Nature's Remedies - Echinacea
Nature’s Remedies – Echinacea
Commonly known as the purple coneflower or the Sampson root, native American shamans were the first to recognize its medicinal properties in that it can activate the body’s immune system , the inbuilt system that helps the body to heal itself. The freshly crushed juice of this flower was used in combination with other medicinal beverages and also as a compress. Specifically, its immune boosting properties has been established by a number of scientific studies. It increases the number of immune cells and also activates it. It is an excellent preventative against flu, colds and other bacterial, viral and fungal infections. As far as external application goes, a tincture made with Echinacea helps heal wounds.
Echinacea comes in many forms, but the one that is used for medicinal purposes is the Echinacea purpurea which is used in the manufacture of pills, liquids, chewable tablets and even as instant tea. At times it is strengthened with other herbal extracts to increase its effectiveness. Especially when combined with water hemp, wild indigo and arnica, its immune boosting capabilities are greatly enhanced.
To kick start the immune system an initial high dosage of Echinacea is required. Some eighty drops of Echinacea is recommended for two days, after when it can be reduced to the normal fifteen drops three times daily. It can be taken either pure or diluted with water.
As a compress, soak a damp cloth in a solution of Echinacea and water in the proportion of 1:2 and apply gently in the affected place. It can help relieve swollen glands, infected cuts , skin abrasions, inflammations of the vein, burns and insect bites that have inflamed. Fever blisters can also be treated with Echinacea, as soon as it begins to tingle or itch. A few drops of the pressed juice on a swab pressed to the affected area can stop the progression of the lesions.
Echinacea can be used for the treatment of
- Colds and flu,
- Cold sores,
- Ear problems,
- Fungal infections,
- Shingles and
- Sore throats.
Of late it has been observed that extreme physical exertion during athletic training can lower the functioning of the body’s immune system. This increases the susceptibility to infection. It has been recommended by sports physicians that those people who undergo endurance training take Echinacea for a couple of days after the training period to strengthen the immune system.
Nature has given us varieties of natural remedies and Echinacea is one of them. The North Americans have used it for ages as a herbal medicine and its uses are now also being used in the modern world.