Who knew a relative of the daisy could have such redeeming qualities? Echinacea is a herb that’s native to areas east of the Rocky Mountains in the USA and is renowned for its many health benefits, most notably its ability to support immune system health and relieve symptoms of the common cold1,2,3,4,5.
If you’re struggling to wrap your mouth around its name then don’t worry, it’s also known as the “purple coneflower”. Its scientific name is derived from the Ancient Greek word ἐχῖνος which means “hedgehog”, due to the echinacea flower’s spiny central disk.
The power in the flower
It’s been a firm favourite of Native Americans for centuries, who used it to manage health and wellbeing. They were definitely on to something, as echinacea plants are packed full of health benefits.
It contains an impressive variety of active compounds, such as caffeic acid, alkamides, phenolic acids, rosmarinic acid and polyacetylenes6 (if you’re not sure what they are, then don’t worry, you just need to know that they’re beneficial ). Echinacea is also a rich source of antioxidants, which can help protect your cells against oxidative stress7.
Support your immunity with echinacea
As an immune support, echinacea may work by maintaining the response of the immune system, helping it to fight off illnesses. So, if you feel yourself coming down with the sniffles, consider taking some echinacea to alleviate symptoms.
Swisse Ultiboost Immune Defence Herbal Hot Drink contains echinacea herbal extract to help relieve symptoms of the common cold, relieve symptoms of mild upper respiratory tract infections and support immune system health. It also has the added benefit of providing the comforting experience of a soothing hot drink with a delicious hibiscus and rosehip taste. Consider adding it to your winter wellness kit this year.
Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional. Supplements may only be of assistance when dietary intake is inadequate
- Health Canada (2017) Monograph Echinacea purpurea
- World Health Organisation (WHO) Monographs on Selected Medicinal Plants (1999) Vol. 1 Herba Echinaceae Purpureae
- Schulten B, Bulitta M, Ballering-Brühl B, Köster U, Schäfer M . Efficacy of Echinacea purpurea in patients with a common cold. A placebo-controlled, randomised, double-blind clinical trial. Arzneimittel forschung. 2001;51(7):563-8
- Braun L, Cohen M. (2015) Herbs and Natural Supplements, An evidence-based guide. 4th Ed. Vol 2. Churchill Livingstone.
- Special Expert Committee of the German Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) (1998) The Complete Commission E Monographs