Echinacea as treatment for cold

Views: 19     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2023-02-03      Origin: Site

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Echinacea, is an herbaceous plant that grows in North America and Europe. While there are many species of the genus Echinacea, extracts of Echinacea purpurea and Echinacea angustifolia are the most commonly used dietary supplements. Echinacea supplements on the U.S. market often contain extracts from multiple species and plant parts.

Echinacea contains volatile terpenes, polysaccharides, polyacetates, alkanes, phenolic compounds, caffeates, and glycoproteins. However, the so-called active ingredients of echinacea are not well defined, and the chemical composition of echinacea varies from one to another. Echinacea may have antioxidant and antibacterial activities, stimulate monocytes and natural killer cells, and inhibit the virus from binding to host cells. It may also reduce inflammation by inhibiting inflammatory cytokines. Most studies on echinacea have evaluated whether it can help prevent and treat the common cold and other upper respiratory diseases, but it is also used in traditional medicine to promote wound healing.

Echinacea improves immune function against the Covid-19

Some studies have shown that echinacea has limited benefits against the common cold, so some researchers believe that echinacea may have a similar effect on COVID-19. A preliminary in vitro study found that echinacea inactivated SARS-CoV-2. In a clinical trial in Iran, 100 adults (mean age 45-47) suspected of having COVID-19 based on chest computed tomography (CT) or X-ray and clinical symptoms were identified years), they were not hospitalized and received echinacea (species and dose unknown) plus ginger (dose unknown) and hydroxychloroquine for 7 days or hydroxychloroquine alone.  Between 91% and 98% of those who received a combination of echinacea, ginger, and hydroxychloroquine experienced relief from cough, muscle pain, and shortness of breath, while receiving hydroxyl alone Only 69 to 79 percent of people with chloroquine have these benefits. However, combination therapy did not reduce the severity of fever or sore throat, nor did it reduce hospitalizations for COVID-19.

图片3 拷贝 shows that several clinical trials are evaluating the effects of echinacea on COVID-19. For example, in a clinical trial in Bulgaria, different doses of echinacea supplements will investigate whether different doses of echinacea supplements can reduce the number of children and adults aged 12 to 75 with COVID-19 Transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Because echinacea may have an immunostimulating effect, some researchers believe it may worsen the cytokine storm that can occur in COVID-19 patients. However, evidence from clinical trials suggests that the use of echinacea reduces, rather than increases, levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines.


Safety of echinacea

Echinacea appears to be safe and few adverse effects have been reported, the most common of which are gastrointestinal discomfort and rashes. Reports of elevated aminotransferases and liver damage are associated with its use, and these events may be caused by contaminants or preparation of the product. In a few cases, echinacea can cause allergic reactions.  The safety of echinacea during pregnancy is unknown, so experts advise pregnant women not to use echinacea supplements. Echinacea may interact with several medications. For example, echinacea may increase the activity of cytochrome P450, which reduces the levels of certain drugs metabolized by these enzymes. In addition, because echinacea has potential immunostimulating activity, it may reduce the effectiveness of immunosuppressants. Although echinacea performs well in improving immune function, it is still necessary to supplement various nutrients and follow the advice of professionals when targeting a certain symptom.


The above is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease.


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