Echinacea tea is a herbal remedy that can help boost your health and wellness. The Native Americans have used it for centuries, and its popularity has only grown in recent years due to its purported benefits.
It’s rich in various nutrients and compounds, including caffeic acid, phenolic acids, alkamides, and rosmarinic acid.
These compounds can help boost immunity, improve cognitive functions, prevent infections, and improve respiratory conditions.
Also, modern research agrees that this tea can relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and offer antioxidant benefits.
Moreover, it has a pleasant taste that you’ll be sure to like. Let’s explore more on the health benefits of this remedy so you can decide if it’s right for you.
What is Echinacea Tea?
Echinacea tea is an herbal tea made from parts of the Echinacea plant belonging to the Daisy family and originating from North America. The Echinacea plant is also referred to as pale purple coneflower or American coneflower.
The tea is made by infusing the flowers and leaves of the plant in hot water. Besides making tea, the plant can make essential oils, herbal remedies, and herbal supplements.
Generally, Echinacea tea has been used for centuries due to its medicinal properties, which include boosting the immune system, reducing inflammation, and alleviating cold and flu symptoms. Moreover, the tea is sometimes blended with herbs such as Elderberry and Ginger to enhance its properties.
Flavor Profile of Echinacea Tea
Echinacea tea has a unique tingling sensation that is invigorating and refreshing.
Also, the tea has a strong, distinctive flavor that is heavily floral, with notes of pine nuts and meadowsweet.
Notably, the tea is often blended with other herbs, such as lemongrass and mint, to create a smoother flavor blend perfect for those who prefer a strong, flavorful tea with a unique taste.
The Proven Benefits of Echinacea Tea
1. Boosts immunity
Strong immunity is essential for maintaining a healthy body and mind.
Traditionally, Echinacea tea has been used to boost the immune system and fend off infections.
The tea contains antibacterial properties that can prevent pathogens from making you sick.
Additionally, taking the tea can alleviate sore throat symptoms and reduce aches and pains associated with the common cold and flu.
A meta-analysis of the impacts of Echinacea on the immune system found that Echinacea reduced the risk of developing a common cold by 58% while shortening the recovery time by one and a half days.
Moreover, Echinacea tea is beneficial in eliminating free radicals that contribute to oxidative stress and cell damage. Thus, promoting overall health by delaying aging and preventing neurological degeneration.
2. Prevents infections
Echinacea tea contains antibacterial properties that can help fight off yeast infections and urinary tract infections.
Studies suggest that the tea is rich in compounds such as caffeic acid and other tea polyphenols found in Echinacea leaves that have antiviral properties, which are essential in preventing infections.
Furthermore, other studies have reported that the tea contains polysaccharides which are effective in treating infections such as HIV. The study stated that these compounds work by preventing the replication of damaged cells, thus, preventing infections from taking hold.
3. Relieves pain
Originally, Echinacea was used by Native Americans to treat pain, similar to contemporary use in alleviating various types of pain. Generally, it can relieve pain ranging from toothaches to rheumatoid arthritis, abdominal pain like cramps, and irritable bowel syndrome.
A randomized, double-blind study examining the effects of Echinacea on pain showed that people who consumed Echinacea tea required fewer pain medications to relieve symptoms.
4. Soothes respiratory ailments
The tea is also beneficial in treating asthma symptoms and upper respiratory tract infections, often caused by allergies or the common cold.
Generally, Echinacea tea can improve airflow within the throat and lungs by relaxing inflamed muscles and suppressing histamine, the primary cause of allergic responses.
Research published in 2015 showed that Echinacea has bronchodilatory and anti-inflammatory effects similar to synthetic drugs used to treat asthma. As such, Echinacea can be a natural alternative to treating asthma symptoms.
5. Improves mood
A better mood can improve your overall health, including productivity, creativity, and motivation, as well as boost immunity and cognitive function, reduce stress and fight inflammation.
Echinacea tea’s aroma positively affects mood by reducing feelings of sadness and stress. Overly, the scent of Echinacea in the tea triggers the release of dopamine, a hormone associated with happiness.
Additionally, Echinacea is known to decrease levels of cortisol, commonly known as the stress hormone.
A study in Phytotherapy observed Echinacea’s effects on anxiety. The results showed that Echinacea significantly suppressed excitatory synapses, reducing feelings of fear and anxiety in individuals taking Echinacea extract.
That being said, Echinacea did not inhibit the synapsis entirely. This shows that Echinacea can help manage anxiety symptoms but not eliminate them.
6. Aids in lowering blood sugar levels
High blood sugar levels can cause a range of serious issues, including inflammation, liver disease, weight gain, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
Besides, if you have diabetes, too much sugar can lead to complications like blindness, kidney disease, and
According to test-tube studies, Echinacea plants can lower blood sugar levels.
Generally, these studies found that Echinacea extract, commonly used in making tea, can suppress enzymes that digest carbohydrates. Thus, reducing the amount of sugar entering the blood after eating.
Another study also found that other Echinacea extracts made cells more sensitive to insulin’s effects by activating the PPAR-y receptor, a common target of diabetes drugs.
As such, it aids in removing the excess glucose in the blood, which is a risk factor for insulin resistance. This makes it easier for cells to respond to insulin and sugar.
Conversely, there needs to be more human-based research on the effects of Echinacea on blood sugar to further confirm these benefits.
7. Beneficial in the treatment of skin concerns
Research has also shown that Echinacea tea contains polysaccharides and alkamides that are essential in reducing symptoms such as redness, itching, and swelling commonly associated with conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and acne.
Additionally, Echinacea tea contains antioxidants, which are beneficial in protecting the skin from damage caused by free radicals, such as UV radiation and pollution.
Moreover, these antioxidants are crucial in preventing premature aging and improving the skin’s appearance.
A recent study showed that Echinacea tea could also be used as a skin toner. Once you clean your face with your preferred face wash, apply Echinacea tea on your face with a cotton pad. Rinse after 15 minutes, then apply your usual moisturizer.
You can repeat this procedure daily to help tighten pores and remove impurities. In the long run, the procedure will aid in leaving the skin clear and refreshed.
8. Fights cancer
Cancer is a condition in which some of the body’s cells become defective, grow uncontrollably, and sometimes spread to other body parts.
However, Echinacea’s immune-boosting benefits may help suppress the growth of these cells as well as program their death.
In one study, Echinacea extract was shown to promote apoptosis (controlled cell death) in the colon and pancreatic cancer cells.
In a different study, Echinacea was shown to trigger cancer cell death in test tube studies.
While these findings are promising, more research on humans is needed to confirm these findings.
9. Reduces inflammation
Inflammation is the process by which the immune system identifies and eliminates harmful invaders and begins the process of healing. So it’s a healthy process and a part of the body’s defense mechanism.
However, chronic inflammation can damage cells and lead to disease.
Studies have shown that Echinacea can help fight inflammation.
One study found that taking Echinacea was more effective in relieving swelling and chronic pain associated with inflammation in patients with osteoarthritis. When asked to compare their relief to when taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), Echinacea was shown to be more effective.
Another study on animals found that Echinacea could reduce various inflammatory markers in the body leading to improved inflammation throughout the body.
10. Lowers the risk of heart disease
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, and Echinacea may help lower your risk.
Echinacea is rich in antioxidants that can help fight inflammation and improve blood vessel function leading to better heart health.
Echinacea can also help lower LDL cholesterol, another risk factor for heart disease.
11. Aids in tissue repair
Tissue repair is an essential process that helps heal wounds and prevent infections. It can also help your tissues recover after a stannous exercise. This is especially important for athletes, or people that work out regularly. Echinacea can boost tissue repair and healing by promoting new tissue growth and regeneration of damaged tissues. Moreover, Echinacea can fight inflammation and pain associated with tissue damage thus facilitating healing.
How to Make Echinacea tea
Echinacea tea is commonly made from the roots and flowers of the plant, but some people include even the leaves and stems.
You can use a little bit of each part or stick to the flowers and roots or flowers only.
- Add water to a kettle and bring it to boil
- Once the water is boiled, take it off the heat and let it cool for a minute or two
- In a tea mug, put Echinacea tea bag or loose tea leaves
- Pour in the hot water and cover.
- Let it steep for about 10-15 minutes
- Serve and enjoy
- To improve the taste of your tea, you can brew it with ginger, chamomile, lemon grass, peppermint, or elderberry.
- You can also squeeze in some lemon juice for a bit of zing and your favorite sweetener.
How often should you drink the tea?
Currently, there’s no clear information on how often or how much tea you should consume. However, experts recommend short-term use of Echinacea, so I guess the same can apply to its tea.
To be safe, take it once in a while for a short period of time (usually not more than 10 days in a row).
The best way is to take it when feeling ill with a cold, flu, bladder infection, or upper respiratory infection 2-3 times a day for less than 10 days.
Echinacea tea side effects
Echinacea tea is generally safe for most people to consume in a short period. However, it might cause side effects in sensitive individuals.
These may include
Some people may be allergic to Echinacea and can react if they drink tea made from it. Common symptoms include swelling, hives, and itching. In severe cases, one might experience difficulty in breathing.
Drinking too much of this tea can cause some digestive symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, heartburn, and stomach pain.
Interactions with other medications
The compounds in Echinacea can interact with common medications like those used to treat anxiety and depression, erectile dysfunction, seizures, migraines, heartburn, high blood pressure, psychiatric disorders, and many more. So always consult your doctor if on any medication to avoid complications.
Additionally, Echinacea can stimulate the immune system, so anyone with autoimmune conditions like lupus, psoriasis, or rheumatoid arthritis should speak to their doctor before taking Echinacea tea.
There’s limited information on the use of Echinacea tea for pregnant women and those breastfeeding.
If you fall in this category, it’s good to avoid this tea and other remedies that have inconclusive safety information.
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Echinacea tea is a sweet, floral drink that can satisfy your tea cravings and improve your mood. Due to its long history of being used as an herbal remedy, the tea can be a perfect choice, especially during cold seasons, as it can warm you up and relieve sore throat pain.
Nevertheless, Echinacea should only be used for a short period when one is not feeling well.
The compounds in Echinacea can also interact with various medications. So always talk to your doctor first if on any medication.
This tea can also cause various side effects like allergy, abdominal discomfort, and breathing difficulties. So always start with a low dose to see how well you can tolerate it.
In case of any side effects, discontinue use, then reintroduce but at a lower dose. If you still experience the side effects, avoid them altogether.
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