herbal compendium, Medicine Chest, Uncategorized

Echinacea: Echinacea angustifolia/ Echinacea purpurea

Echinacea is one of the most well-known herbal remedies for the common cold. It’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 Echinacea’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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