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Making Echinacea Tincture – Medicinal Herbs

Making Echinacea Tincture – Medicinal Herbs
Source: Rosemary Gladstar
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

More wonderful than eating food for the taste is eating foods for their healing or medicinal purposes. In a time where the corona virus is running rampant around the globe and claiming lives at all levels foods that get at the heart of healing are a huge comfort. Enjoy this simple and straightforward method for harvesting your foods for their medicinal benefits.

Echinacea is one of our favorites because it boosts the immune system, which is especially comforting now and during any cold season. What are your favorite herbs? What are their medicinal purposes? What foods do you take when you become ill?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

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Echinacea: Medicinal Benefits – Health Line

Echinacea shidonna raven garden and cook

Source: Health Line
Research on echinacea suggests that it offers several impressive health benefits.

Positive Effect on the Immune System

Echinacea is best known for its beneficial effects on the immune system.

Numerous studies have found that this plant may help your immune system combat infections and viruses, which could help you recover faster from illness (8Trusted Source9Trusted Source10Trusted Source).

That’s one reason why echinacea is often used to prevent or treat the common cold.

In fact, a review of 14 studies found that taking echinacea may lower the risk of developing colds by more than 50% and shorten the duration of colds by one and a half days (11Trusted Source).

However, many studies on this topic are poorly designed and show no real benefit. This makes it hard to know if any benefits on colds are from taking echinacea or simply from chance (12Trusted Source).

In short, while echinacea may boost immunity, its effects on the common cold are unclear.

May Lower Blood Sugar Levels

High blood sugar can raise your risk of serious health problems.

This includes type 2 diabetes, heart disease and several other chronic conditions.

Test-tube studies have found that echinacea plants may help lower blood sugar levels.

In a test-tube study, an Echinacea purpurea extract was shown to suppress enzymes that digest carbohydrates. This would reduce the amount of sugar entering your blood if consumed (13Trusted Source).

Other test-tube studies found that echinacea extracts made cells more sensitive to insulin’s effects by activating the PPAR-y receptor, a common target of diabetes drugs (14Trusted Source15).

This particular receptor works by removing excess fat in the blood, which is a risk factor for insulin resistance. This makes it easier for cells to respond to insulin and sugar (16Trusted Source).

Still, human-based research on the effects of echinacea on blood sugar is lacking.

May Reduce Feelings of Anxiety

Anxiety is a common problem that affects close to one in five American adults (17).

In recent years, echinacea plants have emerged as a potential aid for anxiety.

Research has discovered that echinacea plants contain compounds that may reduce feelings of anxiety. These include alkamides, rosmarinic acid and caffeic acid (18Trusted Source).

In one mouse study, three out of five echinacea samples helped reduce anxiety. In addition, they did not make the mice less active, in contrast to higher doses of standard treatments (18Trusted Source).

Another study found that Echinacea angustifolia extract rapidly reduced feelings of anxiety in both mice and humans (19Trusted Source).

However, as of now, only a handful of studies on echinacea and anxiety exist. More research is needed before echinacea products can be recommended as a possible treatment.

Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Inflammation is your body’s natural way of promoting healing and defending itself.

Sometimes inflammation can get out of hand and last for longer than necessary and expected. This may raise your risk of chronic diseases and other health problems.

Several studies have shown that echinacea can help reduce excess inflammation.

In a mouse study, echinacea compounds helped reduce important inflammatory markers and memory-loss caused by inflammation (20Trusted Source).

In another 30-day study, adults with osteoarthritis found that taking a supplement containing echinacea extract significantly reduced inflammation, chronic pain and swelling.

Interestingly, these adults did not respond well to conventional non-steroidal inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) but found the supplement containing echinacea extract helpful (21Trusted Source).

May Help Treat Skin Concerns

Research has shown that echinacea plants may help treat common skin concerns.

In a test-tube study, scientists found that echinacea’s anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties suppressed the growth of Propionibacterium, a common cause of acne (22Trusted Source).

In another study in 10 healthy people aged 25–40, skin care products containing echinacea extract were found to improve skin hydration and reduce wrinkles (23Trusted Source).

Similarly, a cream containing Echinacea purpurea extract was shown to improve eczema symptoms and help repair the skin’s thin, protective outer layer (24Trusted Source).

However, echinacea extract appears to have a short shelf life, making it difficult to incorporate into commercial skin care products.

May Offer Protection Against Cancer

Cancer is a disease that involves the uncontrolled growth of cells.

Test-tube studies have shown that echinacea extracts may suppress cancer cell growth and even trigger cancer cell death (25Trusted Source26Trusted Source).

In one test-tube study, an extract of Echinacea purpurea and chicoric acid (naturally found in echinacea plants) was shown to trigger cancer cell death (25Trusted Source).

In another test-tube study, extracts from echinacea plants (Echinacea purpurea, Echinacea angustifolia and Echinacea pallida) killed human cancer cells from the pancreas and colon by stimulating a process called apoptosis or controlled cell death (26Trusted Source).

It’s believed that this effect occurs due to echinacea’s immune-boosting properties (27Trusted Source).

There was some concern that echinacea could interact with conventional cancer treatments, such as doxorubicin, but newer studies have found no interaction (28Trusted Source29Trusted Source).

That being said, human studies are needed before making any recommendations.

SUMMARY

Echinacea has been shown to improve immunity, blood sugar, anxiety, inflammation and skin health. It may even have anti-cancer properties. However, human-based research on these benefits is often limited.

Potential Side Effects

Echinacea products appear to be safe and well-tolerated for short-term use.

There have been cases where people experienced side effects, such as (3Trusted Source):

  • Rashes
  • Itchy skin
  • Hives
  • Swelling
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Shortness of breath

However, these side effects are more common among people with allergies to other flowers, such as daisies, chrysanthemums, marigolds, ragweed and more (3031Trusted Source).

As echinacea appears to stimulate the immune system, people with autoimmune disorders or people taking immunosuppressive drugs should avoid it or consult their doctors first (3Trusted Source).

While it appears to be safe for short-term use, its long-term effects are still relatively unknown.

SUMMARY

Echinacea appears to be safe and well tolerated in the short term, but its long-term effects are relatively unknown.

Dosage Recommendations

There is currently no official dosage recommendation for echinacea.

One reason being that findings from echinacea research are highly variable.

In addition, echinacea products often may not contain what is written on the label. One study found that 10% of echinacea products samples did not contain any echinacea (32Trusted Source).

This is why you should purchase echinacea products from trusted brands.

That said, research has found the following doses to be effective in aiding immunity (11Trusted Source):

  • Dry powdered extract: 300–500 mg of Echinacea purpurea, three times daily.
  • Liquid extract tinctures: 2.5 ml, three times daily, or up to 10 ml daily.

However, it’s best to follow the instructions that come with your specific supplement.

Keep in mind that these recommendations are for short-term use, as echinacea’s long-term effects on the body are still relatively unknown.

SUMMARY

Echinacea products are highly variable, which makes it hard to set a standard recommended dosage. The dosages vary with the form of echinacea you’re using.

The Bottom Line

Echinacea has been shown to improve immunity, blood sugar, anxiety, inflammation and skin health. It may even have anti-cancer properties. However, human-based research is often limited.

It’s considered safe and well tolerated for short-term use.

Suggested dosages vary depending on the form of echinacea you’re using.

Although it’s commonly used to treat the common cold, results in this area are mixed. While research has shown it may help prevent colds, shorten their duration or provide symptomatic relief, many studies have been poorly designed or shown no real benefit.

That said, there aren’t many products like echinacea with similar potential immune-boosting effects, so it might be worth trying it out.

During the pandemic many medical professionals are recommending immune boosting foods like echinace, vitamin c and d. What are you taking? How has it worked for you? Why do you take what you do?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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Oregano Health Benefits & Cooking

Oregano Plant Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

The wonderful thing about growing your own plants and maintaining plants is that they are gifts that keep on giving. Several plants can be feed and harvested time and time again. Many plants will last 2 years are more like this. Your savings will quickly add up with a herbal kitchen plant of your own. Many people simply do not buy fresh herbs because of the cost. After a couple of uses, a kitchen gardener will soon get their money back and then some.

Health Benefits of Oregano
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

We have grown this beautiful Oregano Plant Organically without any chemicals. While her seeds were not organic, she was grown organically. She has harvested well and stood the test of time. Furthermore, she has a deep as well as rich flavor and is ready to be taken home. You can pick her up locally (Norfolk, VA) and take her home for a $10 donation to Shidonna Raven Garden & Cook’s Garden. When you get her home start outside from your porch and then slowly acclimate her to your kitchen window seal over a 3 – 5 day period. Water her, giver her sun light, refresh her soil periodically and fertilize her with organic fertilizers every week or every other week to continue to feed her the nutrients she needs. Most importantly enjoy! Harvest about a third of the leaves at a time from the outside of the plant. Allow her leaves to grow back and continue to harvest. Should you have any questions, just post a comment or send us an email. Time is always of the essence so please do not wait or hesitate to ask us. Thank you for your generous donation. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

Update! This plant is no longer available and is now in a new home. We will share any updates with you. Want to get your own plant? Shop our plants.

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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MiMi & Mom

With home schooling and staying close to home we were quickly running out of ideas to keep MiMi occupied. Thank you for inspiring us to get our own growing kit! We also took the bottoms of her Dad’s green onion used for cooking. We are growing the roots in water in hopes to plant them in soil soon. We were surprised to see how FAST it grew in a matter of days. We also are considering a small herb garden in pots to surprise Dad for Father’s Day. Thank you for always sharing and keeping us inspired!

Write your own testimony or comment. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep growing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

Flower Grow Kit
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

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How to Harvest Parsley

How to Harvest Parsley
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

One of the herbs we have in our Garden is Parsley. She has been doing very well, so we thought we should harvest her soon and let her grow back some more leaves. Do you grow herbs in your kitchen or outdoors? Which herbs do you grow? Which herbs would you like to grow? Above is a video showing how to harvest Parsley. This manner of harvesting is typically true for similar shaped herbs. As always you are the best part of what we do. What did you learn about harvesting? Was it helpful? Keep growing. Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today.

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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The Cabbage Family

One of the Ministers from the church stopped by with his wife, as they often do. When they came to the back yard to check out the garden, naturally they had a lot of questions. Come to find out his wife, like me, likes it hot. We have Habenaro, Jalapeno & Cayenne in our garden. So, luckily there is a lot to choose from. Cayenne is a main stay with our herbs and spices. We really like fresh salsa and guacamole around here. And we have been known to make homemade tortillas for fajitas. So, the jalapenos along with the onions and bell peppers are sure to be a big hit in our kitchen. Habenaro is a great pepper found in many of our favorite Caribbean dishes such as Jamaican patties. Needless to say we have plans for those peppers. As I am sure the Minister’s wife can come up with a few of her own.

Question: Dosen’t cabbage and brussle sprouts come in a globe shape? Why are the leaves facing outward?

Answer: The short answer is Yes. They do come to us in the shape of a globe.

The wonderful thing about a garden are the things you learn about your favorite herbs, vegetables and fruits. Because many of our plants came to us as seeds, we will get to see them from seeds to harvest and everything in between. So, we are glad that you are asking questions and are here with us on this journey. There is always something new in the garden. It amazes me how much these plants can change overnight. One day they do not have flowers. The next day they have flowers and they are pollinating. We have had several birds come to our garden and even a few beautiful butterflies and bees. We will talk about the birds and the bees later and where that saying came from anyway.

Pictured in this article you can see both brussel sprouts, apart of the cabbage family, and cabbage beginning to form globes in the middle of the plant. This is a very good thing. We had a cookout this weekend and steamed up some cabbage Jamaican style. We have just about everything we need to whip up another batch from the garden. We were very pleased by the way the cabbage cooked up. So, we are sure to have more.

The Cabbage Family. …forming into a globe

We know a few good cooks. So, we are hoping they come over and help us cook up some curry goat and cabbage come harvest season. What observations have you made? Observations are very important in gardening. Did you know the true color of carrots is purple? They added beta carotene to it causing the vegetable to turn orange. What have you learned so far? Thank you for your questions. We look forward to answering them as we take this journey with you. Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.