Echinacea is a species of Echinacea native to North America and southern Canada. Currently, there are three main varieties for human and animal uses: Echinacea purpurea, Echinacea augustifolia and Echinacen pallida or white Echinacen. Echinacea extracts include many active components such as echinacea glucoside, chicory acid, mulacin, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, echinacea polysaccharide, flavonoids and a small amount of volatile oil. Studies have shown that different extracts of echinacea have immune-enhancing, anti-oxidation, anti-virus, anti-tumor and apoptosis regulation effects. Echinacea is one of the few medicinal plants with immune-enhancing and anti-inflammatory effects found in the world so far. Echinacea has become a popular immune stimulant in Europe and America because of its outstanding immune function, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antiviral effects.
Influenza prevention and treatment
Echinacea has been shown to relieve upper respiratory infections and early symptoms of flu and shorten the duration of illness. Echinacea is now recommended by many family physicians in the United States to prevent upper respiratory infections and cold symptoms, and it may be a reasonable choice, even better than antibiotics, for young, healthy people in the early stages of a cold.
Echinacea extract is used to treat and prevent diseases by activating different immune cells to improve the body’s own immune system. Echinacea is widely used in the treatment of bronchial asthma, genital herpes, cancer and AIDS infectious diseases and immune diseases. Echinacea can increase the phagocytosis of alveolar macrophages to pathogens and increase the body’s resistance. At the same time, echinacea can produce a variety of cytokines such as IL-1, IL-6, TNF-A and cytotoxin to control their and other immune cell activities.
Echinacea is used as a traditional anti-inflammatory in North America and Europe and has significant anti-inflammatory effects. The polyphenols, polysaccharides and isobutylphthalamide of echinacea showed anti-inflammatory activity in vitro and in vivo, which is helpful for urethral infection, pain, edema, dry nasal mucosa and allergy.
The result shows that except the pneumococcus, echinacea for verdigris false bacterium, staphylococcus aureus, group B streptococcus pneumoniae, klebsiella bacillus, influenza bacillus, the growth of the pneumococcal all have different degrees of bacteriostasis, including on staphylococcus aureus, group B streptococcus and epidermis staphylococcus aureus inhibitory effect is stronger, with weak flu bacilli bacteriostatic action. In the antifungal test, it was found that echinacea polysaccharides can resist candida albicans infection in mice treated with Echinacea polysaccharides for 24 hours after artificial infection with Candida albicans. It was found that the tissue of candida community in the experimental group was significantly reduced compared with that in the untreated control group.
Extracts from the aboveground and root of echinacea showed antiviral activity, which was related to immune stimulation and anti-hyaluronidase. Echinacea extracts showed indirect activity against influenza virus, herpes virus, and vesicular stomatitis virus, inhibiting replication of hepatitis virus, cerebral myocarditis virus, and follicular stomatitis virus in vitro, and inhibiting influenza virus and herpes virus in mice.
Echinacea can kill tumor cells by stimulating macrophages to produce tumor necrosis factor, interleukin, interferon and so on. Fructan, a polysaccharide contained in echinacea, also has anticancer activity.