Therapeutic Effects of Echinacea
Echinacea contains many ingredients that exert an overall stimulating effect on the immune system. The herb also activates the liver, lymph nodes and mucous membranes, enhancing the body’s overall ability to fight infections. Other specific substances contained in echinacea have wound-healing and germicidal properties.
The immune boosting effect of echinacea is primarily due to its two main active ingredient echinacosides which are found in the root and flower, and polysacharide heteroxylan which is in the leaves. To guarantee that a full range of active ingredients is present preparations are usually made with flower, leaves and root.
Scientists have most recently reported that extreme physical exertion during athletic training can weaken and compromise the immune system, increasing susceptibility to infection. Currently sports physicians are now recommending that these extreme athletes take echinacea for a day to two after extreme physical exertion to strengthen the immune system.