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10 Potential Benefits of Echinacea

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola

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  • Echinacea, also known as the American coneflower, is a brightly colored medicinal plant named for the prickly spines in its large cone-shaped seed head
  • Native Americans were the first to discover the curative properties of this wild herb, which they dubbed “elk root” after noticing elk sought out echinacea whenever they were sick or wounded
  • Although used widely in the treatment of all kinds of diseases and infections prior to the introduction of antibiotics in the U.S., this popular herb is now best known for its ability to shorten cold and flu duration
  • While valued as an immune system booster, echinacea provides at least nine other benefits you may want to consider, including its antiaging potential, anticancer properties and anti-inflammatory benefits, as well as its usefulness for pain relief and wound healing

Echinacea, also known as the American coneflower, is a brightly colored medicinal plant named for the prickly spines in its large cone-shaped seed head. Based on those spines, its name is derived from the Greek word ekhînos, meaning hedgehog. Although used widely to treat all kinds of diseases and infections prior to the introduction of antibiotics in the U.S., this popular herb is now prized for its ability to shorten the duration of colds and flu.

Echinacea is available in many forms — capsules, dried, essential oil and tea, to name a few — and features prominently as an ingredient in both mainstream and natural cold remedies, cough drops and supplements. While best known as an immune system booster, echinacea provides at least nine other health benefits you may want to consider.


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