As with many herbal or alternative health treatments, there are differing views as to the benefits of Echinacea. Many studies have been carried out but have shown different results; comparisons of these studies is complicated, however, by the use of different species and different forms of the medicine on the same medical issue.

On the whole, medical practitioners don’t recommend or prescribe Echinacea due to a lack of clear evidence, but they also don’t object to its use.

Echinacea has been used to:

  • Treat upper respiratory infections, including colds and flu
  • Relieve hayfever
  • Treat urinary tract infections (only anecdotal evidence to support this use)
  • Activate or boost the immune system (most current research is focussing on this potential)
  • Act as an antibiotic
  • ‘purify’ blood
  • Act as an antiviral agent against flu and herpes
  • Stimulate wound healing
  • Benefits skin conditions such as eczema, burns, insect bites, ulcers and acne
  • Reduce inflammation associated with arthritis and lymphatic swellings
  • Treat CFS, indigestion, gastro and weight loss as a homeopathic remedy

Side Effects and the like

At the moment, no one knows exactly what is in Echinacea that makes it useful medicinally. This means that there are no standards for commercial Echinacea products, so each brand you try could have different results for the same illness.

Anyone allergic to daisies and those taking itraconazole, fexafenacline and lovastatin may experience reactions so probably should avoid taking Echinacea.

Of all adverse reactions to alternative therapies in Australia, about 10% involve Echinacea, with about half of them being allergic reactions. With about 200 million doses of Echinacea being used in Australia annually, that’s about 20,000,000 reactions a year!

Other than allergies, other side effects appear to be either minor or rare. However, there are some research results which indicate the side effects are more significant.



Clear communication is critical to the success of any business, but it is often left to care for itself in many businesses. Tash Hughes is a professional and skilled writer who makes technical and otherwise boring information accessible for everyone a business needs to communicate with. Next time you need webcopy, articles, newsletters, reports or any other business document, visit www.wordconstructions.com.au to see how Tash and her team can help your business succeed.



© 2006, Tash Hughes

Web Graphics by Web Graphics By Email