Echinacea is a well-known and popular herb that is primarily used for colds and to reduce the symptoms of flu. It is also known as a great infection fighter and natural antibiotic. Echinacea is most effective in fighting glandular and lymphatic problems, which is why you will often find people using it when they have a bad head cold. While the majority of folks do not know exactly what Echinacea is good for, they have learned that it works well with certain conditions, so they use it often.
Although Echinacea will not prevent you from catching a cold or flu, it does work really well when you feel those symptoms coming on. It is effective at drastically reducing the associated symptoms of colds and flu and also reduces the time that you suffer those effects.
Since it is an excellent infection fighter, this herb works wonderfully for ear aches, strep throat or lymph gland problems. In fact, if Echinacea is used in combination with golden seal, yarrow and cayenne, you will end up with a fantastic infection fighting formula. That is the reason that you will often find Echinacea sold in combination with golden seal at health and herb stores.
If you have diagnosed low blood sugar levels or hypoglycemia, you should not take the Echinacea and golden seal combinations. Golden Seal is a natural source of insulin, so it can be dangerous for hypoglycemics. Instead try to find Echinacea mixed with Myrrh, or buy the two separately and create your own infection fighting herbal combination.
Although not clinically proven, Echinacea is also thought to be one of the best herbs to help with enlargement or weakness of the prostrate gland. It can also be used in combination with another herb called Chickweed to help with losing weight.
Although not so well known, you can create a tea or rinse with Echinacea to use as a gargle. This works particularly well for strep throat. It is also a great help with tonsillitis, mouth sores and sore gums.
It can also be made into a salve form for helping with eczema, insect bites, stings, general skin problems and wounds. To make a salve, just open a gel capsule of Echinacea making sure that it is a powdered or ground form and not some hard pill which has many other additives in it. Empty the capsule powder onto a small dish and mix with some all natural aloe vera juice or natural petroleum jelly. This in turn will make a paste or salve type of ointment that can be applied externally as required.