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What is Echinacea?


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How does Echinacea help?
By Tash Hughes of Word Constructions

Although there are different opinions on the benefits of using Echinacea medicinally, many people use Echinacea every day. Echinacea is used by Native Americans, Eastern health practitioners, Westerners and homeopaths.

There is certainly a general acceptance that Echinacea helps reduce the severity and duration of colds and flus. Other ailments are also treated successful with Echinacea, and have been for hundreds of years.

The following details give some indication of how Echinacea may be beneficial to human health.

Antibacterial and antiviral

Echinacea is a mild antibiotic and is effective against staphylococcus and streptococcal (two common bacteria causing infections in humans.)

It prevents the formation of an enzyme called hyaluronidase. This enzyme is produced by microbes and destroys the cell walls and allows the virus or bacteria to penetrate the cell.

It also aids in the production of interferon which kills viruses such as those causing the flu and herpes.

There is some indication that Echinacea may also be effective against fungal and protozoan infections (eg malaria).

Stimulation of the immune system

There are a number of components of Echinacea that can aid immunity.

    It increases the migration of white blood cells which will fight any foreign bodies (such as bacteria) in the blood

    Large polysaccharides produce T cells which are critical for the regulation and control of the immune response

    Fatty acids provide energy to boost the immune system

This may make Echinacea useful in treating cancers in the future but research so far is very limited.

External use

Echinacea can stimulate the healing of wounds and bites. It can also help treat burns, ulcers, psoriasis and eczema when applied directly to the skin.


It can reduce the amount of swelling and reaction in the lymphatic swelling of disorders such as arthritis. This is also why Echinacea has been used for snake and insect bites.

There are a number of components likely to give Echinacea its anti-inflammatory properties.


Please note that Echinacea is NOT recommended for people with autoimmune diseases or an allergy to daisy flowers of the daisy family which includes ragweed, chrysanthemums and marigolds. Some drugs have been shown to be less effective if used with Echinacea in laboratory tests this may or may not be relevant to humans so get advice if you take itraconazole, fexafenacline or lovastatin.

There are differing opinions on the side effects of using Echinacea so this should be considered before self-administering Echinacea.



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.

  Xlear Australia

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