Organic Echinacea Root

Echinacea angustifolia

I recently wrote this herbal profile for one of my classes and I thought it was interesting so I thought I would share it.

Organic Echinacea Root is a genus in the aster family (Asteraceae). There are nine species of Echinacea. Echinacea angustifolia is one of three species most commonly found in herb products.

History of Echinacea
Because I am in Texas I had to check the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower center.  According to the Native Plant Database,   “Americans used Echinacea to treat snakebites, burns, toothaches, colds, sore throat, headache, gonorrhea, mumps, tonsillitis, and smallpox.  Early settlers used it for almost every ailment. The juice from the plant can prevent burns. Root (chewed or in tea) used for snake bites, spider bites, cancers, toothaches, burns, hard-to-heal sores, and wounds, flu and colds.” (University of Texas at Austin, 2012)
John Uri Lloyd (1849-1936) was responsible for the first pharmaceutical preparations of Echinacea introduced into the medical profession in 1895. Until the 1920s when antibiotics were developed, Echinacea angustifolia was prescribed frequently by American physicians.  Echinacea was found to be effective in the treatment of gangrene, tuberculosis, diphtheria, and other serious diseases. Once antibiotics were developed, Echinacea use declined in the United States. (Steven Foster Group, Inc., 2012)

Modern Use of Echinacea
Echinacea can be used as a preventative at the first signs of colds and flu, as a mild antibacterial and fungicidal. Echinacea contains Vitamins A, C, &E, copper, iodine, iron, potassium and sulphur.
The results of several widely publicized controlled clinical studies on Echinacea products in recent years have found that compared to placebo, Echinacea may have little effect in the prevention and treatment of upper respiratory tract infections. (Steven Foster Group, Inc., 2012)
However, in March 2012, Francesco Di Perro et al conducted a study in which the preliminary results were encouraging and suggested that Polinacea (A highly standardized Echinacea angustifolia extract) could be used for improving the immune response to the influenza vaccine. (Francesco Di Pierro, 2012)

Parts Used

Most often roots, stems, and flowers.

Constituents

Essential oil (including humulene and caryophylene), glycoside, polysaccharide, polyacetylenes, isobutylalklamines, resin, betaine, inulin, sesquiterpine. (Annie's Remedy, 2013)


 

Contraindications

​Echinacea does not usually cause side effects when taken by mouth.  One of the most extensive and systematic studies to review the safety of Echinacea products concluded that overall, "adverse events are rare, mild and reversible," with the most common symptoms being "gastrointestinal and skin-related. (Huntly AL, 2005)
Use with caution if you are allergic to ragweed.  If you have an autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupis, or a chronic infection such as HIV/AIDS or tuberculosis, you should not use Echinacea.

References
Annie's Remedy. (2013, 09 25). Annie's Remedy: Essential Oils & Herbs. Retrieved from Annies Remedy: http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail212.php
Francesco Di Pierro, G. R. (2012). Use of Standardized Extract from Echinacea angustifolia (Polinacea) for the Prevention of Respiratory Tract Infections. Alternative Medicine Review, 36-41.
Huntly AL, T. C. (2005). The safety of herbal medicinal products derived from Echinacea species: a systematic review. Drug Safety, 28 (5): 387–400.
Steven Foster Group, Inc. (2012, 09 25). Echinacea. Retrieved from STEVEN FOSTER GROUP, INC.: http://www.stevenfoster.com/education/monograph/echinacea1.html
University of Texas at Austin. (2012, 09 25). Native Plant Database. Retrieved from Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower center: http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=ECAN2

Contraindications

​Echinacea does not usually cause side effects when taken by mouth.  One of the most extensive and systematic studies to review the safety of Echinacea products concluded that overall, "adverse events are rare, mild and reversible," with the most common symptoms being "gastrointestinal and skin-related. (Huntly AL, 2005)
Use with caution if you are allergic to ragweed.  If you have an autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupis, or a chronic infection such as HIV/AIDS or tuberculosis, you should not use Echinacea.

References
Annie's Remedy. (2013, 09 25). Annie's Remedy: Essential Oils & Herbs. Retrieved from Annies Remedy: http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail212.php
Francesco Di Pierro, G. R. (2012). Use of Standardized Extract from Echinacea angustifolia (Polinacea) for the Prevention of Respiratory Tract Infections. Alternative Medicine Review, 36-41.
Huntly AL, T. C. (2005). The safety of herbal medicinal products derived from Echinacea species: a systematic review. Drug Safety, 28 (5): 387–400.
Steven Foster Group, Inc. (2012, 09 25). Echinacea. Retrieved from STEVEN FOSTER GROUP, INC.: http://www.stevenfoster.com/education/monograph/echinacea1.html
University of Texas at Austin. (2012, 09 25). Native Plant Database. Retrieved from Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower center: http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=ECAN2

© 2012 Millan Essentials.  Feed Your Skin is a trademark of Millan Essentials.  No animals were harmed in the making  of this site.
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