Health Benefits of Echinacea Tea
During winter, we are always trying to find ways to stay healthy so for the past several months we have been routinely drinking our Echinacea tea and can happily report that we have not had a sniffle! As I began doing research on this botanical, I was astounded about how widely used it has been for hundreds of years. This powerful natural herbal remedy is known by its Latin name Echinacea purpurea, also called purple coneflower. This plant is native to North America. It grows in the wild but is widely included in gardens because of its beautiful flowers that attract many pollinators.
The wise Native Americans used this potent natural medicine long before European settlers arrived. They used Echinacea to treat a wide variety of ailments, including toothache, coughs, colds, sore throats, snakebite, and as a painkiller. It was also chewed ritually during ceremonies and is considered one of the sacred Life Medicines of the Navajo tribe. The use of Echinacea has been documented in some 20 tribes throughout the country. To underscore the significant contribution of using plants as medicine by Native Americans, today 7 of the 10 most common botanicals sold in the United States were extensively used by Native Americans.
Furthermore, it was fascinating to discover that when Lewis and Clark learned about Echinacea during their expedition in 1805, they shipped the roots and seeds back to President Jefferson as one of their more important finds.
Echinacea is highly touted as a natural immune system booster; however, it can be used to treat many other health issues. In fact, some research suggests that using Echinacea may significantly lower the risk of developing a cold and may shorten the duration of cold symptoms by half.
How does this powerful plant work? Echinacea contains many antioxidants which are molecules that help cells fight threats that cause disease. Several of these antioxidants are flavonoids, cichoric acid and rosmarinic acid which help to bolster the immune system.
Additionally, Echinacea plants contain compounds called alkamides which can further promote antioxidant activity. There is ongoing research about alkamides but thus far the scientific findings are quite promising about the positive role they play.
Besides bolstering immunity, Echinacea research suggests several other important health benefits such as lowering blood sugar levels, reducing anxiety and treating certain skin conditions. It may also be used to treat pain, inflammation, and migraines. There is a lot more information about additional benefits of Echinacea, but we’ll save that for another day.
Echinacea tea has a lovely earthy flavor that tastes soothing and delicious. Our blend is made up of leaf and roots of the plant. Unlike some herbal teas that are challenging to drink because of strong flavors, this one is very pleasant. We would recommend brewing the Echinacea tea for 5 minutes and drinking one cup in the morning and one mid-afternoon.
Providing opportunities to bolster good health is incredibly important to us and we sincerely hope our teas and herbals are keeping you healthy both physically and emotionally. As always, we suggest you consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications. Stay well and seek peace in your daily tea ceremonies.