Drinking echinacea tea may be an option if you are tired of the same old tea. The tea is derived from a group of herbaceous flowering plants in the daisy family. There are ten species used in herbal remedies for a host of ailments. Here Dr. Joseph Mercola, Mercola.com, reflects on the benefits of echinacea:
“You’ve most likely heard of echinacea, also known as coneflower, and the many potential health benefits that it can provide. A member of the Asteraceae family,1 along with lettuce, artichokes, dandelion and sunflower, echinacea has been used for over 400 years by Native Americans to ease infections, help wounds heal and as a “cure-all” for different illnesses.2 There are many ways to use echinacea — dried herb, liquid extracts, capsules and pills3 are some products you can buy today. However, have you ever heard of echinacea tea? Let’s take a closer look at this beverage to see what it may do for your well-being.
What Is Echinacea Tea?
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Made from the leaves and flower buds (and sometimes roots) of the plant,4 echinacea tea has been used for hundreds of years as a remedy for a wide range of ailments.5 There are three species that are popular as herbal remedies and can be made into tea, which are:6
• Echinacea angustifolia
• Echinacea pallida
• Echinacea purpurea
In the U.S., echinacea tea’s healing properties became popular during the 18th and 19th centuries, but this shifted with the increased use of antibiotics. Today, however, people still drink it in order to ease infections and improve their immune system — and more.7 Some enjoy only using the plant parts, while others make use of other ingredients like honey and lemon to give the flavor a boost.
Echinacea Tea Benefits
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The notable benefits of echinacea come from its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties. It’s also identified as an immune-strengthening agent.8 Hence, drinking a cup of echinacea tea may provide these benefits, and more:9
• Helps fight off the common cold and flu — Drinking echinacea tea may help shorten the duration of cold and flu symptoms, and to reduce risk of complications, according to a study in Current Therapeutic Research, Clinical and Experimental journal.10
In a meta-analysis published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, the herb is found to reduce the risk of developing a cold by 58 percent and to shorten its duration by 1.4 days. Researchers noted, however, that these benefits may occur only with a high-quality echinacea supplement.11
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• May help control blood sugar levels — According to a 2017 study, prediabetics and diabetics can help manage both hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) and high blood pressure by taking an echinacea extract. It also provides additional antioxidant properties.12
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• Promotes healthy cell growth — High-quality echinacea supplements and tea may help promote healthy cell growth in your body and eliminate free radicals that cause premature cell aging and damage.13
• May help ease anxiety — The extract from the herb was found to have anti-anxiety properties14 by helping regulate the excitatory synaptic transmissions in the hippocampus, potentially lessening feelings of anxiety in your brain. Tea preparations may impart this benefit, too.
Potential Side Effects of Drinking Echinacea Tea
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The echinacea herb has been linked to several side effects, which may be passed on to the tea. According to WebMD, upset stomach is the most common adverse reaction to this herb. Those who have allergies to plants belonging to the daisy family should also skip echinacea, as it may lead to reactions such as:
• Worsened asthma symptoms
• Anaphylaxis (having trouble breathing, which can be life-threatening)
Echinacea can also interact with certain medications like antifungals and prescription drugs for heart problems like amiodarone. When taken in combination with this herb or herbal tea, these drugs can put you at risk of liver damage.”
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Read More … Article Source: https://articles.mercola.com/teas/echinacea-tea.aspx
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