Echinacea angustifolia/E. purpurea

echinacea-2

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Botanical Name: Echinacea angustifolia/E. purpurea
Common name: Echinacea (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 544)
Family: Asteracea (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 544)
Parts used:
Echinacea angustifolia: Root and rhizome
E. purpurea: Whole plant
(Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 524)

 

Constituents

ROOT:

  • Alklamides: Mostly isobutylamides which are responcible for tingling in the mouth
    Caffeic acid esters:

    • Echinacoside (E. angustifolia)
    • Chicoric acid (E. purpurea
    • Cynarin (E. angustifolia)
  • Essential oil

ARIEAL PARTS

  • Alklamides
  • Caffeic acid esters
    • Echinacoside (NOT present in E. purpurea)
    • Chicoric acid (E. purpurea)
    • Verbascoside (E. angustifolia)
    • Caftaric acid (E. purpurea)
    • Chlorogenic and isochlorogenic acids (E. angustifolia)
  • Falvenoids

(Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 526)

 

Actions

  • Immuneomodulatory
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Vulnerary
  • Lymphatic adaptogen

(Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 525).

 

History/Traditional Use

The origins of Echinacea used as a medicinal herb was from Native North Americans and then adopted by the Eclectics (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 524). The Native Americans and Eclectics only used and aquousethanolic extract of Echinacea angustifolia root high in alkylamides (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 524). After oral ingestion the alkylamides impart a persistant tingling sensation in the mouth subsequently stimulating the flow of saliva (Bone & Mills, 2003, p. 524).

E. purpurea is the most cultivated and widely used. This speicies is easier to grow and is the most popular form in Germnay, with the whole plant used medicinally (Bone & Mills, 2003, p. 524). Different variations exhibit variations in their phytochemical content yet are typically discussed under the genetic “echinacea” name as if their actions were consistent (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 524).

Both Echinacea angustifolia and E. purpurea are the two most used species in the western world (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 524).

Traditional use includes:

  • Bacterial, viral and protozoal infections
  • Infections of the digestive, respiratory and urinary tracts
  • Mild septicaemia
  • States of weakened, suppressed or imbalanced immunity (including allergies and autoimmunity)
  • Inflammatory and purulent conditions (acne, abscesses, furunculous)
  • Used topically for wound healing, inflamed skin conditions and bacterial infections

(Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 525).

 

Indications

  • Upper respiratory tract infections (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 525).
  • Prophylaxis of upper respiratory tract infections (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 525).
  • Assists in recovery from Chemotherapy (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 524).
  • As an immune enhancing herb, Echinacea acts predominantly on innate immunity and therefore may modulate immune function in allergy and autoimmunity (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 524).

 

Preparation & Dosage

E. augustofolia (root):

  • 1-3g/day dried root
  • Liquid extract: (1:2) 2-6mL/day
  • Tincture: (1:5) 5-15mL/day

 

E. purpurea:

  • 1.5-4.5g/day dried root
  • Liquid extract: (1:2) 3-9mL/day dried root
  • Tincture: (1:5) 7.5-22.5mL/day dried root

(Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 525)

 

Cautions & Contradictions

None known (Bone & Mills, 2013, pp. 536-537)

 

REFERENCE
Bone, K., & Mills, S. (2013). Principals and Practice of Phytotherapy (2nd ed.). Edinborough: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier.

Hoffmann, D. (2003). Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester Vermont: Healing Arts Press.

Image I: Avesbiopharma. (2013). Echinacea: Immunostimulante naturale. Retrieved from: www.avesbiopharma.com/echinacea-immunostimolante-naturale/

Image II: Kings Seeds. (2014). ‘Echinacea purpurea-Premadonna Deep Rose Pink’. Retrieved from: http://www.kingsseedsdirect.com/echinacea-purpurea-primadonna-deep-rose-pink/p1096

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