Echinacea is an herb and many people use its leaves, roots and flowers to make medicine. It is native to North America and was used in herbal remedies by the Great Plains Native American tribe. It became popular when colonists followed the Native Americans’ example and started using echinacea for medicinal purposes. It fell out of favor when antibiotics were discovered, but recently became popular again because some antibiotics don’t work as well as they used to anymore.
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Nowadays, echinacea is used to fight infections like the common cold, flu and upper respiratory infections. It can also be used to fight gum disease, strep throat and ear and yeast infections. It’s most effective when you take it after your cold starts to lessen the severity of your symptoms. Echinacea can also be used topically to heal wounds and ulcers.
How does it work? The echinacea plant activates chemicals in your body to decrease inflammation, allowing it to reduce cold and flu symptoms. It also contains chemicals that attack yeast and other types of fungi directly, making it a great remedy for yeast infections. (via WebMD)
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