Use Echinacea to Improve Your Mood

Edited by estrella sacragon, Robbi, Lynn, Nuance

Having mood issues? If your mood swings are becoming a real problem, you may want to try something natural to calm them down; something wonderful like Echinacea.

Echinacea is an herbal medicine that originates from flowering

Estrella sacragon echinacea 1.jpg

plants in the daisy family "Asteracae" and is considered endemic to North America. This herb has been accredited with a lot of health benefits. In fact, Echinacea is considered a cure-all substance that is useful for treating a wide variety of health conditions - from small coughs to life-threatening diseases. Most commonly, it's considered an excellent immune booster, which directly affects a lot of things Echinacea is known to treat. Most effectively, it's roots are made into a tincture, but it can be used in pill form, in a tea, powdered and even as a topical, that's used for healing wounds. Because of its many healing effects, it has been studied extensively by scientists in an attempt to determine the benefits to your health. Echinacea may even help improve your mood.

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All About Echinacea

Echinacea is one of the world's most popular herbs because of their efficiency in treating colds and flu. It comes from the genus of herbaceous flowering plants from Asteraceae, a daisy family. Echinacea is also known as an American coneflower.

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  1. 1
    History
    .
    Echinacea was originally used by the Native Americans 100 years before the European explorers, colonizers, and settlers arrived. This herb is endemic to central and eastern USA, and southern Canada and thrives in moist to dry prairies, as well as open woodlands.
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  2. 2
    Echinacea is actually gained from perennial plant specie called the Echinacea Purpurea
    .
    This is a purple cornflower that is normally found native to North American soil. The Echinacea Purpurea strikingly resembles the black-eyed Susan, only it's purple, and the center is reddish purple. This plant is actually a very common sight in indigenous central plains, growing on prairies, at the sides of roads, fields, and also in dry and open woods. For the American First Nations people, this plant is referred to as "Snake Root" because it is used for the treatment of snake bites.
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  3. 3
    In these modern times, Echinacea has been constantly in the spotlight for being one of the most popular herbal remedies for respiratory illnesses and colds
    .
    In fact, this is one of America's best selling herbs. These herbs are even being sold in big pharmacies and are known to be one of the best remedies for flu and cold.
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Possible Side Effects of Echinacea

Some studies have also claimed reports of unwanted side effects brought about by this wonder herb. However, these are all generally allergic reactions like asthma, anaphylaxis, nausea, dizziness, abdominal pains, and leucopenia. Still, patients with auto immune and systemic disorders should steer clear. It makes sense Echinacea might aggravate asthma, as asthma is all about an over-active immune system, and Echinacea boosts your immune system.

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Use Echinacea to Improve Your Mood

  1. 1
    Purported Benefits
    .
    Echinacea is recognized for providing quite a few health benefits. Apart from that, it is also accredited for being an immuno-stimulator. That means that this herb can stimulate your immune system and give your body a fighting chance against many forms of infection. It is commonly used as a laxative, and Echinacea is also considered a good treatment for common colds, although some people use it to prevent colds rather than treat them.
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  2. 2
    Scientific Results
    .
    There are a number of trials and studies that have been conducted to test the health benefits of Echinacea, however, most studies end up with largely mixed results. In fact, there was one review of 14 different studies where it was found that this herb could reduce the possibilities of developing flu and colds symptoms by over 50 percent. There is another double blind study that found that the herb really has no significant effects as far decreasing the susceptibility to infections is concerned. Until now, there is really not enough proof to say definitively either way, but always consider who is doing the testing, and because
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  3. 3
    The Pharmaceutical Reality
    .
    Echinacea is an herb. In the 90s, it became the thing to take for many things; colds, yuppie flu, infections, etc. The pharmaceutical companies said it was all propaganda. The truth is, what the pharmaceutical companies said was propaganda. Money, the bottom line, and they weren't making any from Echinacea. Years went by, and it was still very popular. Then you had the pharmaceutical companies adding Echinacea to their products, or synthesizing it, and packaging. You can't believe what they say, as they're the ones that do the studies, and they've always been more interested in making money, than saving people.
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  4. 4
    Mechanisms of Actions
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    In Echinacea products, one potential active ingredient found in this plant is a compound called "phenols". This compound is actually present in other herbal and medicinal plants as well, and it is said to have a lot of anti-clotting and anti-inflammatory qualities. Phenols are also believed to make olive oil a beneficial thing to consider taking.
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  5. 5
    The Efficacy of Echinacea
    .
    There have been several accusations and health claims that say Echinacea has no health benefits at all, but most readers, and even health care professionals, have no idea of the number of scientific studies being done, or how many have been successfully carried out. During the mid 1990s, there were many studies carried out, including random trials, but most of these studies were sponsored by manufacturers and marketers of Echinacea, which explains why these were not generally considered by the scientific community as being of top quality.
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Variations

You have to understand that all Echinacea-based products greatly vary in content. For example, some may include different parts of the plant. Mostly, the roots are used, although there are also products that utilize the whole plant, while others use just the juice of this herb. As with any herbal preparation, the amount of the active ingredients present in the product is more likely to vary simply because of the differences between plants. Today, the debate on Echinacea is constant. While there is no official word yet on how effective these herbs really are, it is best to use them only if they are safe in conjunction with your medication prescribed by your doctor.

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How Safe is Echinacea?

Most studies regarding Echinacea show that the herb is generally safe with very limited side effects. Most common side effects that were reported include rashes and gastrointestinal upsets. To be certain, Echinacea must not be taken by people with multiple sclerosis, tuberculosis, AIDS, autoimmune disorders, or leukemia.

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Concerns Regarding Echinacea

  1. 1
    For short-term use only
    .
    When used short-term, Echinacea is generally safe for most people. However, there is not enough proof if the herb is safe for long term use. In fact, there are side effects noted in relation with Echinacea like nausea, fever, vomiting, stomach pains, unpleasant taste, sore throat, dry mouth, diarrhea, numbness of the tongue, insomnia, dizziness, joint and muscle aches, and disorientation.
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  2. 2
    Allergy
    .
    Echinacea can also cause different allergic reactions, especially if you are allergic to mums, ragweed, daisies, or marigolds. If you are constantly suffering from allergies, better check with your doctor first before taking Echinacea. When this herb is applied to the affected skin, it can cause rashes, itchiness, and redness. Thus, you should be wary when taking this miracle herb.
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  3. 3
    Not suitable for pregnant women
    .
    Experts advise that you must avoid taking Echinacea if you are pregnant or breast feeding, or you have a skin condition called pemphigus vulgaris, or worse, you have immune system disorders like multiple sclerosis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and other immune system conditions.
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Other Uses for Echinacea

  1. 1
    Effective for colds
    .
    The common cold is said to be one of the oldest known human illnesses that is caused by a virus. For over 1,000 years, men have been afflicted by this virus. Until now, it is surprising to realize that no complete cure has yet to be found, but this does not necessarily mean you cannot find any form of a relief for this ailment. Americans and Europeans alike use Echinacea for the treatment of infectious diseases.
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  2. 2
    Echinacea has a lot of medicinal and health benefits
    .
    Years ago, Indians used this plant in treating bites from poisonous snakes and insects. They also used the plant's extract to relieve sore throats, toothaches, and for the treatment of wounds, smallpox, mumps, and measles. When the primary settlers began setting in, they made use of the many therapeutic uses of Echinacea, probably taught to them by the Native Peoples.
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  3. 3
    For a lot of herbalists, Echinacea is deemed as the best blood purifier
    .
    The plant is a very effective antibiotic and can help activate the immune system of the body, while increasing the possibilities of fighting off any forms of disease. Because of this significant attribute, Echinacea has earned its popularity as a means to fight off common colds, and respiratory issues, as well as many other health problems.
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  4. 4
    Echinacea has lots of substances that generally contribute to its efficacy as a very potent medicinal and health plant
    .
    Its components include polysaccharides, polyacetylenes, essential oils, betain, sesquiterpenes, glycoside, and caryophyllene. It also contains iron, copper, protein, tannins, fatty acids and vitamins A, C and E. The many benefits of this plant as an immune-stimulant is attributed to its very high content levels of polysaccharides. These polysaccharides, like insulin, can help increase your body's production of T-cells. It can also augment other forms of natural killer cell activity. Furthermore, Echinacea has caffeic acid and fat-soluble acid glycoside called echinacoside; both contributing to the ability of the plant in empowering the body's immune system.
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Buying Tips for Echinacea Purchasers

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    When buying Echinacea, always keep in mind to go for the freshest and organic
    .
    Most Echinacea products are best purchased from a health food store.
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  2. 2
    The most effective way to use Echinacea is a tincture
    .
    Alcohol is used to pull the active ingredients from the fresh roots. You only take an eyedropper of tincture. Many herbalists believe that trying to get those same active ingredients with boiling water is useless, as it takes the alcohol to pull them out and make them useful to you. There are many forms you can purchase Echinacea in, including;  
    1. Tincture.
    2. Juice.
    3. Fresh dried roots.
    4. Echinacea tea.
    5. Encapsulated powders.
    6. Tablets
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Questions and Answers

Echinacea for mood?

Echinacea can help in improving one's mood mainly because it helps in the production of hormones that make a person feel better about him or herself. A lot of mood swings are actually caused by shifting hormone levels, and if these are regulated properly, you can immediately see huge improvements in the way you feel.

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The main component of Echinacea that affects your hormones is the polysaccharides. These stimulate the production of these wanted hormones and once your body has enough of these, you will also see an improvement in your immunity against common diseases.

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Categories : Health & Wellness

Recent edits by: Lynn, Robbi, estrella sacragon

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