5 Echinacea Tea Benefits For Health
Echinacea tea is made from the echinacea plant which is also known as the purple coneflower. The tea is most commonly made using the Echinacea purpurea and Echinacea angustifolia varieties, but there are several other species of echinacea including Echinacea pallida as well.
The echinacea plant is part of the Asteraceae family and is native to Europe and the North American continent. It's wildly popular in countries such as Germany and the United States. While more common in the western world, the plants can also be cultivated in Asia and South America in the proper climates.
Echinacea tea can be made using the echinacea root, flowers, and leaves. The plant can be brewed into an herbal tea and is also commonly available as an herbal supplement. Discover the benefits of echinacea tea and learn more about its unique flavor.
Flavor Profile of Echinacea
Echinacea tea boasts a tingling sensation similar to that of peppermint tea. The tea features a bold floral flavor with hints of meadowsweet. The tea is also known for large-bodied flavor with a smooth finish.
The flavor and aroma of echinacea can be a tad strong for some people. To mellow out the flavors, add a touch of mint or a dash of lemon for a more balanced flavor.
Top 5 Health Benefits of Echinacea Tea
1. Boosts Immune System
One of the main uses of echinacea tea is to alleviate symptoms of the common cold. The medical benefits of echinacea were first used by the Native American Indians. The plant was widely available and easy to use to treat various ailments ranging from a sore throat to decreasing inflammation.
A study published in 2015 found that echinacea tea was as effective in treating the influenza virus as the gold standard treatment known as oseltamivir (1). Another study published in Italy found that echinacea extract is beneficial in the treatment of respiratory tract infections. Researchers found that taking echinacea helped boost white blood cell activity and may improve the effectiveness of flu vaccines for prevention (2).
The warm nature of a hot cup of tea can help soothe cold symptoms such as a sore throat and nasal congestion. While the chemical composition of echinacea tea works to build immunity and improve your health, you can get relief from cold and flu symptoms by drinking a cup of this tasty tea when you're feeling under the weather.
2. Decreases Inflammation
Echinacea tea may help to alleviate aches and pains by decreasing inflammation. Inflammation is a normal reaction by the body during the healing process. However, chronic inflammation can cause a host of problems ranging from rheumatoid arthritis to heart disease.
A study published in the Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences found that Echinacea purpurea offers anti-inflammatory benefits. The study also confirmed that echinacea extracts such as essential oils boast anti-inflammatory properties (3).
Echinacea tea is chock full of antioxidants that are beneficial for human health. These antioxidant properties can help decrease inflammation and eliminate free radicals that can cause a host of health problems. Free radicals have been linked to premature aging and the breakdown of cellular processes. Drinking echinacea tea may help slow down the effects of free radicals.
4. Reduces Stress
There's something about a tasty cup of tea that just makes relaxing easy. Drinking echinacea tea allows you to unwind and focus on the calm, pleasant moments in life. Aside from the simple pleasure of enjoying a cup of tea, echinacea contains ingredients that may alleviate anxiety.
A study published in Phytotherapy Research examined the effects of echinacea on the synapses. Researchers found that echinacea worked directly in the hippocampus to suppress excitatory transmissions, which are commonly associated with anxiety and increased stress levels (4).
5. Fights Infections
Echinacea boasts a natural antibacterial and antifungal properties, which may help to fight off infections including urinary tract infections and ear infections.
A study published in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine investigated the effects of echinacea on upper respiratory tract infections. The study consisted of 430 children between the ages of 1 and 5 years old. Researchers found that children who were given an herbal preparation containing echinacea saw a 55 percent reduction in illness episodes (5). A meta-analysis published in the Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology also found echinacea was beneficial in the treatment of infections including rhinovirus, influenza, and parasitic infections (6).
Side Effects of Echinacea
As always, it's important to seek medical advice from a qualified healthcare professional before taking herbal supplements or using echinacea as a treatment. This is particularly important for pregnant women and individuals who take medications for a medical condition.
The most common side effect associated with echinacea tea is an allergic reaction. The use of echinacea can cause allergies for individuals who are sensitive to the live echinacea plant as well as plants in the Asteraceae family.
The powerful flavor of echinacea can also cause nausea for some individuals. Drinking echinacea tea in large quantities can also cause stomach pain and mild discomfort. Always use high-quality echinacea teas or organic plants when brewing your tea to avoid contamination and other harmful side effects.
Whether you use echinacea tea as an herbal remedy or simply sip it because you love the flavor, this tea offers a tasty way to unwind and enjoy the tea drinking experience. Dive into the floral meadowsweet flavor and relish the tingling sensation each sip offers.