Echinacea Purpurea Angustifolia - Herb, Root, Extract - Benefits, Information

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Echinacea Purpurea Angustifolia - Herb, Root, Extract - Benefits, Information
Reprinted by permission from Pat Whittington of Vitamin Research News

Echinacea, an herb native to North America, has played an important role in Native American medicine.  It was used by numerous tribes for many health issues including:  Sore mouth and gums, toothache, colds, and coughs.(4)

More recently, echinacea has been closely examined for its influence on immune cell proliferation, antibody production, and antiviral activities.(5)  One of the most popular uses of echinacea is for support and recovery from the common cold and influenza.  Two recent studies support the use of echinacea for this purpose.

In the first study, 108 patients with colds received either echinacea or placebo for eight weeks.(6)  Of those patients receiving the echinacea, 35.2% recovered and remained healthy while only 25.9% of the placebo group remained healthy.  When the patients became infected, the length of time between infections was 40 days for the echinacea group vs. only 25 days for placebo.  When infection did occur in patients receiving echinacea, effects were less severe and resolved quicker.  Patients showing evidence of weakened immune system (CD4/CD8 ratio) benefited the most from echinacea.

In a second study, 180 patients with influenza were given either an E. purpurea echinacea extract or a placebo.  The group receiving echinacea showed significant reduction of cold symptoms.(7)

Additional human studies have shown similar immune system support.  For example, patients with inoperable liver cancer, following treatment with echinacea, experienced a dramatic reduction in the side effects associated with chemotherapy, an enhanced quality of life, improved immune function, and a significant rise in natural killer cell activity with CD4 levels.(8)  Some of the possible protective effects are mediated by the increase in cytokine production, such as increased levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a) and interleukin-1 (IL-1).

In addition to its immuno-supportive actions, echinacea has also demonstrated mild antibacterial activity due largely to echinacoside, a complex caffeic acid derivative found in high concentrations in the root of E. angustifolia.  Echinacoside has been shown to be supportive in an antibacterial action against staphylococcus aureus, corynebacterium diphtheria, and proteus vulgaris.(1, 9, 10)

In addition, studies show that another herb that might be used in conjunction with echinacea is astragalus.  Astragalus leads to an increase in T-helper cell activity in both the immuno-deficient and healthy mice.  This effect has been noted in humans as well.

1. Zhao KS, Mancini C, Doria G. Enhancement of immune response in mice by astragalus membranaceus extracts. Immunopharmacolgy 20: 225-34, 1990.

2. Sun Y, Hersh E., Talpaz M, et al. Immune augmentation of local graft versus host reaction by traditional Chinese medicinal herbs. Cancer 52: 70-73, 1983.

3. Zhang Z, Wen Q, Liu C. Hepato-supportive effects of astragalus root. J Ethnopharmacol 30:145-49, 1990.

4. Hobbs C. Echinacea, a literature review.  HerbalGram 30:33-48, 1994.

5. Tyler VE. Report on the 41st Annual Congress of Medicinal Plant Research.   HerbalGram 30:66-74, 1994.

6. Schoneberger D: The influence of immune-supporting effects of pressed juice from Echinacea purpurea on the course and severity of colds.  Results of a double-blind study.  Forum Immunologie 8:2-12, 1992.

7. Braunig B, et al.: Echinacea purpurea radix for the immune response in flu-like infections.  Phytotherapy 13:7-13, 1992.

8. Brown DJ. Phytotherapy review and commentary. Townsend Letter for Doctors.   Aug/Sept: 789,1992.

9. Tyler VE. The Honest Herbal. Pharmaceutical Products Press, Binghamton. NY, pp 115-117, 1993.

10. Grieve M. A Modern Herbal, edited by F. Leyel, Hafner Press, New York. NY, p 265, 1974.

Warnings Information
  • Keep out of reach of children,

  • Do not exceed recommended dosage,

  • If you have a bad reaction or side effects, discontinue use immediately,

  • When using echinacea purpurea angustifolia herb root extract, please inform your physician.

More Information:  Echinacea Angustifolia Root

 Order:   Echinacea Purpurea Angustifolia

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