Immunity Booster Echinacea

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Immunity Booster Echinacea

Increase your immunity with Echinacea

According to NCCAM, there are nine known species of echinacea, all of which are native to the United States and southern Canada. The most commonly used, Echinacea purpurea, is believed to offer the most health benefits. The common names include echinacea, purple coneflower,
coneflower, American coneflower.

What are the health benefits of echinacea? Echinacea has traditionally been used to treat or prevent colds, flu and other infections. Echinacea is believed to stimulate the immune system to help fight infections. Echinacea is thought to benefit people suffered from skin issues, such as
acene or boils, and wounds. [NCCAM]

How is echinacea used? The aboveground parts and roots of echinacea are used fresh or dried to make teas, squeezed (expressed) juice,extracts, or preparations for external use.


WHAT ARE THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF “Immunity Booster  ECHINACEA” ? — based on research findings …

Immunomodulatory Effect

Goel et al studied the immunomodulatory effects of preparations of Echinacea containing cichoric acid, polysaccharides and alkylamides at different concentrations on male Sprague-Dawley rats. They found that Echinacea preparations are effective in stimulating an in vivo, non-
specific immune rsponse, such as increased release of cytokines, only when cichoric acid, polysaccharides and alkylamides at certain concentrations. [Echinacea stimulates macrophage function in the lung and spleen of normal rats. Goel et al, University of Alberta, Canada. J
Nutr Biochem. 2002 Aug;13(8):487.

O’Neill et al also concluded that Echinacea effectively stimulates immunocompetence, and the Echinacea extract improves the quality of blood by increasing haemoglobin levels and the number of erythrocytes from their studies on eight horses. [ Immunological and haematinic
consequences of feeding a standardized Echinacea extract to healthy horses. O’Neill et al, Equine Research Centre, Canada, Equine Vet J. 2002 May;34(3):222-7.

Common colds are one of the most fequent acute illnesses and Echinaceae purpureae herba has shown promising results in the relief of common cold symptoms and shortening the duration for improvement. A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial of 80 adult
patients with first signs of a cold has shown that echinacea supplement was effective in alleviating symptoms more rapidly than placebo. The researchers also observed that echinacea supplements were well- tolerated in the study. [8]

Furthermore, a few more studies also concluded that Echinacea effectively reduced the symptoms and duration of the common cold. [9] Echinacea appeared to be safe and no serious side effects were shown up in these studies. [9, 10]

However, Yale et al. failed to replicate such benefits using 100 mg of freeze-dried pressed juice from the aerial portion of the Echinacea purpurea. [7] Turner RB et al also failed to repicate the findings in experimental rhinovirus infections. [1] In the study, Turner utilized three doses of about 300 milligrams of the dried powdered echinacea root. [2]


The American Botanical Council (ABC), has pointed out that: {1} the extracts used were made in a university laboratory are different to commercial echinacea products. (2), the dosages used in this trial were also too low. According to ABC, various international monographs have acknowledged the generally higher dose used for echinacea root products. The World Health Organization (WHO) monograph for Echinacea root (“Radix Echniaceae”) has a dosage for Echinacea angustifolia root at the equivalence of 3 gm per day of the dried root.

[3] This same dosage is also acknowledged in the more recently developed draft monographs on Echinacea from the Canadian Natural Health Products Directorate. [4] This dosage level is about 330% higher than the dosage of the echinacea preparations given in the Turner’s trial.



When taken by mouth, echinacea usually does not cause side effects. However, some people experience allergic reactions, including rashes, increased asthma, and anaphylaxis. In clinical trials, gastrointestinal side effects were most common. [NCCAM]

People are more likely to experience allergic reactions to echinacea if they are allergic to related plants in the daisy family, which includes ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, and daisies. Also, people with asthma or atopy may be more likely to have an allergic reaction when
taking echinacea. [NCCAM]

Jerald C. Foote, assistant professor at University of Arkansas reported intake of echinacea supplements linked to increased amounts of certain bacteria. such as Bacteroides fragilis in the gastrointestinal tract. The increase in amount of Bacteroides fragilis may contribute to inflammatory bowel disease and diarrhea. [X1]

References – Immunity Booster Echinacea
[1]. Turner RB, Bauer R, Woelkart K, Hulsey TC, Gangemi DJ. An evaluation of Echinacea angustifolia preparations in experimental rhinovirus infections. N Engl J Med 2005;353:341-348.

[2]. Blumenthal M, Busse WR, Goldberg A, Hall T, Riggins CW, Rister RS, eds. Klein S, Rister RS, trans. The Complete German Commission E Monographs – Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. Boston: Integrative Medicine Communications; Austin, TX: American Botanical Council, 1998.

[3].Echinacea Radix. In: WHO monographs on selected medicinal plants. Geneva: World Health Organization, 1999.

[4]. Ehinacea. Natural Health Products Directorate. Health Canada. Draft Jan 2004.

[5]. Blumenthal M. Herb sales down 7.4 percent in mainstream market. HerbalGram


[6]. Echinacea. In:
Blumenthal M, Hall T, Goldberg A, Kunz T, Dinda K, Brinckmann J, et al, eds. The ABC Clinical Guide to Herbs. Austin, TX: American Botanical Council, 2003.

[7] Echinacea purpurea therapy for the treatment of the common cold: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Yale et al, Marshfield Clinic, USA.
Arch Intern Med. 2004 Jun 14; 164(11):1237-41.

[8] Schulten B et al, Efficacy of Euchinacea purpurea in patients with a common cold. A placebo-controlled, randomised, double-blind clinical trial. Arzneimittelforschung. 2001;51(7):563-8.

[9] Lindenmuth GF et al, The efficacy of echinacea compound herbal tea preparation on the severity and duration of upper respiratory and flu symptoms: a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled study. J Altern Complement Med.2000 Aug;6(4):327-34.

[10] Giles JT et al, Evaluation of echinacea for tratment of the common cold, Pharmacotherapy; 2000 Jun;20(6):690-7. Herbal Science Group Says Dosage Too Low in New Echinacea Trial, citizens. org Aug 9, 2005 [NCCAM] NCCAM Publication No D271 July 2005. [x1] Study connects echinacea, tract bacteria AP December 20, 2006.