Existing for more than five centuries, Echinacea is still claimed as one of the healthiest tea varieties in the world.
A wide range of Echinacea tea benefits can easily be gained once you start drinking this cure-all tea regularly.
Let’s explore more about the origin of Echinacea tea, the health benefits it offers, as well as a few side effects of Echinacea that might happen to people with a certain condition.
A. What is Echinacea Tea?
Native to North America, Echinacea refers to a coarse perennial herb which is known for its medicinal properties.
For centuries, Native Americans have used the plant to cure various ailments, from cold to respiratory problems. This plant is classified into nine species.
However, only three species are used for traditional medicines: Echinacea Pallida, Echinacea Purpurea, and Echinacea Angustifolia.
Echinacea tea is one of the most common uses of this medicinal plant. The tea has a strong flavor with subtle sensations of fresh pine needles.
To make the flavor less strong, Echinacea is usually blended with lemongrass in the brewing process.
Besides containing multiple beneficial nutrients like vitamin C and antioxidants, the tea is completely free from caffeine.
Therefore, you don’t need to worry about any side effect, which is commonly triggered by caffeine contents.
B. Echinacea Tea Health Benefits
There’s no doubt that Echinacea tea offers considerable benefits for your health.
For decades, Echinacea tea benefits have been researched and proven by numerous scientific and medical studies.
Echinacea itself is described as a medicinal plant that can be used to treat various kinds of illnesses.
These include some light ailments like cold, allergy symptoms, and exhaustion as well as more serious health problems like internal infections and cancer.
Keep reading to know more about the health benefits offered by Echinacea tea.
1. Improves Mood and Relieves Anxiety
The aromatic scent of Echinacea tea can release dopamine, the neurological hormone which is responsible for making you feel happy.
As a result, drinking Echinacea will boost up your mood and at the same time, relieve stress and anxiety.
2. Treats Cold and Flu
Echinacea tea is considered the most effective first aid whenever you feel common symptoms of colds, such as sniffles or sore throats.
Many people choose Echinacea tea for colds treatment because it is loaded with vitamin C and antioxidants.
3. Boosts Immunity
Like most types of herbal tea, Echinacea can be used as the immunity booster.
This tea contains antibacterial properties which are not only beneficial for fighting free radicals but also lead to faster healing and recovery.
4. Alleviates Morning Sickness during Pregnancy
Drinking Echinacea during pregnancy can lessen the symptoms of morning sickness, especially in the first trimester.
Besides alleviating nausea, the healing properties in Echinacea tea can ease cramps, mood shifts, and discomfort feeling.
However, it is important to consult with a doctor regarding this matter in case you have a specific condition of pregnancy.
5. Gives Your Skin Good Nutrition
Echinacea tea is one of the best herbal infusions that you can use as skin nourishment.
Vitamin C contents in Echinacea are linked to the production of collagen that can help you deal with some skin problems, including acne, eczema, and psoriasis.
6. Lowers Blood Pressure
Due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds, Echinacea tea can lower blood pressure.
For this reason, this tea is often recommended as an alternative medicine for people with hypertension.
7. Reduces the Risk of Cancer
Many studies suggest that Echinacea can serve as an additional cancer treatment as well as reduce the risk of cancer.
This herbal tea works by slowing the growth of cancerous cells while blocking the cells to spread.
C. How to Make Echinacea Tea
Making Echinacea tea is quite simple, especially if the plant is available in your garden.
Although echinacea extract and tea bag packages can be easily found in the market, you can go for better quality by using the organic plant.
Almost all parts of Echinacea plant can be turned into herbal tea, including the leaves, flowers, and roots.
However, compared to the roots, it is more common to use the leaves and flowers when you want to make homemade Echinacea tea.
Use only the parts of the plant to make pure and original Echinacea infusion. Alternatively, you can combine them with other herbal plants to get a better result.
The following Echinacea recipe consists of spearmint leaves and lemongrass in addition to Echinacea leaves and flowers.
Pay attention to each step to make the best mixture of beneficial herbal tea.
Pick Echinacea leaves that are close to the top since they are less bitter than other parts. As for the flowers, choose the ones that are freshly bloomed.
You also need to prepare ¼ parts of spearmint leaves and ¼ part of the lemongrass. Crumble all ingredients and let them dry.
Boil water in a small pan or kettle. While waiting for the water to boil, put Echinacea flowers and leaves, lemongrass, as well as spearmint leaves in a tea strainer. Place the strainer in the kettle or pan once the water has boiled.
Steep all ingredients in the boiled water from 10 to 15 minutes. Make sure the water is infused perfectly before you remove the tea strainer.
After 10 or 15 minutes, remove the strainer from the kettle or pan. Now, you can pour the infused liquid into a teacup. Enjoy the tea in its original flavor or add some honey to make it taste sweeter.
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D. Echinacea Tea Side Effects
Behind multiple Echinacea tea benefits for your health, there are several side effects that you need to know.
Compared to most varieties of herbal or medicinal tea, Echinacea tea has fewer side effects. Nevertheless, it is still worth mentioning for cautionary purposes.
The side effect of Echinacea only happens to those who are allergic to the Echinacea plant and other members of the Asteraceae family, such as marigold, daisy, and ragweed.
For people with this condition, drinking Echinacea tea may cause them to get a headache, catch the fever, as well as feel dizzy and nauseous. Skin rash and irritation are also considered a common allergy reaction.
If those reactions happen after you drink Echinacea tea, it means that you are allergic to the plant.
The first thing to do is to stop drinking the tea at once. Get some rest, take allergy medicine, or visit a doctor if the reactions still occur for hours after you stop drinking.