herbal compendium, Medicine Chest, Uncategorized

Echinacea: Echinacea angustifolia/ Echinacea purpurea

Echinacea is one of the most well-known herbal remedies for the common cold. Itโ€™s immune-modulating properties, as well as antimicrobial properties make it a gentle option to help prevent and manage the symptoms and severity of a cold/ flu.

Cichoric acid – one of the components of echinacea – increases the function of white blood cells called macrophages, which is to find foreign bodies and engulf them (think pacman).

Echinacea is best utilised as a immune-modulating ingredient, in the initial stages of upper respiratory tract infection. Multiple studies and years of clinical observation demonstrated Echinaceaโ€™s ability to prevent illness and reduce the severity and duration of the cold and flu.

Actions

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Depurative
  • Immune modulating
  • Lymphatic
  • Sialogogue

Constituents

  • Alkyamides
  • Cichoric acid

Profile

While its antimicrobial activity is strong, echinacea remains gentle on the stomach, making it a suitable option for children and adults alike.

If you find that echinacea makes your tongue tingle – great! This is a sign that the product contains a good amount of the alkyamides.

Echinacea spp. are part of the daisy family, so people with an allergy to these flowers may need to avoid the aerial parts (leaf & flower) of the plant, however the root is suitable for most people.

It was first used by American Indians, as a health tonic, to increase energy and help recover from all illnesses.

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