Echinacea is a genus of nine species of herbaceous plants in the family Asteraceae which are commonly called purple coneflowers. All are endemic to eastern and central North America, where they are found growing in moist to dry prairies and open wooded areas. They have large, showy heads of composite flowers, blooming from early to late summer.
Echinacea has long been known as the herb that boosts your over-all immune system and help ward off the common cold. While vaccines (such as flu shots) can be received in order to immunize against specific strands of viruses, Echinacea boosts the immune system in ways which are non-specific. Unlike antibiotics, which are designed to kill specific types of bacteria, Echinacea helps our own immune system better equipped to fighting bacteria, viruses and atypical cells– even cancer cells.
No single chemical has been found responsible for echinacea’s ability to stimulate the immune system; in fact, whole-plant extracts seem to be more effective than those containing an isolated compound. Certain polysaccharides, flavonoids, essential oils, caffeic acid derivatives, isobutylamides, and cichoric acid all may play a role in producing echinacea’s effects.Extracts from both the root and the flowering tops increase the number of white blood cells and activate macrophages, specialized cells that patrol the bloodstream in search of invading viruses, bacteria, or other foreign particles to ingest. Echinacea extracts also increase levels of properdin, a protein that battles bacteria and viruses.
Featured Blend: Herbal Oasis