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Echinacea, more commonly known as the purple cornflower, is one of, if not the most popular herb worldwide. It reduces symptoms of various ailments.
Besides reducing symptoms of ailments, echinacea also boosts immunity, lowers blood sugar levels, and reduces anxiety — which is why it’s a popular supplement ingredient.
1. Boosts Immunity
Echinacea is popular for its immune system-boosting effects.
Several recent studies show that echinacea helps your immune system fight viruses and infections, resulting in quicker recovery from illnesses.
That is one reason why echinacea is commonly used to prevent the common cold.
According to this recent review of 14 studies, taking echinacea supplements can lower your risk of developing a common by cold by over 50%, along with shortening the duration of the common cold by up to one and a half day.
However, those studies are not conclusive, which means that the effects of echinacea on the common cold are not confirmed as more research is needed.
To summarize, while echinacea boosts immunity, its effects on the common cold are unclear.
2. Lowers Blood Sugar Levels
High blood sugar levels can lead to chronic health issues, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and several other chronic conditions.
Several test tube studies conclude that echinacea helps lower blood sugar levels.
According to this test tube study, echinacea extract suppresses enzymes that digest carbohydrates — which means it reduces the amount of sugar that enters your body.
Furthermore, another study suggests that echinacea extract makes cells more sensitive to Insulin by activating the PPAR-y receptor.
The PPAR-y receptor removes excess fat in the blood, which makes it easier for your cells to respond to sugar and insulin.
As you may know, inflammation is your body’s natural way of defending and healing itself.
However, inflammation often exceeds its normal duration and raises your risk of developing several health issues, some of which are chronic.
Multiple recent studies have shown that echinacea can reduce excess inflammation.
According to this study on 30 adults with osteoarthritis, taking an echinacea supplement helped reduce swelling, inflammation, and chronic pain.
Health Issues Associated With Echinacea Deficiency
People who consume echinacea daily have a lower risk of suffering from several health issues, among which the notable ones are the following:
- Certain types of cancer
- High blood sugar levels
- Acute and chronic inflammation
Daily Recommended Intake
The daily recommended intake (DRI) of echinacea varies by the purpose of use. For instance, the DRI of echinacea for preventing the common cold is 2,400-4,000 milligrams.
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