Please note: If you have an autoimmune disorder or take immunosuppressive drugs, we advise avoiding echinacea or consulting your health professional first.
With cold and flu season raging this winter, it’s wise to explore the natural cold remedies that Mother Nature provides for fighting illness. Grown on the Eminence Certified Organic Farm, the echinacea flower is not only considered one of our best natural remedies for flu and cold, but it also attacks inflammation and bacteria and protects the skin. This colorful daisy-shaped bloom, used for over 4000 years in herbal medicine, could help you in ways you haven’t even considered. (SFGate) Here are five amazing echinacea benefits you need to know about right now:
Fights off colds
According to the University of Colorado Extension Service, “echinacea may decrease the length and severity of your next cold”, and who doesn’t want that? (SFGate). However, it’s crucial to get the timing right – if you feel the sniffles coming on, you want to act now. Dr. Chris D’Adamo, assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, advises, “It may help treat a cold but you have to get it at the very first sign. Once you’re full on in it with congestion and feeling terrible, it’s unlikely to do anything.” (The Cut)
Helps your immune system
How does echinacea help stave off that energy-draining bout of cold or flu? The University of Maryland School of Medicine says that parts of the echinacea plant contain polysaccharides, which stimulate the immune system. Although the herb is generally safe, its boost to the immune system may not be right for everyone. People who have autoimmune disorders, and suffer from overactive immune systems that attack their own body, should avoid taking echinacea.
Echinacea doesn’t just do battle with viruses, it might also destroy bacteria. A medical study discovered that the herb appears to stop the bacteria that cause pneumonia and strep throat. (SF Gate) This means that echinacea may not only prevent cases of cold and flu, it might block them from worsening into even more serious illnesses.
Protects the skin
Throughout thousands of years of traditional herbal medicine, echinacea has been used to protect the skin from abuse by the elements. Applied topically, the herb is known as a remedy for various skin conditions. In fact, we use it as a key ingredient in Eminence Organics Echinacea Recovery Cream. Using echinacea carefully cultivated on organic farms and blended with yarrow and evening primrose oil, our Echinacea Recovery Cream reduces the visible signs of aging and soothes dry, irritated skin.
One reason why echinacea is so effective in protecting the skin is its apparent ability to reduce inflammation. This herbal ingredient cools down skin inflammation, says registered dietitian and nutritionist Amy Shapiro. If your skin is irritated by eczema, psoriasis or even a bug bite, a dose of echinacea eases the irritation. In the same way, general pain caused by inflammation – from headaches to sore throats – may be soothed by taking echinacea.
In Hungary, we call echinacea “God’s Gift”, and we traditionally brew a pot of echinacea tea to ward off colds, flus and flareups on the skin. Here’s a comforting recipe of echinacea tea with plenty of honey and lemon to boost the immune system this season. As noted above, if you suffer from an autoimmune disorder, avoid taking echinacea or consult with your doctor before doing so.
Homemade Echinacea Tea Recipe
2 cups boiling water
1 teaspoon organic dried echinacea
1 organic lemon
1 teaspoon organic honey
Pour boiling water over the dried echinacea and let it steep for 15 minutes. Strain out the herb, then squeeze in the juice of one lemon and add stir in the honey. Drink and enjoy all the benefits of echinacea!
Find out more about the echinacea we cultivate, as well as other plants grown and harvested on the Eminence Certified Organic Farm. Do you have your own natural remedies for flu and cold that you swear by? Let us know in the comments below or tell us about them on social media at Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube | G+.