Botanical Name: Echinacea angustifolia/E. purpurea
Common name: Echinacea (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 544)
Family: Asteracea (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 544)
Echinacea angustifolia: Root and rhizome
E. purpurea: Whole plant
(Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 524)
- 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
- 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)
(Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 526)
- Lymphatic adaptogen
(Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 525).
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).
- 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
- 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)
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