Basics of Botanicals: Echinacea

As the world emerges from a pandemic, more attention than ever is being placed on ways to support our immune systems. Like most aspects of your health, regular exercise and a good diet are the foundation for a strong immune system. 

While a “good” diet can look very different from person to person, it’s pretty well understood that certain micronutrients like vitamin D, vitamin C, and zinc play an important role in overall wellness…And including certain herbs may be beneficial to your immune system, too. 

Echinacea is one herb that’s recently been gaining traction in the scientific community for its potential to help maintain a healthy immune system. However, while it’s just now starting to gain some popularity in Western medicine, this herb has a long history of usage in traditional medicines.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what echinacea is and how it can support your wellness all year long.

What is echinacea?

Echinacea (eh·kuh·nay·shuh), commonly known as coneflower, is a flowering perennial in the daisy family. The plant gets its name from the Greek root ekhinos, which means “sea urchin,” in reference to its spiny disk at the center of its petals.

The flower is easy to grow, heat and drought resistant, and blooms in bright shades of pink, orange, yellow, red, and purple. Echinacea is primarily found in eastern and central North America, where it has been used by Native Americans for hundreds of years.

What are the benefits of echinacea?

Echinacea has a long list of potential benefits, but its immune supporting properties are the most well-studied. The flower's usage dates back to at least the 17th century, when indigenous peoples across the Great Plains used it in herbal teas for a variety of applications. 

Echinacea owes much of its therapeutic effect to a group of natural compounds found within the plant, known as alkylamides (al-KEEL-uh-mides). These alkylamides are highly bioavailable and support healthy cellular activity of the immune system.† 

How do you use echinacea?

Echinacea products can be found readily online or in health food stores, and come in a variety of capsules, tinctures, and tablets…And many people still like to enjoy it in a more traditional way, including it in a nice cup of tea each day.

Here at Bluebird, we’ve combined this powerful plant with additional wellness boosters like elderberry, vitamin C, and vitamin D to offer you one of the most comprehensive immune support blends on the market. This Dynamic Immune formula helps support healthy immune, digestive, and respiratory systems.†

For help with developing a routine that promotes your happiness and wellbeing, check out our downloadable guide to self-care.

It’s important to note that your individual biochemistry can differ greatly from another person’s, so start slow and always consult your doctor when introducing new supplements into your daily routine.