History of Ingredient
Echinacea, primarily native to North America, has a historical tapestry woven deep into the medical practices of the indigenous tribes. Traditionally employed to combat a variety of ailments, from sore throats to snakebites, Echinacea was gradually embraced by European settlers.
By the late 19th and early 20th centuries, its use burgeoned in the UK and across Europe, as its potential for health improvement became more widely acknowledged.
Echinacea belongs to the Asteraceae family, comprising about nine species of flowering plants. Its primary active constituents include alkylamides, polysaccharides, glycoproteins, and caffeic acid derivatives.
These compounds, particularly alkylamides, are believed to be instrumental in its therapeutic properties. The specific composition can differ depending on the species and part of the plant utilised.
Benefits of Ingredient
Echinacea’s claims to fame are its purported immune-boosting and anti-inflammatory properties. Research suggests that it can reduce the likelihood of catching a cold and may shorten its duration.
When paired with ingredients like Vitamin C, its efficacy is believed to be enhanced. Additionally, Echinacea might also be instrumental in wound healing and combatting various infections, especially when combined with other synergistic ingredients like elderberry.
Forms of Consumption
Echinacea can be ingested in numerous forms, making it a versatile addition to any wellness routine. Popular formats include:
– Tinctures and Liquid Extracts: Echinacea-infused solutions that can be added to water or directly consumed.
– Teas: Made by steeping Echinacea leaves or roots.
– Creams and Ointments: Topical applications which often merge Echinacea with other skin-soothing ingredients.
Safety + Dosages
Generally, Echinacea is considered safe for most individuals. Typical dosages range from 300-500mg of Echinacea, taken two to three times daily.
However, it’s prudent to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating it into any regimen, especially if taken alongside other medications or supplements.
Use and Legality in UK, EU, US and Globally
In the UK, Echinacea is widely available and classified as a food supplement. The EU harmonised its stance, allowing it to be marketed without any significant restrictions.
Across the pond, in the US, the Food and Drug Administration lists Echinacea as a dietary supplement, thus ensuring its widespread availability.
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