If you landed on this webpage I am going to guess that you searched something pretty specific to end up here. Probably something along the lines of “does echinacea tea actually boost your immune system” or maybe something like “does echinacea tea actually work.” And I’m here to tell you the good news, and the bad news, about echinacea tea's ability to naturally boost your body's immune system and how you should go about selecting your tea of choice.
I’m guessing that you aren’t really sure what echinacea tea actually is and how it’s different from other teas that are also supposed to be healthy for you. Well no worries, I did the research for you and composed it into one nice compact easy to digest article. So check out the rest of it below to find out everything you need to know about echinacea tea and its impact on your immune system.
Echinacea, like a lot of different tea styles you will come across, is just an herb. It’s scientific name is Echinacea angustifolia and it has long been used as a traditional medicine. In fact it is believed to have been widely used by North American idigenous people as a form of folk medicine. It was known to have been used for hundreds of years to treat ear infections and also as a natural pain reliever by Native American tribes and the Great Plains Indians.
Echinacae has ten subspecies of flowers that are commonly referred to as “coneflowers.” And they only grow in North America. Specifically they only grow in the eastern and central parts of the country. They don’t flower on the west coast at all.
But of those ten species of echinacea, there are really only three main types of echinacea that are used when it comes to making tea.
Echinacea Purpurea is the form of echinacea that is most commonly associated with boosting the body's immune system. That being said, all three of the subspecies of the flower that are used to make tea include some immune boosting properties. The differences lie in the levels of immune boosting nutrients and minerals that subspecies contain.
Echinacea purperea can be taken in a variety of ways to get it’s immune system boosting properties. But it is my belief that drinking it in the form of tea does the most to boost your immune system. And the reason for that is actually quite simple. If you take a capsule of Echinacea purperea, you either swallow it plain or take it with a small swig of water. But on the other hand, if you take it in the form of tea, then you are guaranteeing yourself eight ounces of water as well as the immune boosting properties from the tea itself. This combination of hydration and nutrients is just what your body needs to fight off viruses, colds, and diseases.
Not only does your body get a plethora of extra essential elements it needs to fight infections, it also gets all the added benefits of being well hydrated. And you can’t tell me you’ve never had a doctor or nurse tell you to “drink plenty of fluids” after you pay a ridiculous co-pay just for them to see you for all of five minutes. I mean the relationship between hydration and the immune system is well documented. When you consume tea made from echinacea, you are powering up your immune system even more than just water on its own would be able to do for you.
Echinacea tea is not medicine. It is an herbal supplement that has shown some promise to be able to boost your body’s immune system response in a safe and natural way. It isn’t intended to treat or cure any sort of illness. So if you are sick please consult a healthcare professional and get their educated and qualified opinion on the medical treatment that you need. There is no better medicine than a doctor who understands the scientific method.
Echinacea tea has shown promise in some studies to dramatically reduce the chances that a person who consumes an appropriate amount of it getting a cold or flu. And I do mean dramatically. A review of fourteen studies that have been conducted using echinacea concluded that it had the potential to reduce the chances a person catches a cold by 58%. Which is an out of this world number in my opinion.
So yes echinacea tea does actually support your immune system. Echinacea consumption has also been shown to shorten the recovery time by one and a half days. So adding echinacea tea into your rotation this fall and winter might not be a bad idea. Try to start drinking the tea before you actually catch a cold. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great that it shortens the recovery time, but why put yourself through the misery when it has been shown to dramatically reduce the chance you even ever catch a cold in the first place.
On top of that echinacea tea also has a few other benefits that might help shorten or ease your recovery period. Echinacea tea, like many other teas, also helps to eliminate free radicals that cause oxidative stress and cell damage. This helps to improve overall health by preventing numerous small instances of cell damage that add up to a pretty serious resource commitment for your body to fix.
Additionally, echinacea tea also has the added benefit of reducing inflammation and swelling. Two things that are commonly associated with a cold or flu. By reducing inflammation and swelling across your body the tea can help alleviate some of the painful symptoms of a cold.
Well there you go, you have the answer to the age old question “does echinacea tea really boost your immune system”. The answer is that yes it does in fact show some promise to be able to prevent those who consume it from catching a cold, and even helps reduce the amount of time it takes to recover from the cold.
However, that does not make it an appropriate replacement for real medicine. Echinacea is simply an herbal supplement that occurs naturally in nature. It has been studied and modified and refined by generations of brilliant doctors and physicians. So you can count on echinacea tea to boost your immune system, but you can’t expect it to cure real diseases or combat serious illnesses. If you find yourself suffering from either of those, please contact a medical care provider at your earliest opportunity.
And remember, if you are going to rely on the tea to help boost your immune system, make sure you are going with natural and organic tea. Don’t pick out something that was factory farmed by a giant corporation that is going to be full of pesticides. There’s not much point in drinking tea for the health benefits if you just offset all those potential benefits with tea that is tainted or with water that is unclean.