Echinacea: Healthy Skin and Body from the Inside Out
I have a confession to make. I missed last week’s post because I have been sick and it is my entire fault. At the time, while on vacation at the US / Canada Border in a Vermont Lake House, I took a little (ok, big) break from my clean eating habits and therefore I got sick - while still on vacation. My trip started Saturday, old bad habits began roughly Sunday evening, and by Thursday I was down. My body is now used to clean foods and it does not take long for it to reject the bad foods that I once ate.
Lake Champlain in Vermont/ Quebec
And so begins the confession. I drank rich processed creamers in my coffee several times a day – instead of my normal almond milk and no sweetener, I ate candy, I gave into a Dunkin Donut, bread at restaurants, indulged in chips and dip… took little nibbles of cheese (I love it! however my body does not, but I am currently in denial that I have an allergy to my beloved cheese…) and lots of sugar. Ugh, I’m so ashamed just writing this. Luckily I did not give into the fried foods and sodas that were in the house. I just do not like them anymore. Due to my dirty eating habits, I spent the last day of my vacation looking at the water instead of wading in it like I had planned.
Echinacea from the Garden at the Lake House
Ironically, I was in the middle of drafting this blog post about Echinacea and I used it to boost my immune system and aid in my healing. Echinacea grows freely and bountifully in Vermont and I definitely took advantage. Since starting my clean living journey, I am more in tune with my body now more than ever. I can tell instantly what is wrong and I know exactly how to fix it.
Side Note: It is so detrimental to listen to your body. Sometimes your body is rejecting your actions like what you eat or what you use on your skin. My symptoms appeared as if I was getting the flu and I could have easily purchased an over the counter drug (or 3) that would have only taken care of the symptoms. Could you imagine? I would have been in worse condition! As soon as the symptoms subsided, if I was not in tune with my body, I would continue the eating habits and the cycle would continue. This would drastically take a toll on my immune system and my body. Imagine how some live on allergy medications when the cause of the allergy could simply be the body rejecting one food group or ingredient. When you are in tune with your body you will know what its reactions mean and you will take the correct steps to keep yourself healthy even if it means no more cheese *silent cry*.
Species: Echinacea Purpurea
Echinacea for Body
Echinacea (purple coneflower) is a flowering plant that comes from the Daisy Family. It contains enzymes, and has antibiotic and anti-bacterial healing properties as well as alkylamides - fatty acids that activate cannabinoid receptors in the body (stimulates the immune system) to fight off the bacteria and toxins in the body. Studies show that Echinacea shortens the length of upper respiratory infections and lessens its intensity.
Side Note: In my research I found that some retail supplements and teas claiming to be Echinacea in fact do not contain it. The way to get around this is to always read your labels, grow and harvest your own, and/or to buy USDA certified organic. There is an extensive process to organic certification and all ingredients are tested and verified.
Echinacea for Skin
Along with my flu like symptoms I broke out all over my face. Talk about punishment. The Echinacea cleared this up in less than 24 hours. Echinacea is packed full of tannins which have a shrinking effect on skin cells because tannins clarify the skin. Tannins can also be found in Lavender. Echinacea has been applied to and used to treat skin problems such as skin boils, wounds, ulcers, burns, herpes, hemorrhoids and psoriasis. (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
Species: Echinacea Purpurea
Due to its antibacterial properties, it is clinically proven to treat acne after it readily killed the main strain of bacteria linked to acne production. The extract of the purple coneflower diminishes wrinkles due to high protein content which produces new skin tissues and repairs collagen. It also contains properties that protect your skin from environmental stressors which in turn slows the aging process of skin. It also soothes skin because of it anti-inflammatory properties.
Echinacea promotes healthy skin from the inside out. The whole plant including the cone, its leaves, and its roots contain all kind of nutrients like iron and even copper, and vitamins C, A, and E.
The next time you feel the onset of sickness (head cold, mucus, headache, upper respiratory infection, flu like symptoms) instead of reaching for the medicine cabinet go instead into the kitchen and fill up on Echinacea, leafy greens that are chlorophyll rich (post coming soon), ginger, lemons, honey and get some rest! You will be back to 100% in no time.
Have you used Echinacea to heal your skin or body? Have your grown Echinacea? What were the results? Share below, I would love to hear!