Posted In: Properties of echinacea
Properties of echinacea
The echinacea root contains polysaccharides that give the plant immunostimulant properties, for this reason it is used in phytotherapy to promote the natural defences, as it stimulates the immune system, thus supporting the body against infectious attacks.
The great interest in the properties of echinacea derives from its ability to activate the phagocyte action of lymphocytes and strengthen the specific immune system of adults and children. The mechanism of action is carried out by an increase in leukocytes, in particular polymorphonuclear granulocytes (or neutrophils) and monocytes-macrophages of the cross-linked endothelial system, used to phagocyte (eating) harmful foreign agents (bacteria, fungi, etc.).
The plant also contains flavonoids (such as luteolin, kaempferol, quercetin, apigenin); caffeic acid derivatives (echinacoside, chlorogenic acid), cicoric acid, polyenes, alkylamides and essential oil. In particular, echinacoside has an antibiotic and bacteriostatic action, able to inhibit the replication of bacteria that are difficult to control, while echinacein gives the plant corticosymilar anti-inflammatory properties.
Finally, the presence of cicoric acid and caffeic acid have an antiviral effect, which is such as to impede the virus’s penetration into healthy cells.
Regular intake helps to prevent (especially at times when our body is exposed to increased stress) and treat symptoms of cooling diseases such as fever, respiratory infections (cold, cough) and urinary diseases (cystitis).
For external use, echinacea is also used for the preparation of ointments and lotions for the skin, with immunostimulant, protective, anti-inflammatory action, in the case of scars, canker sores, ulcers and dermatitis in general. The healing property is based on the plant’s ability to accelerate tissue regeneration and locate infection.
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