Echinacea Health Benefits
Echinacea health benefits may include help for men who have BPH and prostatitis or chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CPPS), but it may also boost the immune system, fight inflammation, and treat respiratory conditions. The herb Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea) is also known as American cone flower, black susan, comb flower, pale coneflower, and snakeroot.
Echinacea is perhaps best known for treating upper respiratory infections. However, its immune system enhancement and anti-inflammatory properties could make it useful in supporting prostate health. In fact, the authors of The Peoples Pharmacy Guide to Home and Herbal Remedies have noted that Echinacea is commonly used in Germany to treat prostatitis. (Graedon 1999)
Echinacea health benefits may be seen in other areas of prostate health as well. A study published in Phytotherapy Research in October 2009 showed promise for Echinacea in treating benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). The study involved rats with BPH that were given an extract of Echinacea for 4 and 8 weeks. By the end of the study, the animals showed a significant reduction in prostate mass as well as a reversal of degeneration in the gland itself. (Skaudickas 2009)
Echinacea is commercially available as capsules, extract, tincture, expressed juice, and tea. To appreciate echinacea health benefits, a common dose is 300 mg of standardized extract taken three times daily for 7 to 10 days. (University of Maryland) Side effects are not common but can include nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, heartburn, fever, dry mouth, sore throat, insomnia, dizziness, abdominal pain, and joint or muscle pain. Men who want to explore echinacea health benefits should first consult their healthcare provider before taking the supplement.
Graedon, Joe and Terry. The People’s Pharmacy Guide to Home and Herbal Remedies. 1999
Skaudickas D et al. The effect of Echinacea purpurea (L) Moench extract on experimental prostate hyperplasia. Phytotherapy Research 2009 Oct; 23(10): 1474-78.
University of Maryland Medical Center, information on echinacea health benefits: http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/echinacea-000239.htm