According to scientific studies, the echinacea plant has many benefits that you will be surprised at. These benefits include preventing colds, strengthening the immune system, increase sperm quality, protecting against cancer, protecting from viral diseases such as coronavirus and even reducing anxiety disorders.
What is Echinacea? Where Does It Find?
Echinacea is a plant belonging to the Asteraceae family. It is a perennial plant that grows naturally in dry soil, plains and sparsely forested lands. It is known that this plant, whose homeland is North America, has been used especially against infections since ancient times. Native Americans used this herb for many diseases. In general, echinacea was used for poisoning, sore throat and toothache. According to researches carried out since 1950, substances that are highly effective against bacteria, microbes and viruses have been discovered in this plant. In addition to these, it contains minerals such as copper, iron, selenium, zinc, potassium and vitamins A, C and E. The most used method of this herb is echinacea tea.
For Which Diseases Is Echinacea Used For? What are the benefits?
This herb is effective against many diseases. Its effect against some diseases has been positive as a result of researches. In some, no effect was observed. But research is still ongoing on the echinacea plant.
- Its effect on immunity: It increases the number of white blood cells in the blood. Thus, the body’s immunity increases against microbes entering the body. In a study, it is stated that the substances of Echinacea, ginseng and astragalas have a positive effect on the immune system.
- Fighting with cancer: Studies on echinacea are thought to be partially effective against cancer.
- It has strong antibacterial and anti viral properties. Studies have shown that it is especially effective in cold and flu cold diseases. In studies conducted in Sweden, this plant has eliminated many symptoms of cold disease. However, some studies have also stated that there is no effect.
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): Echinacea is known to be effective against many viruses. It is especially effective in flu infections. However, it is not known whether it is effective against coronavirus. Although there are not many studies on this, it can also be effective against covid-19.
- Sperm quality: Ginger and echinacea extract were applied to frozen-thawed sperm in a study. As a result of this study, it was observed that sperm quality and productivity increased.
- Anxiety disorder: It was revealed in previous studies that echinacea herb may have an anxiety-reducing effect. According to the latest studies; In the experiment conducted on two groups, the anxiety level was more positive in the group using echinacea herb. In other words, those with anxiety disorders were able to stay calm.
- It treats acute upper respiratory tract. Most scientific data relate to the upper respiratory tract. It has proven to be particularly effective in the treatment of acute diseases such as pharyngitis.
Other benefits of this herb include:
- It prevents tonsillitis in children.
- It prevents allergic reactions.
- When used as a mouthwash, the wounds in the mouth can be treated.
- It can be an alternative to antibiotic use.
- It is effective against fungal infections.
- Supports treatment in rheumatism and arthritis incidents.
Are There Any Side Effects of Echinacea?
No specific side effects are noted. It is not recommended for use only in infants younger than 2 years of age, patients with tuberculosis and autoimmune patients such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. It is also not recommended for more than 6 weeks.
How to Make Echinacea Tea?
- First, you should boil water according to how many people you will do. Speaking for 1 glass; Boil 1 glass of water.
- Then put a few echinacea leaves (1-2 teaspoons if dried) in this water.
- After waiting for a while, boil again for 5 minutes.
- At the end, you can wait 3-5 minutes for brewing and drink after straining.