Is Echinacea Safe For Baby?

Is Echinacea Safe For Baby Yes, Echinacea (Purpurea) is an herbal remedy to common colds, flu, insect bites, and rashes.  Echinacea (Purpurea) is also called the purple coneflower.  It’s rich in antioxidants as well as anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and antimicrobial properties. It treats dandruff and provides a pleasant aroma to baby shampoos and body wash.

Is Echinacea Safe For Baby

What Is Echinacea  •  Origins  •  Baby Health Benefits
Is Echinacea Safe For Baby •  Echinacea In Baby Products

What Is Echinacea (Purpurea) And Is It Safe For Babies?
What Is Echinacea?

What Is Echinacea – Echinacea, also known as purple coneflowers, are prairie plants that are native to North America. It is tolerant to even the driest season and long-blooming, the reason why they can be cultivated in a wide variety of colors. Because of its fibrous root system, it is much more adaptable to gardening and transplanting than other Echinacea species with a long taproot [1].

Echinacea purpurea is a genus with at least 10 species. Among all the purple coneflower, the Echinacea purpurea is the most popularly grown in the world. The term “coneflower” itself is what gives the Echinacea plant its description; its flower petals bend backward from the center forming a cone [2].

The flower petals of the organic Echinacea Angustifolia look like that of a daisy’s and are made up of tiny little flowers. These flowers are sterile and lure insects towards the central cone. They also have a high content of nectar and are a favorite of butterflies and bees. Initially, the flowers only have two shades – purple or lavender. But as more hybridization happened, the organic Echinacea Angustifolia developed various colors such as green, white, red, yellow, or orange [3].

The shape of the plant’s leaves varies in size depending on its variety. Most of them have oval-shaped leaves while some have narrow ones [4].  Coneflowers, in general, can grow just about anywhere. In fact, they are labeled with 3-9 by the USDA Hardiness Zone. Baby coneflowers may need protection from the cold weather during their first year. But once they have surpassed this period, they become easier to maintain [5].

The size of the Echinacea tea plant greatly depends on its location and growing conditions. Most plants will grow from 2-4 feet tall and 16-24 inches wide. But there are also smaller varieties that can only grow as tall as 16-18 inches and are compared to “Kim’s Kneehigh [6].”

Every year, new Echinacea species come about but not all of them grow as continuously as others. The Echinacea paradoxa is a unique hybrid and grows with bright hues. But they are not as robust as the Echinacea purpurea which are not prone to root rot. The former also does not adjust well to cold conditions. The Echinacea tennesseensis is also a different species but has upward-pointing petals which are very different from the common coneflower herb [7].

Is Echinacea Safe For Baby

What Is Echinacea  •  Origins  •  Baby Health Benefits
Is Echinacea Safe For Baby •  Echinacea In Baby Products

What Is Echinacea
Origins of Echinacea

Organic Echinacea Angustifolia is a native coneflower plant in North America. It was first discovered 400 years ago by the Great Plains Indian tribes and used it as a traditional herbal remedy for infections, common cold, and sore throats. It was initially classified as an herb [8].

Its purpose as a medicine for the common cold came about when the Native American tribes conveyed to a Swiss herbal supplement manufacturer that the Echinacea purpurea was an adequate remedy to flu and had anti-inflammatory effects [9].

The purple coneflower is well-known back in the 1950s before the introduction of antibiotics. Several Echinacea species produced medicine from their leaves and root. But as the rage for antibiotics heightened, the herb lost its medicinal status [10].

The Echinacea tea plant belongs to the Asteraceae family and has various species namely the Echinacea Angustifolia DC, the Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench, and the Echinacea pallida (Nutt). Aside from it being a remedy to the common cold, chewing its root can heal throat and toothache infections. It also aids in the treatment of insect bites, snake bites, coughs, and stomach cramps.

The first of many Echinacea products was first introduced to the market around 1880. A. Vogel was the first one to cultivate Echinacea in Switzerland during the 1950s. And since then, many pharmacologists and chemists turned to Echinacea and produced many constituents including cichoric acid, polysaccharides, echinacoside, alkylamides, and ketoalkenes. They also showed benefits for cold prevention and therapy, septic solutions, and the immune system [11].

The Echinacea purpurea is also called Eastern purple coneflower, purple coneflower, or hedgehog coneflower [12].  Echinacea means “spiny one” in Greek and purpurea means “reddish-purple [13].”

Is Echinacea Safe For Baby

What Is Echinacea  •  Origins  •  Baby Health Benefits
Is Echinacea Safe For Baby •  Echinacea In Baby Products

Benefits Of Echinacea For Baby
Benefits Of Echinacea For Baby

Benefits Of Echinacea – Prevents Cold And Flu

Echinacea products with Echinacea extracts successfully decrease symptoms of the common cold and flu in adults and infants. It combats that stubborn, runny nose and can help your baby fall asleep without complications. The Echinacea herb is active and extremely beneficial for colds caused by a bacterial infection [14].

Benefits Of Echinacea For Baby – Anti-Inflammatory Effects

There are many root causes of inflammation among kids and adults. Some are due to stress and poor sleep while others are caused by the very toxins that are in your food. Fortunately, according to the University of British Columbia, the Echinacea tea and herb are proven to alleviate inflammation and permanently cure it [15].

Benefits Of Echinacea For Baby – Improves Immune System

The polysaccharides in Echinacea pallid are known as a combination of T-cells in the body. T-cells are a vital factor in fighting off infections. They also help in keeping the body protected from bacteria and viruses. The purple coneflower also increases the production of white blood cells in the body [16].

Benefits Of Echinacea For Baby – Treats Dandruff

When it comes to baby dandruff, the organic Echinacea Angustifolia is known to be one of the most effective and quickest remedies. Because of its anti-microbial properties, it can effectively cancel out dandruff. And since dandruff can also cause chapped and itchy skin, the Echinacea purpurea can also heal and give babies relief from the itch. It can also treat eczema and psoriasis [17].

Benefits Of Echinacea For Baby – Effective Topical Disinfectant

When babies develop irritated skin or diaper rashes, the Echinacea extract can work to give them relief. Topical creams with Echinacea purpurea can accelerate the healing process of the infected area. Aside from decreasing the inflammation, it also relieves discomfort and redness of the skin [18].

Is Echinacea Safe For Baby

What Is Echinacea  •  Origins  •  Baby Health Benefits
Is Echinacea Safe For Baby •  Echinacea In Baby Products

How Does Echinacea Work In Baby Products
How Does Echinacea Work In Baby Products?

One of the many reasons why the Echinacea root is a prominent ingredient in baby skin care products is the fact that it is rich in nutrients and anti-inflammatory enzymes. Aside from its iron, protein, and copper content, it is also filled with essential vitamins for the strengthening of the immune system such as the vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E. Its medicinal characteristics can be credited to its polysaccharides and polyacetylene content [19].

All of the Echinacea species contain the compound phenol. Phenols are active substances that are responsible for protecting the plant from radiation damage as well as plant infections. All Echinacea products, except for those containing extracts from the Echinacea pallid, includes alkamides, glycoproteins, polysaccharides, and caffeic acid derivatives – all of which have sound effects on the baby’s immune system [20].

Finally, baby products with Echinacea purpurea such as body wash and shampoos also smell good because of the aromatic oils inside the herb. It is also known for its antioxidant characteristics that are not only good for adults but also to infants and young kids [21].

Is Echinacea Safe For Baby

What Is Echinacea  •  Origins  •  Baby Health Benefits
Is Echinacea Safe For Baby •  Echinacea In Baby Products

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What Is Echinacea (Purpurea) And Is It Safe For Babies References

[1]   Encyclopedia; Echinacea, 2005.
[2]   The Plant List; Echinacea, 2010.
[3]   Fall Wildflowers of New England; Purple Coneflower.
[4]   Echinacea; Herbal Medicine with a Wild History, Dana M. Price, Kelly Kindscher, 2016.
[5]   The Spruce; Purple Coneflowers (Echinacea) are Garden Favorites, Marie Iannotti, October 24, 2017.
[6]   US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health; The Complete Natural Medicine Guide to the 50 Most Common Medicinal Herbs, Carl C. Bell, January 2005.
[7]   Echinacea; The Naming and Classification of Echinacea Species, Kelly Kindscher, Rebecca Wittenberg, June 09, 2016.
[8]   US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health; History of a plant: the example of Echinacea, Hostettmann K, April 2003.
[9]   WebMD; Study: Echinacea Cuts Colds by Half, Louise Chang, MD, June 26, 2007.
[10]   ScienceDirect; Echinacea angustifolia.
[11]   ScienceDirect; Determination of cichoric acid content in dried press juice of purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) with capillary electrophoresis, Bronja Mančeka, Samo Kreftb, January 2005.
[12]   EFloras; Echinacea purpurea (Linnaeus) Moench, Methodus. 591. 1794.
[13]   The Names Of Plants, Fourth Edition; David Gledhill, 2008.
[14]   St David’s Women’s Center of Texas; Infants’ & Kids’ Health.
[15]   US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health; Echinacea as an antiinflammatory agent: the influence of physiologically relevant parameters, Sharma M, Schoop R, Hudson JB, June 2009.
[16]   United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service; Eastern Purple Coneflower, June 05, 2006.
[17]   Questia; Medicinal Plants of the Borderlands: A Bilingual Resource Guide, Mitchell A. Kaplan.
[18]   Taylor & Francis Online; Echinacea. Extracts Contain Significant and Selective Activities Against Human Pathogenic Bacteria, M. Sharma, S. Vohra, J.T. Arnason, J.B. Hudson, October 07, 2008.
[19]   The Essential Guide To Vitamins, Minerals, And Herbal Supplements; Sarah Brewer, 1958.
[20]   US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health; Determination of Major Phenolic Compounds in Echinacea spp. Raw Materials and Finished Products by High-Performance Liquid Chromatography with Ultraviolet Detection: Single-Laboratory Validation Matrix Extension, Paula N. Brown, Michael Chan, Lori Paley, Joseph M. Betz, October 2011.
[21]   Informs PubsOnline; The Process of Problem Finding: A Production-Marketing Example, K. Roscoe Davis, November 01, 1977.

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