When it comes to taking care of health, the trends usually remain the same for many years until a number of breakthroughs of scientific studies happen. From the 1950s and onwards, the habit of taking over the counter medication started to develop.
What happened in 1950?
The drugs that are commonly bought and taken to relieve everyday issues such as fever, fatigue, headache, and body pains were introduced. Antibiotics did not exist until the mid-1950s in the world.
Fortunately, the advancements in medical science have helped in people tackling many of the health conditions, some of which were previously considered fatal, at home in a comparatively less amount of time.
However, in the recent years, the trends have shifted once more. Different researchers have now started to highlight the problem with medicines and their possible side effects.
One of the widespread problems with pills was the development of resistant bacteria and microbes that were no longer affected by the formulas in the medicines. People who took medicines frequently for whatever reason were observed to grow resistant to them as well.
The other major problem with medication was the number of side effects and the rise in cases of their use for suicide and accidental overdose.
This lead to people controlling the number of pills that otherwise formed an important part of their everyday life.
In addition, a study conducted in 2011 showed that there was a rising trend towards returning to using natural and home remedies to cure several conditions.
Statistically, many people in the United States, mostly young adults, have been becoming increasingly aware of dangers of taking too many medicines.
The medicinal herb industry has too considerably grown as they offer far less or no side effects and can offer multiple benefits at the same time. Many of the herbs which were used anciently like in Ayurvedic treatments now have scientific backing.
The name of the herb Echinacea was not common among people until the 2000s when a lot of studies were held on it. In accordance with American Botanical Council, the sale of herbal supplements has gone up as far as 7.9% in 2013, crossing six billion dollars for the first time.
Among all other herbs, Echinacea was the one topping the list. The sales of Echinacea above all others rose about 94 percent. Today Echinacea supplement is a 30 million dollar industry.
What is the reason behind the sudden increase in the sales?
It is because of the many benefits offered by the flower that only a few other plants can match. Secondly, the conclusion of studies on the flower showed that it is highly unlikely that its use can be dangerous to anyone.
What Is Echinacea?
Echinacea is a Native American coneflower that has been used for its medicinal purposes for hundreds of years. The Great Plains Indian Tribes used the coneflower because of its many health benefits about 400 years ago.
Though Echinacea is commonly referred to as coneflowers, they are technically put under the herb category. The Echinacea plants were always known for its spices made from its flowers, roots, and leaves.
Though the herb was widely popular in Native Americans, it lost its status in the 19th century only to regain popularity at the start of the 1900s.
The herb was used frequently due to its medicinal purposes but the introduction of antibiotics and the shift in trends of medical science became the reasons behind the end of the coneflower’s fame.
However, with the passage of time, the plant started to appear in gardens of people around the United States. The plant Echinacea pallid or what is known as the pale purple flower in gardening rhetoric is one of the popular when it comes to home gardening.
In addition to other benefits offered by the plant, it is one of the favorites among butterfly enthusiast and gardeners liked for its resemblance with daisies as well as pink or purple petals.
One of the interesting things that set this plant apart from others is the difference in chemical composition in different parts. Most people are unaware of the fact that the chemicals present in Echinacea plant’s roots are not the same as the ones in the upper portion.
Taking a closer look at any research on chemicals on Echinacea, one can see that the roots of the plant contain high concentrations of volatile acid while polysaccharides are present in abundance in the parts that grow above the soil.
The Echinacea extract available in most stores is a composition of the chemicals from those upper parts rather than the ones under the soil.
The Echinacea plant is best known for its abundant amount of immune system stimulating chemical constituents, many of which are well-known such as flavonoids, essential oils, Vitamin C, polysaccharides, and insulin.
The reason why the extracts usually contain constituents from the upper parts is that they are the most effective ones as backed by the report by the University of Maryland Medical Centre.
In Germany, the government is responsible for the regulation of dietary herbs and the upper parts of the Echinacea plant are an approved natural remedy for various health conditions such as urinary tract infection, slow-healing wounds, upper respiratory tract infection, and colds.
The Benefits of Echinacea Plant For Health
The Echinacea plant has been used for years for its medicinal and therapeutic effect. Some of the many benefits of the plant include:
The National Institute of Health has published some of the most recent studies on the benefits of Echinacea plant. The most important thing to notice in the conclusion of those studies is the presence of great quantities of phytochemicals in the plant.
This means the plant can be used as an effective natural treatment for tumors in the body. The use of Echinacea as one of the natural treatments for cancer is now being purposed and worked on by researchers.
The Echinacea plant upon its discovery the Great Plains Indians was used firstly for reducing different types of pains in the body.
The plant has become one of the most commonly used natural pain reliever in many cases and conditions such as:
- Pain in HSV (herpes)
- A toothache
- Pain in the bowels
- Gonorrhea pain
- Pain associated with measles
- A sore throat
- Snake Bites
- Pain in joints
- Muscle fatigue
It is also very easy to use Echinacea for curing these kinds of pains. The two ways to use the plant are to either drink a herbal tea made out of Echinacea leaves or apply a paste made after drying the herb on the affected areas.
Just like a number of other herbs, Echinacea can be used especially for digestion and gastrointestinal issues in the body. It functions as a highly effective and mild laxative for fast constipation relief or for calming.
Drinking herbal tea is especially recommended in such cases. In severe conditions, a doctor may recommend taking a cup of the tea every day with or without the dietary supplements. Make sure to not consume more than the instructions.
Immune System Booster
The benefit which gained Echinacea its popularity today is its ability to strengthen the immune system. A study published in the Lancet Infectious Diseases Journal showed that Echinacea can help reduce the chances of catching contagious diseases by 58%.
The most fundamental results of the effects of Echinacea on the immune system were on the recurring infections.
By taking the supplements or tea, a person is less likely to have the problem of suffering from the same infection time and again.