Echinacea (Echinacea angustifolia) monograph

Echinacea-PFamily: Asteraceae

Herbalists do not agree on which species is best, E.purpurea,, E. pallida, or E.angustifolia, but all variants have phytochemicals that improve the immune system.

Common medicinal properties:  Anti-inflammatory, Antibacterial, AntiViral, Depurative, Emetic, and Immunostimulant

Current Research:

Common cold – Many scientific studies show that taking some echinacea products when cold symptoms are first noticed can modestly reduce symptoms of the common cold in adults. But other scientific studies show no benefit. The problem is that scientific studies have used different types of echinacea plants and different methods of preparation. Since the studies have not been consistent, it is not surprising that different studies show different results. If it helps for treating a cold, the benefit will likely be modest at best. It also isn’t clear whether echinacea can help PREVENT colds. Any benefit is likely to be modest.

Vaginal yeast infections. Taking echinacea and applying a medicated cream to the skin seems to lower the recurrence rate of infection to about 16% compared to 60.5% with econazole alone.
Contraindications:

Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 1A2 (CYP1A2) substrates) interacts with ECHINACEA

Caffeine interacts with ECHINACEA

Medications that decrease the immune system (Immunosuppressants) interacts with ECHINACEA

Parts Used:  Most often roots, stems and flowers are also used but are weaker

Constituents:  essential oil (including humulene and caryophylene), glycoside, polysaccharide, polyacetylenes, isobutylalklamines, resin, betaine, inulin, sesquiterpene.

Folk applications:  Used by American Indians as an offering to spirits to ensure and strengthen spells.

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