Echinacea Angustifolia was so named because the central cone of flower reminds urchin. The parts of plant that are used in order to extract all the nutrients are flowers and root. The main ingredients of Echinacea are beta-carotene, beta-sitosterol, quercetin, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin C and a volatile oil. It has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral effects and it can also boost immune system.
Due to its effects Echinacea can treat fever, colds, flu and any kind of infection. Indians used it to treat snake bites and wounds. Echinacea has three ways of action, it suppresses cold symptoms, reduces growth of microbes and bacteria and enhances body’s immune defense. Several studies clearly demonstrate that Echinacea is very effective in preventing and treating upper respiratory infections. There is also evidence that support that Echinacea make bone marrow and lymph to produce more powerful leukocytes and T cells, which in turn fight bacteria and infections. Echinacea has also antiviral activity due to interferon production. Interferon is a molecule that interferes with viruses’ DNA and inhibits their proliferation.
Infections, inflammations, colds, flus, sinusitis, tonsillitis, allergy, pharyngitis but even chronic conditions such as arthritis, chronic bronchitis and urinary problems.
Echinacea is available in many forms such as effervescent tablets, syrup, tincture and powder. The therapeutic dose is 900mg per day in 3 doses of 300mg for a two week period, without interruption. Echinacea tincture is used as antiseptic for cleaning wounds and for throat gargle. In addition, Echinacea powder appears to be effective in eczema. For prevention, use every 15 days 15 drops of Echinacea. As a tincture, use 1-4ml, 3 times a day. Products of Echinacea that are intended for children (syrups, drops) contain no alcohol.
Echinacea’s therapeutic properties can be combined with other herbs such as:
- Echinacea, Achillea and Uva Ursi for cystitis.
- Echinacea, Gallium, Scrofularia and Phytolacca for acne
- Echinacea, Hypericum, Passifrora and Valerian for herpes
- Echinacea, Gallium and Hydrastis for lymphatic health
Echinacea should not be used if there is an allergy to daisies or there is tuberculosis, leukemia, diabetes and autoimmune diseases. Additionally, Echinachea’s products should not be used for more than 8 weeks, because loses its effectiveness. Overdosage may cause diarrhea.