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Echinacea: misunderstood and underestimated

 

Echinacea is a popular but very underestimated herb due to misunderstanding of what constitutes "real" Echinacea.

  • Alkylamides are the only components found in the blood stream after oral ingestion of Echinacea.
  • Alkylamides are therefore used as markers of quality and activity of the herb.
  • The root of Echinacea is the preferred plant part because it has the highest level of alkylamides.
  • Echinacea angustifolia and Echinacea purpurea are the preferred species because they contain the highest amounts of alkylamides.
  • Echinacea must be extracted using a sufficiently high alcohol percentage to extract the alkylamides.
  • Echinacea modulates the immune response by the interaction of alkylamides with the CB2 receptors.
  • Echinacea boosts the white blood cell count, especially natural killer (NK) cells.

 

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