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Specification & Spread

Purple echinacea herb — herba echinaceae purpureae
Rhizomes with purple echinacea roots — rhizomaта cum radicibus echinaceae purpureae
Purple echinacea — echinacea purpurea (l.) Moench
Composite family – asteraceae (compositae)
Other names: coneflower, echinacea.


It is a perennial herb with creeping, rooting rhizome.
The stems are erect, up to 80-100 cm tall, ending in a corymboid inflorescence of large baskets.
The leaves are petiolate, oblong-ovate, ovate-lanceolate or lanceolate, pointed, uneven-dentate, less often entire, with 3-5 longitudinal veins, hard, rough from short-bristled pubescence.
The baskets are up to 10 cm in diameter with a convex, conical bed of inflorescence; the marginal flowers are false-lingual, purple-pink, directed downwards, middle ones - tubular, orange or dark-purple.
The fruit is an achene with a head in the form of irregular toothed margin.

It blooms from June all summer, the fruits ripen in July - September.


Along with purple echinacea there is used narrow-leaves echinacea - E. angustifolia DC. It differs more stunted stems up to 60 cm. The leaves are oblong-lanceolate or oblong-elliptic, pubescent. The marginal false-tongue flowers are purple, the tubular - greenish.

Spreading. The native country of purple echinacea - North America. In Russia, it began to grow as an ornamental plant from the beginning of the XIX century. It is cultivated as a medicinal plant in Ukraine, in Russia - in the North Caucasus and in the Moscow region. Narrow-leaved echinacea grows in the northwestern United States. It is widely cultivated.

Habitat. It grows in the prairies and along the sandy river banks.

Harvesting. The herb is harvested in July - August, cutting off flowering shoots 25-35 cm long, the rhizomes with roots - in late autumn.

Composition

The chemical composition of echinacea
All plant organs contain:

  • hydroxycinnamic acids (chicory, ferulic, coumaric, caffeic),
  • polysaccharides (heteroxylans and arabinosymalactanes),
  • essential oil (flowers - up to 0.5%, herb - up to 0.35%, roots - from 0.05 to 0.25%). 

The main component of the essential oil is acyclic sesquiterpenoids.

In the roots there are found:

  • glycoside echinacoside,
  • betaine (0.1%),
  • resin (about 2%),
  • fatty acids (palmitic, linoleic, cerotinic),
  • and phytosterols.

Harvesting and storage of raw materials

Dispersal. The native country of purple echinacea - North America. In Russia, it began to grow as an ornamental plant from the beginning of the XIX century. It is cultivated as a medicinal plant in Ukraine, in Russia - in the North Caucasus and in the Moscow region. Narrow-leaved echinacea grows in the northwestern United States. It is widely cultivated.

Habitat. It grows in the prairies and along the sandy river banks.

Harvesting. The herb is harvested in July - August, cutting off flowering shoots 25-35 cm long, the rhizomes with roots - in late autumn.

Drying. The herb is dried in the open air under a canopy, in the shade or in dryers at a temperature of 30-35ºС.

External signs of raw materials

Rhizomes with roots

Whole or cut into rhizome with adventitious roots and individual roots.
The rhizomes are short, up to 8 cm long and up to 6 cm thick, older - usually branched at the top, with or without stalk remains, with traces of dead rosette leaves and buds.
The roots are cylindrical, up to 20 (25) cm long, thin, solid, woody, with numerous thin suction roots, often broken in raw materials. The surface of the rhizomes and roots are longitudinally wrinkled, broken uneven. The colour of the rhizomes and roots is from brown to dark brown, on a fracture is from grey, yellowish-grey to dark grey.
The smell is weak and peculiar. The taste is slightly burning.
Herb.

Whole raw materials

The pieces of stalks, leaves, whole and partially destroyed flower baskets, flowers, buds, less often unripe fruits.
The stems are cylindrical, ribbed, bare or rarely rigidly pubescent, with a diameter of up to 1 cm. pubescence.
The flower baskets are with a prominent hollow inflorescence bed densely seated with bracts. The cover is saucer-shaped, three-row; the leaves of the cover are imbricated, lanceolate, pointed, bent, pubescent on the outside, naked at the edges.
The bracts are narrow-lanceolate, with a styloid ending, exceeding tubular flowers in length.
The marginal flowers are pseudo-lingual, up to 6 cm long, with two-three-toothed limb, pubescent outside. Median tubular flowers, with a five-prong corolla.
The fruit is an achene back-pyramidal, tetrahedral, narrowed to the base, with a tuft in the form of a head with uneven teeth.
The colour of the stems is green, yellowish-green, sometimes with crimson or purple spots; the leaves - green; the leaflets covers - greyish-green or green; the flowers - crimson or purple; the fruit - green or greenish-brown.
The smell is weak. The taste is slightly bitter.

Milled raw materials

The pieces of stems, leaves, baskets, flowers and fruits of various shapes, passing through a sieve with 7 mm diameter holes. The colour of the raw material is green with yellowish, crimson or purple patches. The smell is weak. The taste is slightly bitter.

Properties and application

Pharmacotherapeutic group. Immunostimulating agent.

The pharmacological properties of echinacea

The echinacea preparations have a therapeutic effect in various pathological conditions by increasing the body's natural defenses.

As a result of pharmacological studies shown:

  • stimulating effect of echinacea on the immune system, increasing the activity of non-specific factors of body defense and cellular immunity;
  • stimulates bone marrow hematopoiesis, as a result of which the number of leukocytes and cells of the reticulo-endothelial system of the spleen increases, stimulates the phagocytic activity of macrophages.

It increases non-specific reactivity of the body. This action is manifested not only in adults, but also in children with unsteady immune system, as well as in elderly people, in whom the functions of this system are reduced due to the general aging of the body. The echinacea preparations are used in diseases associated with the weakening of the functional state of the immune system, caused by chronic inflammatory diseases, exposure to ionizing radiation, ultraviolet rays, chemotherapy drugs, long-term antibiotic therapy.
When taking echinacea preparations associated with metabolic disorders (diabetes, liver disease), exposure to various chemical compounds of toxic nature contained in the air and food products (heavy metals, pesticides, insecticides, fungicides), stimulation of the immune system is observed.

Echinacea preparations are also inherent in:

  • antibacterial,
  • antiviral and
  • antimycotic properties. 

Echinacea extracts:

  • inhibit the growth and reproduction of streptococcus, staphylococcus, escherichia coli, influenza viruses, herpes, stomatitis. 

The echinacea preparations are effective in:

  • inflammatory diseases (rheumatism, polyarthritis, prostatitis, gynecological disorders),
  • diseases of the upper respiratory tract,
  • with various wound processes (trophic ulcers, osteomyelitis),
  • microbial eczema.

Purple echinacea and narrow-leaved echinacea are applied:

  • inside with infectious and septic diseases,
  • outwardly - with carbuncles, abscesses, infected wounds, burns I-III degree and heavy bedsores. In case of burns, the analgesic effect of echinacea is manifested.

The echinacea preparations are also used for prophylactic purposes:

  • at the first sign of a cold,
  • with long-term use of antibiotics, recovery of persons who have undergone radiation exposure or living in areas unfavorable for the radiation level.

The echinacea preparations are contraindicated:

  • with hypersensitivity,
  • tuberculosis,
  • leukemia,
  • multiple sclerosis,
  • collagen diseases,
  • children under the age of 1 year. 

The echinacea preparations are non-toxic.

In large doses, the salivation sometimes increases.
The fresh inflorescence juice accelerates blood clotting.

Contraindications

Hypersensitivity (including to the plants of Composite family), progressive systemic and autoimmune diseases, including tuberculosis, leukemia, collagenosis, HIV infection or AIDS, multiple sclerosis, common atherosclerosis.

Echinacea. Herb and rhizomes with purple echinacea roots


Specification & Spread

Purple echinacea herb — herba echinaceae purpureae
Rhizomes with purple echinacea roots — rhizomaта cum radicibus echinaceae purpureae
Purple echinacea — echinacea purpurea (l.) Moench
Composite family – asteraceae (compositae)
Other names: coneflower, echinacea.


It is a perennial herb with creeping, rooting rhizome.
The stems are erect, up to 80-100 cm tall, ending in a corymboid inflorescence of large baskets.
The leaves are petiolate, oblong-ovate, ovate-lanceolate or lanceolate, pointed, uneven-dentate, less often entire, with 3-5 longitudinal veins, hard, rough from short-bristled pubescence.
The baskets are up to 10 cm in diameter with a convex, conical bed of inflorescence; the marginal flowers are false-lingual, purple-pink, directed downwards, middle ones - tubular, orange or dark-purple.
The fruit is an achene with a head in the form of irregular toothed margin.

It blooms from June all summer, the fruits ripen in July - September.


Along with purple echinacea there is used narrow-leaves echinacea - E. angustifolia DC. It differs more stunted stems up to 60 cm. The leaves are oblong-lanceolate or oblong-elliptic, pubescent. The marginal false-tongue flowers are purple, the tubular - greenish.

Spreading. The native country of purple echinacea - North America. In Russia, it began to grow as an ornamental plant from the beginning of the XIX century. It is cultivated as a medicinal plant in Ukraine, in Russia - in the North Caucasus and in the Moscow region. Narrow-leaved echinacea grows in the northwestern United States. It is widely cultivated.

Habitat. It grows in the prairies and along the sandy river banks.

Harvesting. The herb is harvested in July - August, cutting off flowering shoots 25-35 cm long, the rhizomes with roots - in late autumn.

Composition

The chemical composition of echinacea
All plant organs contain:

  • hydroxycinnamic acids (chicory, ferulic, coumaric, caffeic),
  • polysaccharides (heteroxylans and arabinosymalactanes),
  • essential oil (flowers - up to 0.5%, herb - up to 0.35%, roots - from 0.05 to 0.25%). 

The main component of the essential oil is acyclic sesquiterpenoids.

In the roots there are found:

  • glycoside echinacoside,
  • betaine (0.1%),
  • resin (about 2%),
  • fatty acids (palmitic, linoleic, cerotinic),
  • and phytosterols.

Harvesting and storage of raw materials

Dispersal. The native country of purple echinacea - North America. In Russia, it began to grow as an ornamental plant from the beginning of the XIX century. It is cultivated as a medicinal plant in Ukraine, in Russia - in the North Caucasus and in the Moscow region. Narrow-leaved echinacea grows in the northwestern United States. It is widely cultivated.

Habitat. It grows in the prairies and along the sandy river banks.

Harvesting. The herb is harvested in July - August, cutting off flowering shoots 25-35 cm long, the rhizomes with roots - in late autumn.

Drying. The herb is dried in the open air under a canopy, in the shade or in dryers at a temperature of 30-35ºС.

External signs of raw materials

Rhizomes with roots

Whole or cut into rhizome with adventitious roots and individual roots.
The rhizomes are short, up to 8 cm long and up to 6 cm thick, older - usually branched at the top, with or without stalk remains, with traces of dead rosette leaves and buds.
The roots are cylindrical, up to 20 (25) cm long, thin, solid, woody, with numerous thin suction roots, often broken in raw materials. The surface of the rhizomes and roots are longitudinally wrinkled, broken uneven. The colour of the rhizomes and roots is from brown to dark brown, on a fracture is from grey, yellowish-grey to dark grey.
The smell is weak and peculiar. The taste is slightly burning.
Herb.

Whole raw materials

The pieces of stalks, leaves, whole and partially destroyed flower baskets, flowers, buds, less often unripe fruits.
The stems are cylindrical, ribbed, bare or rarely rigidly pubescent, with a diameter of up to 1 cm. pubescence.
The flower baskets are with a prominent hollow inflorescence bed densely seated with bracts. The cover is saucer-shaped, three-row; the leaves of the cover are imbricated, lanceolate, pointed, bent, pubescent on the outside, naked at the edges.
The bracts are narrow-lanceolate, with a styloid ending, exceeding tubular flowers in length.
The marginal flowers are pseudo-lingual, up to 6 cm long, with two-three-toothed limb, pubescent outside. Median tubular flowers, with a five-prong corolla.
The fruit is an achene back-pyramidal, tetrahedral, narrowed to the base, with a tuft in the form of a head with uneven teeth.
The colour of the stems is green, yellowish-green, sometimes with crimson or purple spots; the leaves - green; the leaflets covers - greyish-green or green; the flowers - crimson or purple; the fruit - green or greenish-brown.
The smell is weak. The taste is slightly bitter.

Milled raw materials

The pieces of stems, leaves, baskets, flowers and fruits of various shapes, passing through a sieve with 7 mm diameter holes. The colour of the raw material is green with yellowish, crimson or purple patches. The smell is weak. The taste is slightly bitter.

Properties and application

Pharmacotherapeutic group. Immunostimulating agent.

The pharmacological properties of echinacea

The echinacea preparations have a therapeutic effect in various pathological conditions by increasing the body's natural defenses.

As a result of pharmacological studies shown:

  • stimulating effect of echinacea on the immune system, increasing the activity of non-specific factors of body defense and cellular immunity;
  • stimulates bone marrow hematopoiesis, as a result of which the number of leukocytes and cells of the reticulo-endothelial system of the spleen increases, stimulates the phagocytic activity of macrophages.

It increases non-specific reactivity of the body. This action is manifested not only in adults, but also in children with unsteady immune system, as well as in elderly people, in whom the functions of this system are reduced due to the general aging of the body. The echinacea preparations are used in diseases associated with the weakening of the functional state of the immune system, caused by chronic inflammatory diseases, exposure to ionizing radiation, ultraviolet rays, chemotherapy drugs, long-term antibiotic therapy.
When taking echinacea preparations associated with metabolic disorders (diabetes, liver disease), exposure to various chemical compounds of toxic nature contained in the air and food products (heavy metals, pesticides, insecticides, fungicides), stimulation of the immune system is observed.

Echinacea preparations are also inherent in:

  • antibacterial,
  • antiviral and
  • antimycotic properties. 

Echinacea extracts:

  • inhibit the growth and reproduction of streptococcus, staphylococcus, escherichia coli, influenza viruses, herpes, stomatitis. 

The echinacea preparations are effective in:

  • inflammatory diseases (rheumatism, polyarthritis, prostatitis, gynecological disorders),
  • diseases of the upper respiratory tract,
  • with various wound processes (trophic ulcers, osteomyelitis),
  • microbial eczema.

Purple echinacea and narrow-leaved echinacea are applied:

  • inside with infectious and septic diseases,
  • outwardly - with carbuncles, abscesses, infected wounds, burns I-III degree and heavy bedsores. In case of burns, the analgesic effect of echinacea is manifested.

The echinacea preparations are also used for prophylactic purposes:

  • at the first sign of a cold,
  • with long-term use of antibiotics, recovery of persons who have undergone radiation exposure or living in areas unfavorable for the radiation level.

The echinacea preparations are contraindicated:

  • with hypersensitivity,
  • tuberculosis,
  • leukemia,
  • multiple sclerosis,
  • collagen diseases,
  • children under the age of 1 year. 

The echinacea preparations are non-toxic.

In large doses, the salivation sometimes increases.
The fresh inflorescence juice accelerates blood clotting.

Contraindications

Hypersensitivity (including to the plants of Composite family), progressive systemic and autoimmune diseases, including tuberculosis, leukemia, collagenosis, HIV infection or AIDS, multiple sclerosis, common atherosclerosis.


 
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