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What is Echinacea?

Long before Columbus set foot on the American continent, the Indians were treated with echinacea for almost all diseases – from colds and headaches to burns and snake bites. It’s the 21st century, and numerous studies have confirmed that primitive tribes have discovered a real treasure. Today it is one of the most popular medicinal herbs in the world, and its beneficial effect on humans and its effectiveness against a wide range of diseases are recognized by official medicine. Read who and how to take echinacea, what are the contraindications, and most importantly – is it really capable of strengthening the immune system and increasing the body’s ability to resist disease.

What is Echinacea

The genus of this plant has about a dozen species. For medical purposes, purpurea echinacea is mainly used, but sometimes to enhance the effect, narrow-leaved and pale echinacea is also added to it.
These natives of the American prairies are about a meter high and in summer they delight the eye with beautiful flowers with different colors of petals for each type. Flowers, and stems with leaves, and the root system have useful properties – usually the whole plant is used for medicinal collection.

In what form is it better to take echinacea

The plant is consumed in various forms: decoctions, alcoholic infusions, teas. The most effective and convenient dietary supplements are based on plant extract. A special patented extraction technology for the Echinacea Plus additive allows you to preserve the active ingredients in full.

Echinacea for immunity: beneficial properties

At the State University of Iowa, it has been experimentally proven that this plant is a broad-spectrum immunomodulator. It helps to increase immunity of both types: the one that is genetically passed down from generation to generation, and that that appears during life and constantly “learns” to recognize new threats.
Researchers at the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy processed statistics from 14 different studies and found that the plant reduced the likelihood of developing acute respiratory infections by 58% and the duration of colds by 1.4 days.
Teas, tinctures and extract-based tablets also have a number of other beneficial properties.

Echinacea property


Research year

Benefits for the body

Contains many antioxidants

Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, University of Pharmaceutical Sciences (Denmark)


Antioxidants protect cells from premature destruction. Alkamides enhance the effectiveness of antioxidants.

May Help Fight Acne

University of British Columbia (Canada)


In a laboratory experiment, echinacea extract easily killed the bacteria that cause acne.

Reduces feelings of anxiety

Institute for Experimental Medicine (Hungary)


Healthy volunteers who drank echinacea extract showed long-term improvement in anxiety scores.

Regulates blood sugar

Hung Quang University (Taiwan)


Due to the suppression of enzymes responsible for the digestion of carbohydrates, the flow of sugar into the blood is reduced. This, in turn, reduces the risk of developing diabetes.

According to scientists from the Isfahan University of Technology, the plant also contains a unique selection of other useful active ingredients, including caffeic and rosmarinic acid, phenolic acids, polyacetylenes.

Who and in what cases is it recommended to take echinacea?

Echinacea can be recommended to anyone whose immune system is at risk. These are people who live in an unfavorable climate and ecological environment, work a lot, and often experience stress. The inability to adhere to the correct diet with the necessary balance of vitamins and minerals also has a bad effect on the immune system.
Take preparations based on the extract of this plant if you notice in yourself:

  • susceptibility to infections;
  • depressed mood;
  • rapid fatigue;
  • sleep disturbance;
  • chronic fatigue.

For any of these symptoms, adults should take a 2-3 week course.

Contraindications and side effects

The use of preparations based on the plant extract is safe and has practically no side effects if the instructions are followed. In case of an allergic reaction, you should stop taking dietary supplements and contact your doctor.
There are contraindications for progressive systemic diseases (tuberculosis, leukemia, multiple sclerosis, collagenosis). You should also refrain from using it during pregnancy and lactation.
In addition, there is another important nuance in the use of dietary supplements based on plant extract: not all manufacturers work in good faith. An analysis of tabletted forms of echinacea preparations carried out by employees of the University of Colorado showed that 10% of the supplements purchased in the store did not contain the active ingredient indicated on the package, and in 52% its amount did not correspond to the label. Of course, if you take such a drug, you will hardly be able to significantly raise immunity. To avoid wasting money and time, buy dietary supplements based on echinacea extract only from proven brands with a worldwide reputation that value their reputation.


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