ECHINACÉE (Echinacea purpurea)
Where did she come from?
Echinacea is a major plant in the herbal medicine of the herbal medicine, both in prevention and in the cure. It is handy and perfectly safe regardless of the age of the patient. Echinacea has always been used in North America, and for a century in Europe. The Amerindians were the first to use it in various ailments: wounds, venereal diseases, fevers, snake bites. In the 19th century, the settlers also adopted it and traded it. Introduced in Europe around 1895, its use has spread in the treatment of multiple ailments.The name comes from the Greek “echinos” (hedgehog) to recall the aspect of capitula to fruition.
How can we describe it botanically?
Echinacea purpurea is a perennial plant with erect, thick, branched and hairy waxed stems. It measures 60 to 180 cm in height. Its basal leaves are oval or oval-cast,thrown, acute, coarsely or clearly toothed. The bracts are linear, launched, attenuated, whole, pubescent on the outer surface. Its flowers are purple. The tubulated flowers are gathered in a ball and the sleds are drooping. It is found in clear rocky forests, thicket and grasslands.
What is it made of?
Echinacea consists mainly of alkylamides, phenolic compounds, cichoric acid, echinacoside, complex polysaccharides, indolizidinic alkaloids, long chain fatty acids and humulene essential oil.
What are its main pharmacological properties?
Echacoside has a dose-dependent antibacterial inhibitory action in vitro on the growth of certain germs. This preventive and curative activity is more specific to Staphylococcus aureus, Pyogen Streptococcus and E. coli. It also exhibits antiviral activity on Herpes simplex demonstrated in vitro with an interferon-like antiviral protective effect on cultured fibroblasts. In vitro, cyonic acid and chicresic acid have a curative and preventive anti-viral activity. However, this action lasts from 24 to 48 hours.
The activity of echinacea has indeed been demonstrated on Candida Albicans and interdigital epidermophyton. It is corroborated by the excellent clinical results, in particular, on the prevention of uro-genital infections of women.
Echinacea is also used to stimulate the body’s non-specific defense mechanisms. It can be an adjuvant treatment for chemotherapy for common infections, as well as prophylaxis of infectious states, especially with respect to staphylococcus, streptococcus and candida albicans.
Its particular tropism for the ENT lining explains its effectiveness in inflammatory states: pharyngitis, tonsillitis, phlegmon, dental abscess, sinusitis, especially in the subject attracted to sweet, plethoric, even prediabetic foods. Echinacea is thus active in ENT and bronchopulmonary infections, acute or repeated, during early use, preventively and curatively. It is potentially interesting nevertheless in the relay gastrites of conventional treatments. Its uro-genital tropism is a remarkable therapeutic tool as anticollibacillary and antimycosic in recurrent cystitis to E. coli, uretrits, prostate infections as well as in recurrent genital infections. His immunomodulation activity explains in particular the interesting results obtained in the after-effects of recurrent and chronic lymph node diseases such as MNI.
What are the indications of echinacea?
- Prophylaxis and therapy of influenza infections and septic infections, decreases cold symptoms, the Cochrane literature review dating from 2014 shows a weak effect in the treatment of colds, but a constant effectiveness on the prevention of recurrences, with additional differences due to the choice of species and organs of the plant, and different galenic forms
- Immune stimulation, immuno-stimulant: works well in prevention (bacterial infections, flu, herpes, cystitis, candidiasis, etc…). healing where it potentiates other therapeutics
- Prevention of COVID-19
- Local treatment of healing delays and dermatitis
- Preferably fresh plant juice due to the presence of insoluble polysaccharides in alcohol
- Homeopathic indications:
- Sepsis or suppurations with general condition, torpor, deep pain, dehydration, and anthrax, furonculosis, adenite, lymphangitis, phlegmons, gangrene
What are the job precautions?
- Counter-indicated in patients with autoimmune disease if taken in the long run
- Counter-indicated in progressive systemic diseases
- Beware of the risk of hepatotoxicity
- Contre_indiquée in pregnant or lactating women, as well as children under 12 years of age
- Caution in case of allergy to asteraceae
Are there risks of drug interactions?
However, as with all substances containing active ingredients, the risk of drug interactions should be taken into account.
As echinacea is no exception to this rule, here is a list of drug interactions to consider:
- Avoid in combination with steroids and immunosuppressants
How to take it and at what dosage?
- Fluid extract: 1 gram or 50 drops per day in one intake
- Mother dye: 50 drops twice a day
- EPS: 5 ml per day
- In prevention, always in discontinuous cures, 10 to 15 days a month
- In acute: Juice of Echinacea purpurea 2 to 3 ml or 1 to 2 ml of extract, 1 to 4 times a day, either mixed with water or in sublingual intake
- Dry extract (concentration ratio 6.5:1) of Echinacea purpurea 3 times a day 150 to 300 mg
- Alcoholic dye (1:5, ethanol 45%), 1 to 5 ml 3 times a day
It is advisable to prescribe echinacea in discontinuous, short periods and at regular intervals: 5 days/week or 20 days/month.
In masterful preparation:
Preparation of fluid extracts of fresh plants standardized in glycerinated solution (EPS):
Acute: Child: 6ml/10kg/day – Adult: 4 càc/day for 7 days
Prevention: child: 1ml/10kg/day – 1 càc/day for 12 days
- Acute viral infection (flu, bronchiolitis, virose, measles, chickenpox, shingles): Cypress – Echinacea
- Bronchitis with temperature and greasy cough: Echinacea – Pine
- Bronchitis with temperature and dry cough: Echinacea – Plantain
- Recurrent Herpes: Echinacea – Cypress: 1 càc/day for 15 days
- Recurrent ENT and pulmonary infections in children – Prevention: Echinacea – Cassis: 1 ml/10kg/day, 3 months renewable
- Recurrent urinary tract infections, light urine cystalgia – Prevention: Echinacea – Busserole: 2 càc/day, 15 days/month
- Genital Mycoses – Prevention: Echinacea (1/3) – Alchema (2/3): 1 to 2 càc/day outside the rules, 3 months renewable
- Periodontitis: Echinacea – Gentiane: 2 càc/day, 1 month renewable
- Sinusite – Prevention: Echinacea – Black Radis: 1 to 2 càc/day for three months
- Fat cough: adult: Echinacea – Pine: 3 càc/day – child 3ml/10kg/day for 10 days