Echinacea: Benefits Uses Side Effects And Dosage
Echinacea, also called purple coneflower, is one of the most popular herbs worldwide.
Native Americans have used it for centuries to treat various ailments.
Today, its best known as an over-the-counter herbal remedy for the common cold or flu. However, its also used to treat pain, inflammation, migraines and other health issues.
This article reviews the benefits, uses, side effects and dosage of echinacea.
Echinacea is the name of a group of flowering plants in the daisy family.
Theyre native to North America where they grow in prairies and open, wooded areas.
Altogether, this group has nine species, but only three are used in herbal supplements Echinacea purpurea, Echinacea angustifolia and Echinacea pallida .
Both the plants upper parts and roots are used in tablets, tinctures, extracts and teas.
Echinacea plants contain an impressive variety of active compounds, such as caffeic acid, alkamides, phenolic acids, rosmarinic acid, polyacetylenes and many more .
In addition, studies have linked echinacea and their compounds to many health benefits, such as reduced inflammation, improved immunity and lower blood sugar levels.
Echinacea is a group of flowering plants used as a popular herbal remedy. Theyre linked to many health benefits, such as reduced inflammation, improved immunity and lower blood sugar levels.
Health Benefits Of Elderberry Tea: 9 Reasons To Savor A Cuppa
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Mudge, Elizabeth, Wendy L. Applequist, Jamie Finley, Patience Lister, Andrew K. Townesmith, Karen M. Walker, and Paula N. Brown. Variation of select flavonols and chlorogenic acid content of elderberry collected throughout the Eastern United States. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis 47
Tart and tangy, elderberries are a treat in pies, crumbles, jams, and liqueurs. But if you are an avid tea drinker, elderberries spell good news for you too! The elderberry plant or Sambucus nigra is a potent remedy in the traditional medicine trove and has been used over the ages. While many species of elderberry can be found across North America and Europe, those with black or blue berries are thought to have medicinal value as against those with red berries.Elderberry. The University of Michigan. A cup of elderberry tea made with the dried berries or flowers is both easy to prepare and packs a punch health-wise. Heres what it has lined up for you.
Organic India Tulsi Ashwagandha
If you’re looking for a tea that’s rich in adaptogensalso known as herbal pharmaceuticals that help the body resist physical, chemical, and biological stressorslook no further than Organic India’s Tulsi Ashwagandha. Several studies have shown that the adaptogen and ancient medicinal herb ashwagandha may help increase the activity of immune cells, aka the “natural killer cells” that help fight off infection.
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Biochemical Profile Of Echinacea
Echinacea works by stimulating the immune response in the body, and it contains several different chemicals that play a role in this process, including glycoproteins, polysaccharides, alkamides, flavonoids and volatile oils. The top parts of the plant, including the stem, leaves and flower, have higher concentrations of the polysaccharides which are responsible for increasing the bodys immune response.
May Lower Blood Sugar Levels
High blood sugar can raise your risk of serious health problems.
This includes type 2 diabetes, heart disease and several other chronic conditions.
Test-tube studies have found that echinacea plants may help lower blood sugar levels.
In a test-tube study, an Echinacea purpurea extract was shown to suppress enzymes that digest carbohydrates. This would reduce the amount of sugar entering your blood if consumed .
Other test-tube studies found that echinacea extracts made cells more sensitive to insulins effects by activating the PPAR-y receptor, a common target of diabetes drugs (
Still, human-based research on the effects of echinacea on blood sugar is lacking.
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Health Benefits And Uses
1. Provides Cold and Flu Relief
One of the most well-studied elderberry syrup benefits is its powerful immune-boosting properties. The berries contain chemical compounds called anthocyanidins, which are known to have immunostimulant effects.
Research actually shows that elderberry extract is a safe, efficient and cost-effective treatment for cold and flu symptoms.
A 2016 study in Nutrients showed that elderberry supplementation was able to reduce cold duration and symptoms in air travelers. Travelers using this herb from 10 days before travel until four to five days after arrival overseas experienced, on average, a two-day shorter duration of their colds as well as a noticeable reduction in cold symptoms.
Several studies have found benefits to support the use of elderberry syrup for flu symptoms as well. Specifically, the flavonoids in the extract bind to the H1N1 human influenza virus as well as the H5N1 avian influenza virus.
A 2009 study randomized patients into two groups. One group was given four doses of 175-milligram proprietary elderberry extract daily, and the other group received a placebo for two days. The group treated with the extract showed significant improvement in most flu symptoms, while the placebo group showed no improvement in symptom severity. Researchers conclude that the extract is effective in controlling influenza symptoms.
2. Reduces Sinus Infection Symptoms
3. Lowers Blood Sugar
4. Acts as a Natural Diuretic
5. Promotes Regularity
What Are Elderberries Used For
Bursting with brightly coloured pigments that act as natural antioxidants, elderberries are a natural source of vitamin C. Well-known for supporting our immune function, vitamin C plays an important role in allowing our immune system to communicate and co-ordinate a response.
Sipping on herbal tea is a fantastic way of incorporating elderberries into your day-to-day lives. Pukka Herbs Organic Elderberry and Echinacea tea is packed with antioxidants to reduce stress and fight infections.
If you want the power of elderberries, whilst benefitting from other natural immune-supporting ingredients like thyme and manuka honey, Pukka Elderberry Syrup is a delicious remedy that can be taken by the spoonful.
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Fights Respiratory Illnesses Like Cold And Flu
Echinacea is another herb with immune-boosting properties that can tackle cold and flu. You could combine elderberries with this herb to make a potent healing tea.Echinacea. The University of Michigan.
A sore, painful throat, constant sneezing, and a runny nose the common cold may be comparatively harmless but its symptoms can sure wear you thin. If a cold is something youve come to dread, a cup of elderberry tea may be just what you need to fight this common scourge.
Air travelers often bear the brunt of colds and other respiratory illnesses because of cabin climate conditions, fatigue, and lowered immunity from travel. But one study that looked at overseas air travelers found that elderberry fruit extract helped protect them against respiratory symptoms. People who took it starting 10 days before they the trip and continuing to have them till 45 days after experienced a reduction in the duration as well as the severity of cold if they did get one. The researchers concluded that the antioxidant property of elderberries might be responsible for this beneficial impact.Tiralongo, Evelin, Shirley S. Wee, and Rodney A. Lea. Elderberry supplementation reduces cold duration and symptoms in air-travelers: A randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. Nutrients 8, no. 4 : 182. If you feel a cold coming, brew yourself a cuppa and have it diligently every day till you weather it.
Situations Where Elderberry May Be Better Suited Than Echinacea
Elderberry doesnt work well for bacterial infections but seems fairly effective against viral infections.
On the other hand, echinacea has strong antimicrobial properties and works against both bacteria and viruses.
Since respiratory symptoms can be caused by either type of pathogen, echinacea is usually the first go to for onset of respiratory symptoms, especially when you dont know their origins.
Elderberry, however, is better suited for children thanks to its pleasant taste in the form of elderberry syrup and fun elderberry gummies.
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May Help Regulate Inflammation
Interestingly enough, studies suggest that the anti-inflammatory properties of echinacea are so potent they can be used to manage inflammatory conditions like arthritis.
The active ingredients in echinacea extracts can help block excessive inflammatory responses and therefore improve the healing process.
Healing Benefits Of Echinacea Tea
Echinacea teas main healing benefits come from the following properties:
Echinaceas anti-viral properties are what make it effective in treating and preventing the common cold and flu. Echinacea is also sometimes used to treat vaginal yeast infections, and its overall anti-inflammatory effect on the body promotes balance in the mind, body, and spirit.
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How To Make Elderberry Tea
You have two options. Make it from scratch or buy the pre-filled teabags which are ready to go.
Since the taste of elderberries are slightly bitter and less sweet than raspberries and blueberries, the tea wont be a sugar explosion in your mouth. Its flavor is the subtle sweetness from the berry, which can be enhanced with honey or monk fruit.
If you want to make it from scratch, heres how
Easy elderberry tea recipe
The addition of spices and sweetener comes from us, but the ratio of berries to water comes from the instructions offered by Frontier Natural Products. They sell USDA certified organic whole dried elderberries. You can .
Another option is to make the tea using liquid elderberry extract. NOW Foods sells an . Thats 47 servings based on 1 teaspoon per serving. Even though it remains unproven for colds and respiratory infections, some of the studies did use non-branded standardized liquid extract.
If you want ready-to-use bags, finding it for sale is no easy task. Elderberry tea at Walmart or Target is mission failure, at least based on our experience.
To date, we have only seen it at one specialty health food store in Los Angeles and even there, it was only an elderberry and Echinacea blend .
Safe To Eat Potential Risks And Side Effects
Despite the many health benefits associated with this medicinal plant, there are several elderberry side effects to consider as well. Ripe, cooked berries from most of the Sambucus species are edible. However, you should not consume raw berries or other parts of the plant since they contain a cyanide-inducing chemical, which can result in diarrhea and vomiting. Generally, commercial preparations dont cause adverse reactions when used at recommended dosages.
Elderberry appears to have few side effects when used properly for short periods of time of up to five days. Occasionally, however, elderflowers and elderberries can cause allergic reactions. Discontinue use if you have a mild allergic reaction, and seek medical attention if you have a serious allergic reaction.
Using elderberry syrup for kids is not recommended unless youve consulted with your pediatrician. If youre pregnant or breastfeeding, dont take it, as research is lacking on its effects on fetal health and development.
If you have an autoimmune disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis, ask your doctor before taking elderberry because it may stimulate the immune system. If you have any other ongoing health concerns, talk with your health care provider before taking it as well. People with organ transplants should not take elderberry.
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Enhances The Metabolic Function
The elderberry tea benefits is rich in B-vitamins, which are considered an essential element for boosting your bodys metabolism. Therefore, an improved metabolism will help in increasing the fat burning process of your body and also results in significant weight loss. It also helps in streamlining the various process of the body related to your digestion and hormones.
Do Elderberries Cause Cytokine Storms
Since the pandemic hit there has been plenty of misinformation out there regarding elderberry and cytokine storm and we are here to help shift through the noise. Cytokines have many purposes but one of them is to send messages between cells. A cytokine storm can occur when the body has an uncontrollable inflammatory response that is caused by the immune system going into overdrive. As elderberry is an immune stimulant, it has led to some people speculating that there could be a link. There have been ZERO reported cases or links between elderberries and cytokine storms.
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Health Benefits Of Elderberry Tea
Brimming with flavor and vitality, elderberry tea knows how to freshen your senses and bring a surge of sweet strength to your immune system too. Granted superfood status, drinking elderberry tea is amazing for your health from tip to toe. This magic tea can help everything from cutting down on the discomfort of UTIs to fighting off flu. Do you know any benefits from the bright elderberry tea? Dont worry, we are about to explore them all
May Help Alleviate Constipation
Anthraquinone is a compound in elderberry thats been hailed for its laxative effect. This same compound has been found in other natural laxatives such as senna.
It prevents and/or minimizes the absorption of water from the intestines during peristalsis. With more water in the intestinal lumen, pressure is generated in the intestines.
Such pressure stimulates muscle activity, enhancing the process of peristalsis.
The extra water also softens fecal matter, making it easier to eliminate.
The only downside about using elderberry for constipation is that its been less studied, and some studies suggest it shouldnt be used consecutively for more than 5 days.
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What Is Goldenseal Good For
The earliest documented use of the goldenseal plant is thought to be by the Iroquois and Cherokee tribes to treat stomach ailments, canker sores, and cancer. This flowering plant is native to the region east of the Mississippi River.
The palm-shaped leaves are not recommended for consumption, and the root is used for all medicinal purposes. It has alkaloids of berberine, hydrastine, and canadine with powerful astringent effects. While it is used for the treatment of skin conditions, digestive issues, infections, and pneumonia, it is also used with other herbs. The most beneficial combination is with echinacea, as the two plants complement and stimulate chemical components in each other.
Lets learn what goldenseal is good for on its own.
Can You Drink Elderberry Tea Every Day
Yes. Elderberry tea is rich in nutrients, can boost a healthy immune system, and is free from caffeine and is considered to be a safe and side-effect free drink to enjoy in moderation. If you want to top up your body with the good stuff, you can sip a beautiful cup of tea every single day without worry. Elderberry tea is especially good to drink during cold and flu season as it can help to reduce the severity of symptoms and get you back on your feet in no time.
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Medications That Decrease The Immune System Interacts With Elderberry
Elderberry can increase the immune system. Taking elderberry along with some medications that decrease the immune system might decrease the effectiveness of medications that decrease the immune system.Some medications that decrease the immune system include azathioprine , basiliximab , cyclosporine , daclizumab , muromonab-CD3 , mycophenolate , tacrolimus , sirolimus , prednisone , corticosteroids , and others.
Positive Effect On The Immune System
Echinacea is best known for its beneficial effects on the immune system.
Numerous studies have found that this plant may help your immune system combat infections and viruses, which could help you recover faster from illness (
In short, while echinacea may boost immunity, its effects on the common cold are unclear.
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Acts As A Natural Diuretic
One of the most important elderberry tea benefits is that it can be used as a diuretic. Diuretics are prescribed when the body retains too much of fluid.
Elderberry tea helps stimulate the flow of urine, which cleanses the urinary tract. Elderberry tea also works as a mild laxative and may prevent bloating and gas, and improves bowel moments as well.
Simple Elderberry Tea Recipe
- 16 ounces of filtered water
- 2 tablespoons of dried elderberries
- 1 teaspoon of raw honey
- ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon powder
- ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder
In a small saucepan, add the elderberries and water. Then, add the cinnamon and turmeric. Bring the mixture to a boil at high heat, and then let it simmer for 15 minutes.
Remove the mixture from the heat and let it cool. Strain it into mugs and add honey. You can have it hot or refrigerate it to enjoy chilled elderberry tea.
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Jayida Ch Hakuna Matata
With herbs like chamomile, ginseng, lavender, and Saint John’s wort, this loose leaf tea will help your body fight inflammation while also relieving stress and anxiety. Saint John’s wort is commonly used to help people manage symptoms that accompany depression and mood disorders. Not to mention, Jayida Ché exclusively uses ingredients sourced from local, fair trade, and organic suppliers.
For more reasons to drink tea, check out 6 Ways Drinking Green Tea Can Add Years to Your Life, According to Science.
Echinacea Tea And Its Benefits
Echinacea is a centuries-old natural remedy for the flu and the common cold, and the medicinal uses of the plant are believed to have first been recognized by Native Americans. While echinacea tea may be most known for its anti-viral properties, it offers a host of other benefits for a healthy lifestyle as well.
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May Be Good For Heart Health
Elderberry may have positive effects on some markers of heart and blood vessel health.
Studies have shown elderberry juice may reduce the level of fat in the blood and decrease cholesterol. In addition, a diet high in flavonoids like anthocyanins has been found to reduce the risk of heart disease .
Nonetheless, one study in 34 people given 400 mg of elderberry extract three times a day for 2 weeks found no significant reduction in cholesterol levels .
However, another study in mice with high cholesterol found that a diet including black elderberry reduced the amount of cholesterol in the liver and aorta but not the blood .
Further studies found that rats that were fed foods containing polyphenols extracted from elderberry had reductions in blood pressure .
Furthermore, elderberries may reduce levels of uric acid in the blood. Elevated uric acid is linked to increased blood pressure and negative effects on heart health .
Whatâs more, elderberry can increase insulin secretion and improve blood sugar levels. Given that type 2 diabetes is a major risk factor for heart and vascular disease, blood sugar management is important in preventing these conditions .
A study found that elderberry flowers inhibit the enzyme alpha-glucosidase , which may help lower blood sugar levels. Also, research on rats with diabetes given elderberry showed improved blood sugar control .