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Echinacea has been shown to stimulate phagocytosis (ingestion and digestion of bacteria and particles by white blood cells and lymphocytes), stimulate production of interleukin factors, and enhance the release of cytokines. 13 The constiuents of echinacea also demonstrate anti-inflammatory properties.
Components of echinacea include flavonoids, water soluable polysamlharides, lipophitic components, and water soluable conjugates. The amounts used in any formula of echinacea will depend on the species, which part of the plant used, and what method is used to manufacture it. It has yet to be evaluated by the FDA for purity, safety, or effectiveness.
Echinacea’s classification is defined by the U.S. Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, Oct. 25, 1994, and states that to be a nutritional supplement it should contain one or more of the following dietary ingredients: a vitamin, mineral, amino acid, herb or other botanical; and that it be intended for ingestion in the form of a pill, capsule, tablet, gel-cap or liquid form. Also, that it not be represented as a conventional food or as a sole item of a meal or the diet, and that it is labeled as a dietary supplement.
Echinacea is considered to be supportive treatment and should not replace antibiotic therapy. It seems to achieve better results when used at the first sign of illness.
Not recommended at this time for pregnant or lactating females.
In animals, research indicates that when echinacea was applied before a topical irritant was applied, there was a reduction in both paw and ear edema. 15
*Note: It has been advised that the use of echinacea in humans with autoimmune disorders, or immune deficiency disorders (eg, cancer), should be avoided.*
Side effects in humans have been reported as hypersensitivity reaction in those that are allergic to sunflower seeds.
Give one to two drops twice daily of Children’s fruit flavored, alcohol free, liquid echinacea. Dose schedule recommended is: one week on, and two to three weeks off, and then repeat. (See: RMCA’s, Herbal Help for Respiratory Problems, at :http://www.rmca.org/Articles/herbal.htm).
Echinacea can be used in combined form with another similar herbal agent, Goldenseal.
Posted on July 5, 2003, 21:43,
Last updated on December 15, 2008, 11:18
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