Echinacea is an herb. It comes from the purple coned flower. You can purchase echinacea in tablet, juice or tea form. It is best to purchase the echinacea by itself and to make sure that there is a high percentage of aerial part in it. What I mean by that is that you do not want to mix two herbs together in the same tablet,juice or tea. Some other herbs are questionable mixed with echinacea.
Echinacea is mainly used to fight infections such as the common cold or upper respiratory infections. Some people take it at the first sign of a cold. Some use it to apply to the skin if they have skin wounds, ulcers, burns, psoriasis or herpes simplex(cold sores).
Why do they use echinacea? Its been well known that echinacea decreases inflammation as a result reducing cold and flue symptoms. It can stimulate the body’s immune system by raising your white blood cells. The white blood cells are the cells that fight off infections in your body. This is why this herb is widely used by millions of people.
Now, let me explain when echinacea can be a dangerous herb. First of all, you should only take this herb at the first sign of infection. And, stop as soon as you start to feel better. Never take echinacea more than two weeks. What it does is raise your white blood cells to attack the infection in or on your body. If you are healthy or without infection the white blood cells will attack healthy cells and you do not want that. If you are allergic to ragweed, mums, marigolds or daises, you definitely will have a allergic reaction to this herb. If you apply it on the skin you may experience redness, itchiness or a rash.
Very important! If you have leukemia or any blood cancers where your white blood cells are affected than do not take echinacea. Why, echinacea raises your white blood cells! One kind of leukemia produces abnormal white blood cells. So, if you take this herb you are in fact increasing the amount of abnormal white blood cells in your blood. Thus, lessening your chances of survival.
If you are a person that is on daily medications you should talk to your doctor first before taking this herb. And, if you are not on any medications, you should still consult a doctor first. This is a very powerful herb. Educate yourself first before taking any herb or any one giving you an herb to take.