Women's Health News

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


This is time of years when our immune system needs extra special attention and maintenance, and Echinacea can go long way in supporting proper immune system function. Echinacea has a rich tradition in the culture of the north America plains Indians, who used it more than any other plant to help maintain their health during the winter,. They also applied root poultices, used Echinacea as a mouthwash and drank it is a tea. This plant was prominent in modern American culture until the 1940’s. The Europeans. Who discovered in 1930’s still use it extensively. Botanists named the planet after the bedgebog (Echinus) to describe its prickly, cone-like center. It grows naturally is the Midwest states from western Prnnsylvania to Kansas and as far south as northern Texas. Hundreds of scientific studies have indicated that Echinacea can help support immune function. In recent years, research has discovered a mechanism by the which Echinacea may help. One of the primary defense mechanisms of the body is made of a jelly like substance called Hyaluronic Acid (HA). HA occurs in the tissues between cells to ‘cement’ them together. These are enzyme, hyaluridase, which attacks HA in a way not yet fully understood. When it does, the HA quickly loses its jelly-like viscosity, and this protective “cement” loses its effectiveness. If the enzymes is allowed to destroy the integrity of the HA barriers, immune function may suffer. Echinacea has been shown to prevent the enzyme from dissolving HA.

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