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One of the most popular herbs in America today is the Native American medicinal plant known as echinacea. Echinacea is primarily used to reduce the symptoms and duration of the common cold and flu and to alleviate the symptoms associated with them, such as sore throat (pharyngitis), cough, and fever. Many herbalists also recommend echinacea to help boost the activity of the immune system and to help the body fight infections. Echinacea is known to contains active substances that enhance the activity of the immune system, relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and have hormonal, antiviral, and antioxidant effects. For this reason, professional herbalists also recommend echinacea to treat urinary tract infections, vaginal yeast (candida) infections, ear infections (also known as otitits media), athlete`s foot, sinusitis, hay fever (also called allergic rhinitis), as well as slow-healing wounds. Echinacea Benefits * Echinacea (when taken at the first sign of a cold for 8 to 10 days) reduces cold symptoms or shortens their duration * Enhances the activity of the immune system * Relieve pain and helps reduce inflammation * Has hormonal, antiviral, and antioxidant effects