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Echinacea and the immune response
November 1st, 2020 + The Naturopathic Co.

Echinacea is known for its multiple health benefits. It will act directly on a bacteria or virus, while also stimulating the function of the immune system as a whole.

Main Actions: general tonic, immune enhancing, immune modulating, depurative, lymphatic, anti-allergic, detoxifer, anti-inflammatory, vulnerary, sialogogue

Compounds found in the upper part (aerial parts) of the plant differ from compounds in the root.

Traditionally we have used echinacea’s root constituents as an immune stimulant, however we now know that echinacea root works as an immune modulator, whereby it helps the immune system to self-regulate the immune response based on the requirement. The requirement is not always for the immune system to be boosted, but rather for the ratio of the different types of immune cells to be adjusted.

I like to use Mediherb’s Echinacea Premium Blend (E.purpurea and E.augustifolia), because from in vitro and human pharmacokinetic research we know:

  • The synergistic blend of E. angustifolia and E. purpurea alkylamides in Echinacea Premium potentiate each other for greater therapeutic effect.
  • The immune active alkylamides (2,4-diene) in E. purpurea are rapidly degraded by the liver, however in contrast, the alkylamides mainly in E. angustifolia are much more slowly degraded. When combined together the alkylamides from E. angustifolia slowed down the rate of degradation of the alkylamides from E. purpurea.
  • The combination of E. angustifolia and E. purpurea alkylamides decreases the degradation of the immune active alkylamides so that they last in the blood stream longer.
  • Echinacea does not stimulate the immune system unless there is an immune challenge (modulator).
  • Purpurea root boosts the number and function of natural killer (NK) cells, a class of white blood cells within the immune system.


What is echinacea used for?

boosting and modulating the immune response if there is an immune challenge

all acute infections: viral, bacterial, or parasitic

upper and lower respiratory conditions (common cold, influenza, conjunctivitis, sinusitis, ear infections, pneumonia, bronchitis, bronchial asthma)

chronic infections

slow-healing wounds, to promote healing, repairs tissue damage

skin conditions (ulcers, herpes, dermatitis, psoriasis)

gastrointestinal conditions (infection, candidiasis, ulcers)

urinary tract infections (cystitis, urethritis, kidney infection)

dental caries, laryngitis, pharyngitis, tonsillitis, mouth ulcers

glandular fever

chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia


cancer therapy

alleviates pain

hayfever, allergies


reducing duration of illness



If you are suffering from a health condition and are ready to take action towards better health, schedule a time with your naturopath who will run a full health assessment and tailor a treatment prescription just for you.

Yvette is a qualified Melbourne-based Naturopath and Nutritionist, MINDD Practitioner, member of the Naturopaths and Herbalists Association of Australia, and Complementary Medicine Association. Yvette specialises in the treatment of conditions commonly affecting women and children, with a key interest in children’s digestive and neurological conditions, as well as women’s hormonal concerns, digestive issues, fatigue, anxiety, and skin concerns. Yvette consults in South Yarra, Melbourne, as well as Australia-wide via skype/zoom/phone. Book here.


The Naturopathic Co. Melbourne Naturopath 2020
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