Botanical: Echinacea angustifolia
Family: Compositae (daisy) - Asteraceae (aster)
Other common names: Narrow-Leaf Purple Coneflower, Narrow-Leaf Echinacea, Black Susan, Hedgehog, Missouri Snake Root, Coneflower, Kansas Snake Root, Snake Root, Black Sampson,
Comb Flower, Indian Head
Thought to be nature's best immune system enhancer, Echinacea Angustifolia is believed to be the most powerful natural antibiotic. Echinacea’s antiseptic, antiviral and antifungal qualities help to stimulate the body's resistance to infection, diseases, fever, blood poisoning, common colds and flu. Echinacea Angustifolia is the "must-have" herb in your herbal medicine cabinet.
The information presented herein by Herbal Extracts Plus is intended for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Echinacea Angustifolia is an herbaceous, perennial plant that is native to the plains of the American West and has been widely cultivated in Europe, where it is thought to be perhaps the most powerful natural antibiotic. The hairy plant bears narrow, lance-shaped leaves and long-stalked, purple, rose or white flowers with drooping petals. The two-foot plant may be found growing in barrens, prairies and other dry, open places, thriving in rich, well-drained soil in sun. Echinacea's name is derived from the Greek, echinos, meaning "hedgehog" or "sea urchin," referring to the sharp pointed bracts of the receptacles, giving the herb one of its many common names, "Hedgehog." There are three species of this genus that include many of the same applications and properties (E. purpurea, E. angustifolia and E. pallida), and they are frequently used interchangeably. Native Americans, however, particularly favored Echinacea Angustifolia as a cure-all and used it more than any other plant for the treatment of illness and injury, including snakebites, fevers, wounds, burns, toothaches, enlarged glands and infections. The early Colonists adopted Echinacea as a home remedy for colds and flu, and the herb became popular in American herbal and traditional medicine. It was included in the National Formulary, the pharmacists' reference book, from 1915 through 1950, and although interest in Echinacea declined in America after the 1930s, it was "rediscovered" in the 1980s, owing to the increased interest in immune system disorders, chronic fatigue syndrome, cancer, candidiasis, etc. Word of its healing properties traveled back to Europe, where it remains one of the most sought-after herbs, and it has been noted that German doctors prescribe Echinacea as often as they prescribe antibiotics. There is now greatly renewed interest in the United States, because of the herb's positive effect on the immune system, and the herb has achieved worldwide fame for its antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties. Based upon recent scientific documentation, this North American plant will serve mankind well into the future. Echinacea contains a natural antibiotic called echinacoside (a glycoside) and a compound called echinacein (an amide). Both components neutralize enzymes produced by germs that attack healthy tissue and invade cells. Other constituents include fatty acids, essential oils, chlorogenic acid, germacrene, humulene, limonene, myrcene, flavonoids, alpha pinene, beta-pinene, palmitic acid, kaempferol, rutin, rutoside, polysaccharides, quercetin, alkaloids, carbohydrates, terpenoids, vitamin B1, B2, B3 and vitamin C, iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc, flavonoids, beta-carotene and other important nutrients.
Echinacea Angustifolia is believed to work by cranking-up the immune system to ward off disease and infection. There is evidence that it may mimic the action of interferon, a natural chemical in the body that is capable of shielding cells from viral invasion. As an antiviral and antibacterial, Echinacea not only works to destroy bacteria and viruses but also actually strengthens immunity by increasing the number of white blood cells in the blood stream. According to German researchers, the herb is said to increase the levels of infection-fighting T-cells by thirty percent, thereby helping to build and strengthen the immune system.
As an herbal body cleanser, Echinacea is now considered one of the most effective detoxicants in Western medicine for circulatory, lymphatic and respiratory systems. It is thought to be an excellent lymphatic tonic that cleanses the system of toxic materials. Echinacea is also called a depurative, or agent that tends to cleanse and purify the blood by killing contaminants in the blood, and this action has made it useful in the area of blood poisoning and septicemia. Echinacea is said to cleanse morbid matter from the stomach and help to expel poisons, toxins, pus and abscess formations in the body. As a sweat-producing agent, Echinacea further helps to cleanse and detoxify the body through the skin.
Considered an antifungal, Echinacea Angustifolia is said to be effective against vaginal yeast infections, such as Candida, and other fungal infections. This species of Echinacea is specifically thought to be effective against trichomoniasis, the vaginal infection caused by Trichomonas vaginalis, a single-cell protozoan parasite.
Echinacea Angustifolia may possess indirect anticancer activity, via its general immune-enhancing effects. The stimulation of the herb's polysaccharides and phytosterols are particularly important, because they are the ingredients that are thought to activate macrophages, the agents that engulf and digest tumor cells and destroy bacteria, viruses and infectious agents. According to Loyola University Health System, some malignant diseases have been treated with Echinacea and the effect of chemotherapy may be improved with its use.
At the first sign of a cold, flu, fever, earache or whenever antibiotic action is required, take Echinacea. The herb is believed to fight infections or at least diminish their length and severity.
Echinacea is regarded as an antiseptic and antibiotic that is thought to combat any type of infection, bacteria, viruses and germs like no other and has been found to be effective in some cases of urinary tract infection, staph infection, recurring kidney infection, food poisoning, poisonous bites (snakes and insects), syphilis, diphtheria and other putrid fevers. In Germany, it is used to fight bronchitis and abscesses.
Echinacea is considered an anti-inflammatory and an effective agent that works to reduce the pain and swelling from injury. The herb is believed to fight all types of inflammation and to ease swollen glands, hemorrhoids, tonsillitis, sore throat and enlarged prostate.
Echinacea Angustifolia is said to promote tissue regeneration. It is considered an "alterative," an herb that gradually converts an unhealthy organ condition to a healthy organ and gradually facilitates beneficial changes in body.
Used both internally and externally, Echinacea's effects as a healing herb for all types of skin problems and infections are said to be legendary, helping to relieve cuts, cold sores, boils, carbuncles, acne, herpes and gangrene. One of its chemical properties, called echinacein, is not only thought to repel germs but also stimulate skin cell repair. Topically, it has been used to ease sunburned skin, infected or weeping eczema, plant poisoning (ivy, etc.), herpes lesions, wounds and other infected skin conditions.
Echinacea Angustifolia is said to promote good digestion and help ease flatulence.
Echinacea Angustifolia Herbal Supplement is not recommended for pregnant women, individuals suffering from autoimmune disorders, those with allergies to daisies/ragweed/sunflowers or those receiving organ transplants. If taking prescription drugs, it is always wise to speak with a physician, as Echinacea may counter the effects of certain medications. Echinacea should not be given to children under two years, nor should it be used orally in long term diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, tuberculosis, collagenosis, HIV or AIDS and autoimmune disorders (like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis).