Anti-Viral Plants 4: Echinacea
(Echinacea purpurea, angustifolia, pallida).
It is a plant native to the grasslands of the central regions of the United States.
There are several species and varieties of echinacea, but only three of them are used for medicinal purposes: Echinacea Angustifolia, E. Pallida and E. Purpurea.
Echinacea part used
The root is mainly used preferably in a fresh state. More rarely the entire plant.
Echinacea has been called “the antibiotic plant” however, this term is misused, as it does not directly kill the bacteria as a classic antibiotic. Echinacea stimulates the immune system´s defenses to eliminate bacteria and viruses.
Echinacea and Immune System
Echinacea has a stimulating action on the immune system and preventing infections or favoring wound healing from bacteriostatic action, blocks hyaluronidase.
Antiviral and anti-inflammatory activity (Equinacin)
Very useful in the complementary treatment of acute or chronic respiratory infections: such as the flu, the common cold, pharyngitis, rhinitis, bronchitis and treatment infections of viral origin.
The anti-infective action can be attributed to echinacin, it produces an elevation of the interferon level. Interferon is formed in response to viruses.
Echinacea has been shown an intense antiviral activity against human and avian influenza viruses, H3N2 type IV, H1N1 type IV, herpes simplex, and rhinovirus and in reversing virus-induced proinflammatory responses.