According to NCCAM, there are nine known species of echinacea, all of which are native to the United States and
southern Canada. The most commonly used,
Echinacea purpurea  is believed to offer the most health benefits. The
common names include echinacea, purple coneflower, coneflower, American coneflower. Echinacea purpurea has
traditionally been used to treat or prevent colds, flu and other infections. Echinacea is believed to stimulate the immune
system to help fight infections. Echinacea purpurea is thought to benefit people suffered from skin issues, such as
acene or boils, and wounds. [NCCAM]

The aboveground parts and roots of echinacea purpurea are used fresh or dried to make teas, squeezed (expressed)
juice, extracts, or preparations for external use.
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ECHINACEA BENEFITS

Inflammation
An extract was obtained from Echinacea purpurea by steam distillation shows anti-inflammatory activities in mice and
rats. But, only the high dosage group shows statistically significant inhibition of paw edema formation. [C1]

Echinacea benefits on immunomodulatory effect
Goel et al studied the immunomodulatory effects of preparations of Echinacea containing cichoric acid, polysaccharides
and alkylamides at different concentrations on male Sprague-Dawley rats. The Echinacea preparations are effective in
stimulating an in vivo, non-specific immune response, such as increased release of cytokines, only when cichoric acid,
polysaccharides and alkylamides at certain concentrations. [1A]

Another group reports that Echinacea effectively stimulates immunocompetence, and the Echinacea extract improves
the quality of blood by increasing haemoglobin levels and the number of erthrocytes in a study of eight horses. [ O'Neill
et al, Equine Vet J. 2002 May;34(3):222-7.

Echinacea benefits - against common cold, rhinovirus infections
Common colds are one of the most frequent acute illnesses and Echinaceae purpureae has shown promising results in
the relief of common cold symptoms and shortening the duration for improvement. A clinical trial of 80 adult patients
with first signs of a cold has shown that echinacea supplement was effective in alleviating symptoms more rapidly than
placebo. The echinacea supplements were well-tolerated in the study. [8] In some other studies, Echinacea also
effectively reduced the symptoms and duration of the common cold. [9] Echinacea appeared to be safe without serious
side effects were shown up in these studies. [9, 10]

However, there is a reproducible issue. Yale et al. failed to replicate such beneficial effets using 100 mg of freeze-dried
pressed juice from the aerial portion of the echinacea purpurea. [7] Turner RB et al also failed to replicate the findings
in experimental rhinovirus infections. [1] In the study, Turner utilized three doses of about
300 milligrams of the dried
powdered echinacea root. [2]

The American Botanical Council (ABC), has pointed out that: {1} the extracts used were made in a university laboratory
are different to commercial echinacea products. (2), the dosages used in this trial were also too low.  According to
ABC,  various international monographs have acknowledged the generally higher dose used for echinacea root
products. The World Health Organization (WHO) monograph for Echinacea root (“Radix Echniaceae”) has a dosage
for Echinacea angustifolia root at the equivalence of
3 gm per day of the dried root. [3] This same dosage is also
acknowledged in the more recently developed draft monographs on Echinacea from the Canadian Natural Health
Products Directorate. [4] This dosage level is about 330% higher than the dosage of the echinacea preparations given
in the Turner's trial.

Echinacea benefits - prevention of swine flu
A research group in Germany studied the anti-viral activity of a commercial Echinacea purpurea extract. They found
that this extract inactivated Human H1N1-type IV, highly pathogenic avian IV (HPAIV) of the H5- and H7-types, as well as
swine origin IV (S-OIV, H1N1) at concentrations ranging from the recommended dose for oral consumption to several
orders of magnitude lower. They reported a direct contact between Echinacea purpurea extract and virus was required,
prior to infection, in order to obtain maximum inhibition in virus replication. The extract interfered with the viral entry into
cells. In addition,  Tamiflu-resistant virus was just as susceptible to Echinacea purpurea extract as the wild type virus.
[11]
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Echinacea side effects
When taken by mouth, echinacea usually does not cause any side effects for most people. However, some people
experience allergic reactions, including rashes, increased asthma, and anaphylaxis.Gastrointestinal side effects were
most common in clinical studies. [NCCAM]

Echinacea may offer more side effects to certain types of users. People are more likely to experience allergic reactions
from echinacea if they are allergic to plants in daisy family, such as ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, and daisies.
Echinacea may offer more side effects to users suffered from asthma or atopy. [NCCAM] Further, there is a report that
intake of echinacea supplements is linked to increased amounts of certain bacteria. such as Bacteroides fragilis in the
gastrointestinal tract. The increase in amount of Bacteroides fragilis may contribute to inflammatory bowel disease and
diarrhea. [X1]

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References
1. Turner RB, Bauer R, Woelkart K, Hulsey TC, Gangemi DJ. An evaluation of Echinacea angustifolia preparations in experimental
rhinovirus infections. N Engl J Med 2005;353:341-348. 2. Blumenthal M, Busse WR, Goldberg A, Hall T, Riggins CW, Rister RS, eds. Klein
S, Rister RS, trans. The Complete German Commission E Monographs – Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. Boston: Integrative
Medicine Communications; Austin, TX: American Botanical Council, 1998. 3. Echinacea Radix. In: WHO monographs on selected
medicinal plants. Geneva: World Health Organization, 1999. 4. Ehinacea. Natural Health Products Directorate. Health Canada. Draft Jan
2004. 5. Blumenthal M. Herb sales down 7.4 percent in mainstream market. HerbalGram 2005;66:63. 6. Echinacea. In: Blumenthal M, Hall
T, Goldberg A, Kunz T, Dinda K, Brinckmann J, et al, eds. The ABC Clinical Guide to Herbs. Austin, TX: American Botanical Council, 2003.
[7]  Echinacea purpurea therapy for the treatment of the common cold: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Yale et
al, Marshfield Clinic, USA. Arch Intern Med. 2004 Jun 14; 164(11):1237-41. [8] Schulten B et al, Efficacy of Euchinacea purpurea in patients
with a common cold. A placebo-controlled, randomised, double-blind clinical trial. Arzneimittelforschung. 2001;51(7):563-8. [9] Lindenmuth
GF et al, The efficacy of echinacea compound herbal tea preparation on the severity and duration of upper respiratory and flu symptoms: a
randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled study. J Altern Complement Med. 2000 Aug;6(4):327-34. [10] Giles JT et al, Evaluation of
echinacea for tratment of the common cold, Pharmacotherapy; 2000 Jun;20(6):690-7. Herbal Science Group Says Dosage Too Low in
New Echinacea Trial, citizens. org Aug 9, 2005 [NCCAM] NCCAM Publication No D271 July 2005. [x1] Study connects echinacea, tract
bacteria AP December 20, 2006. [11] Drs Pleschka S, Stein M, Schoop R. and Hudson JB Anti-viral properties and mode of action of
standardized Echinacea purpurea extract against highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (H5N1, H7N7) and swine-origin H1N1 (S-OIV).
Virol J. 2009 Nov 13;6:197 [1A] Goel et al, J Nutr Biochem. 2002 Aug;13(8):487. [C1] Yu D et al, Anti-inflammatory effects of essential oil in
Echinacea purpurea L. Pak J Pharm Sci. 2013 Mar;26(2):403-8.
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RELATED ARTICLES
Chicoric Acid       Echinacea Angustifolia              
echinacea purpurea, echinacea benefits, echinacea side effects
2013
Echinacea Purpurea Abstract
Echinacea purpurea is extremely popular in the United States. Echinacea ranked second in sales in mainstream
market retail stores in 2004. [5]  Echinacea purpurea (the purple coneflower) has been used for hundreds of years as
an immune stimulant and general anti viral and bacterial aid . And, it may have benefits on indigestion.
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echinacea side effects