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.
Echinacea purpurea Vs Echinacea angustifolia
Echinacea purpurea and Echinacea angustifolia are ones of the most important world's herbs with immunotropic
activity. They were traditional medicinal plants used by North American Indians for the treatment of various
illnesses. Now they are cultivated in many areas and are used mainly to treat respiratory tract infections. [A2]
In one experiment, alcohol extracts of three medicinal Echinacea species, Echinacea angustifolia, Echinacea
pallida and Echinacea purpurea, were prepared. Alcohol extracts of all three Echinacea species significantly
inhibited NO production by lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-activated the RAW 264.7 macrophage cell line; among them
Echinacea pallida was the most active. And, arginase activity of RAW 264.7 cells stimulated with 8-bromo-cAMP
was significantly increased by alcohol extracts of all three Echinacea species. [A4]
In another experiment, ethanolic extracts from aerial parts of Echinacea Angustifolia and Echinacea purpurea from
the USDA North Central Regional Plant Introduction Station increased granulocyle/macrophage-colony forming
cells from femurs of rats by 3- and 2-fold, respectively, at 200 mg/kg (dosage ∼ 1400 mg/kg plant material). While,
extract from another USDA Echinacea angustifolia was inactive. Aqueous and methanolic extracts were also
inactive in the study. [A1] It seems that they both have similar immunomodulatory effects. However, the source of
materials and the extraction methods have a significant impact on their biological effects.
Echinacea Angustifolia Benefits
Echinacea Angustifolia Benefits on Pharyngotonsilitis
An immunostimulant herbal compound of Echinacea angustifolia, Arabinogalactan, Acerola (Vitamin C), Beta-
Glucan and Zinc (Imoviral® Junior) was given to 37 children affected by recurrent pharyngotonsillitis or otitis media.
The mean number of inflammatory episodes during 6 months before treatment was 3, during the 6 months
following treatment initiation it was 1. After the complete treatment, 77% of children reported an improvement of
chronic inflammatory in frequency of acute episodes.[A3]
Echinacea Angustifolia Benefits on Mammary Gland
Echinacea angustifolia extract can stimulate mammary epithelial cell physiology and may be considered a
candidate to support mammary gland activity during a mammogenetic and lactogenetic state. [A5]
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] Further, it has been shown that extract of Echinacea
angustifolia interfere chemotherapy. [A6] If you are on chemotherapy, please, discuss with your doctor about the
side effect of this herb, before taking it.
David, September 10, 2011
[x1] Study connects echinacea, tract bacteria AP December 20, 2006.  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. [A1]
Ramasahayam S, et al, Effects of Chemically Characterized Fractions from Aerial Parts of Echinacea purpurea and E. angustifolia on
Myelopoiesis in Rats. Planta Med. 2011 Aug 25. [A2] Skopińska-Rózewska E, Dose-dependent in vivo effect of Rhodiola and
Echinacea on the mitogen-induced lymphocyte proliferation in mice. Pol J Vet Sci. 2011;14(2):265-72. [A3] Minetti AM et al, Efficacy of
complex herbal compound of Echinacea angustifolia (Imoviral® Junior) in recurrent upper respiratory tract infections during pediatric
age: preliminary results. Minerva Pediatr. 2011 Jun;63(3):177-82. [A4] Zhai Z, et al, Echinacea increases arginase activity and has
anti-inflammatory properties in RAW 264.7 macrophage cells, indicative of alternative macrophage activation. J Ethnopharmacol.
2009 Feb 25;122(1):76-85. [A5] Starvaggi Cucuzza L et al, Effect of Echinacea augustifolia extract on cell viability and differentiation in
mammary epithelial cells. Phytomedicine. 2008 Aug;15(8):555-62. [A6] Huntimer ED, et al, Proliferative activity of Echinacea
angustifolia root extracts on cancer cells: Interference with doxorubicin cytotoxicity. Chem Biodivers. 2006 Jun;3(6):695-703.
Chicoric Acid Echinacea Health Benefits
September 10, 2011
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