• Letitia Coker

Echinacea, what is it about?

Echinacea one of the amazing herbs in our herbal dispensary, yet there is a lot of confusion about the different types, not all work the same way.

Alkylamides are considered to be the active and bioavailable compounds of Echinacea as well as the major markers of quality and activity.

There are two main types of alkylamides found in Echinacea. The first type produces acute immune activity, however, are rapidly degraded in our liver and predominantly found in E. purpurea. The other type of alkylamides provide delayed onset with prolonged therapeutic, and protect the rapid degradation of the first type, thus improving bioavailab

ility of these important bioactive alkylamides. These are found in high levels in E. angustifolia. Therefore, by combining both E. angustifolia and E. purpurea at exact ratios, practitioners are able to utilise a herbal blend that contains both alkylamides to provide both acute and prolonged immune support.

Yet in herbal products from health food shops, E.purpurea is the one that we see most often used,. Why is that you ask? Good question!

Well it is because it is the one that is the easiest to grow in commercial volume. E.angustifolia is hard to grow outside its native Montana area of the USA, yet it is the one that the Indigenous people of America used.

As stated above, when used in combination E.angustifolia protects E.purpurea as it goes through the liver, so it is best to use them in combination. Next time you are at the health food shop picking up Echinacea tablets to help build your immune system,

Be mindful when treating yourself, often we hear that this herb is good for this and that, but when we take them they just don’t seem to work!

Why is that?

Probably because you are not taking it right, the quality of the herb is deficient, the dose is wrong and the combination of herbs is not beneficial for you personally.

This is why seeing a qualified practitioner is important, who understands herbs, how they work, what they are best used for and individualising the herbal preparation for you and your condition.

Love Echinacea but let’s use it correctly!

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