Health Benefits And Uses Of Echinacea Herb
Echinacea is a flower producing plant related to the daisy. It is native to open woodland and prairie areas in Central and Eastern regions of North America. Plains Indians first used Echinacea herb for medicinal purposes to treat sore throats, coughs, and headaches. Plant Essential's herbs are extracted from the Echinacea purpurea, which is a species also known as the Eastern Purple Coneflower and is grown organically in Germany. Other common names are snakeroot, Sampson root, and Black Sampson.

This herb is believed to provide a wide a variety of health benefits. Its role as an immunostimulator involves boosting the immune system to battle microbial infections. It also seems to have antibacterial and antibiotic properties.

The herb contains a wide variety of active substances. It contains phenols, which are strong antioxidants. In plants, phenols offer protection against damage from ultraviolet radiation and infections. They also control cell receptor and enzyme activity. Additional ingredients include alkylamides, glycoproteins, caffeic acid derivatives, and polysaccharides.

Many pathogens cause infection by activating an enzyme called hyaluronidase. Hyaluronidase destroys the barrier that prevents pathogens from penetrating through membranes and causing cell death and inflammatory infection. Echinacea wards again infection in part by inhibiting hyaluronidase activity. Bonding to the enzyme preserves the integrity of the protective barrier. At the same time, it helps stimulate the renewal of connective tissue cells destroyed by infection.

The herb is thought to boost the action of the body's t-lymphocytes, or T-cells. These cells are responsible for helping produce antibodies to fight viruses. They also aid white blood cells in dealing with any other harmful microorganisms. By boosting the body's immune system, it may help reduce a variety of symptoms associated with hay fever and infections of the respiratory system, including sinusitis and bronchitis. Many people use it to relieve the symptoms of sinus headaches.

Echinacea has anti-catarrhal properties, meaning it helps rid the body of excess mucous. The body produces excess mucous to ward off infections by eliminating excess carbohydrates and the organism causing the infection. This action is particularly helpful in treating nose, throat, and ear infections.

The German government is one of the few in the world that regulates the use of herbal medications. In that country, the herb is approved for treatment of a variety of ailments. These include urinary tract infections, upper respiratory infections, colds, and wounds that are slow healing. As with any herbal remedy, individuals should speak to a physician before using it to discuss any possible side effects or interactions with other medications.

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