Benefits of Echinacea Purpurea
Echinacea Purpurea is also called the purple coneflower because of its cone shaped flowering heads. However, these flowering heads are not always purple in color. The plant is found commonly in North America where many people even grow it for decorative purposes as the flower is quite attractive. Â There are many diseases that are treated with Echinacea Purpurea, for example, colds, flu and infections. During flu season many people opt to take regular doses of Echinacea Purpurea as per their physician's orders to avoid falling sick. In fact, there is reason to believe that this herb may offer the best possible cure to the common cold.
How Does it Work?
Echinacea Purpurea helps the human body boost the activity of antibodies that fight off infections. This herb significantly improves the body's immunity and thus reduces the risk of contracting diseases. Even immunity to cancer is increased with regular ingestion of Echinacea Purpurea.
Scientific research has proven that Echinacea Purpurea stimulates phagocytosis, because of which foreign bodies that may put our bodies at risk are destroyed by white blood cells and lymphocytes in our body.
By improving the body's immunity, Echinacea Purpurea extracts keep the person healthy and at lower risk to even serious illnesses like cancer. Regular intake of this herb improves the response of our body's cells in combating cancer cells. It has been found that the production of interferon is enhanced by this herb. This and other products such as Tumor Necrosis Factor, that are more actively produced when the herb is consumed, help fight off cancerous cells.
This herb is also found extremely beneficial in treating external wounds. It actually boosts the growth of new tissue in the wound area and also reduces inflammation that usually accompanies any injury. The herb's ability to fight off infections lets the wound heal quicker too. One interesting point to note here is that the ingestion of Echinacea Purpurea restricts the access that bacteria have to healthy cells in our body. When bacteria are prevented from infecting healthy cells in this way, the severity of the infection is reduced dramatically. This is one of the main reasons why this herb is so effective when used to heal wounds.
Echinacea Purpurea also curbs the growth of bacteria or stops it entirely, further leading to quick healing of wounds and injuries.
How is it Used?
Every part of the Echinacea Purpurea is used in some way to benefit the human body. The leaf, root and flower are used in different ways with different effects. The parts of the plant that are above ground are used fresh to make decoctions or teas. The juice extracted from these parts is also used, although mainly for external uses such as applying on wounds. The leaves or root can also be dried for storage and use in future.
Echinacea Purpurea is mainly used to prevent or cure respiratory infections, but it has also been found quite effective in treatment of fatigue related problems such as CFS, migraines and stress induced indigestions. One more effective treatment area where Echinacea Purpurea has proven its worth is with yeast infections where the herb is seen to inhibit yeast growth.