Echinacea root (Echinacea angustifolia)

Traditional Indications

Echinacea angustifolia is the premium variety and stronger than Echinacea purpurea and the root is premium in comparison to the aeriel parts. Echinacea is anti-microbial, anticatarrhal, alterative and immunomodulator. Echinacea is one of the primary remedies for helping the body rid itself of microbial infections. In combination with Yarrow or Bearberry it will treat cystitis. It is especially useful for infections of the upper respiratory tract such as laryngitis, tonsillitis and for catarrhal conditions of the nose and sinus. In general it may be used widely. (1)

In Traditional Chinese Medicine Echinacea is known as Zi Zhu Hua 紫锥花. Zi Zhu Hua enters the Lungs & Spleen channels to activate Wei Qi (immune system Qi), releases the exterior, scatters Wind-Heat & clears toxins. It is indicated to treat bother upper and lower respiratory tract and indeed any infection. (2)

Pharmacognosy

Echinacea has anti-viral properties through its action to increase interferon (IFN). (3-5) & is comparable with the antiviral drug Oseltamivir. (6)

IFNs are proteins known as cytokines, molecules responsible for triggering Immune defences to help eradicate pathogens. IFN are named for their ability to "interfere" with viral replication by protecting cells from virus infections. IFNs also activate immune cells, such as natural killer cells and macrophages; they increase host defences by up-regulating antigen presentation by virtue of increasing the expression of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) antigens to help immune cells differentiate self cells from foreign invading cells. Flu like symptoms" including fever and muscle pain are caused by the production of IFNs and other cytokines. (7)

Immune-modulatory activities comprise stimulation of phagocytic activity of macrophages & suppression of proinflammatory cytokines & chemokines responses of epithelial cells to viruses & bacteria. (8)
Echinacea angustifolia displays antioxidant effects and lowers inflammatory mediators IL-1β and TNF-α in colitis and may likely have some therapeutic favourable effects in the management of ulcerative colitis UC. (9, 10)

1. PFAF. Echinacea angustifolia 2019.
2. Healing WRIo. Echinacea (Zi Zhu Hua) 2019.
3. McCann DA, Solco A, Liu Y, Macaluso F, Murphy PA, Kohut ML, et al. Cytokine- and interferon-modulating properties of Echinacea spp. root tinctures stored at -20 degrees C for 2 years. J Interferon Cytokine Res. 2007;27(5):425-36.
4. Wu H, Nardone A, Lacetera N. Effects of a standardized purified dry extract from Echinacea angustifolia on proliferation and interferon gamma secretion of peripheral blood mononuclear cells in dairy heifers. Res Vet Sci. 2009;87(3):396-8.
5. Zhai Z, Liu Y, Wu L, Senchina DS, Wurtele ES, Murphy PA, et al. Enhancement of innate and adaptive immune functions by multiple Echinacea species. J Med Food. 2007;10(3):423-34.
6. Karel Rauš SP, Peter Klein, Roland Schoop and Peter Fisher. Effect of an Echinacea-Based Hot Drink Versus Oseltamivir in Influenza Treatment: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Double-Dummy, Multicenter, Noninferiority Clinical Trial
Curr Ther Res Clin Exp. 2015;77:66–72.
7. Various. Interferon. Wikipedia2018.
8. Hudson JB. Applications of the phytomedicine Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower) in infectious diseases. Journal of biomedicine & biotechnology. 2012;2012:769896-.
9. Dogan Z, Ergul B, Sarikaya M, Filik L, Gonultas MA, Hucumenoglu S, et al. The protective effect of Echinacea spp. (Echinacea angustifolia and Echinacea purpurea) in a rat colitis model induced by acetic acid. Pakistan journal of pharmaceutical sciences. 2014;27(6):1827-35.
10. Dogan Z, Ergul B, Sarikaya M, Filik L, Gonultas MA, Hucumenoglu S, et al. The antioxidant effect of Echinacea angustifolia and Echinacea purpurea in rat colitis model induced by acetic acid. Bratislavske lekarske listy. 2014;115(7):411-5.