As a tired, sickly high school student, I struggled to balance everything on my plate. That was until my advisor recommended echinacea tablets. Several species of this plant are used to create medicine from its leaves, flower and root. With properties that work to strengthen the immune system and combat cold and flu symptoms, you need to add echinacea to your daily routine. Here are the echinacea benefits you need to know about before taking it.

What Is Echinacea?

tea, coffee, beer
Olivia Olson

What is this magical plant? Echinacea was first discovered by Native Americans, and it was used for hundreds of years as a cure-all. People used this plant to treat illnesses including scarlet fever, syphilis, malaria, and blood poisoning

It is said that Native Americans learned to use echinacea from watching sick or wounded elk consume it, which earned it the name "elk root." The roots of the plant contain high concentrations of essential oils, however, the upper part of the plant contains polysaccharides that boost the immune system.

What Does It Do? 

bratwurst, pork, meat, sausage
Olivia Olson

Nowadays, echinacea helps treat the common cold, flu, and various upper respiratory infections. It does this by activating chemicals in the body that decrease inflammation that can lead to cold and flu symptoms. Scientific studies show that taking these tablets once cold symptoms appear helps to reduce them

A study containing 95 participants with cold and flu symptoms (think runny nose, fever, and sore throat) found that those who drank cups of tea containing the herb felt better sooner than those who did not consume this plant. It's a lifesaver, honestly. 

Additionally, professional herbalists continuously recommend echinacea for urinary tract infections, vaginal yeast infections, ear infections, and slow-healing wounds. It can also help improve mental health by reducing anxiety. It all sounds too good to be true. 

Basically, this plant is a necessity for all busy, overworked students that find themselves getting sick. Echinacea tablets can be purchased at drugstores, and you can take it with meals or prepare it as a tea. This tiny tablet is a game-changer, and your body will definitely thank you.