Herb Reference Guide

Echinacea Angustifolia

History

The Eclectics were a group of Doctors who used primarily botanical medicine from the 1830's until the 1930's, and were largely responsible for popularizing Echinacea angustifolia. The Lloyd Brothers were pharmacists and botanists who supplied the Eclectics with "Specific Echinacea" and Echafolta; a purified and potent form of the plant medicine made from E. angustifolia root. Prof. John Uri Lloyd studied this botanical remedy for thirteen years starting in 1885 without determining the exact chemical composition of the acrid tongue numbing chemicals now known as alkylamides or isobutylamides. It was and is still used as an "alterative" which is a class of plants known to support the removal of cellular waste while maintaining healthy uptake of nutrition at the cellular level. Before the Eclectics even thought of using Echinacea it was used by Native American medicine men and holds an honored place in the folk culture of many tribes of the plains as depicted in their artwork, particularly their beadwork. It was more than a medicine to our Native ancestors and was honored as a Spirit. The taproot was chewed for the common cold, soreness of the throat, for toothache and applied topically to various eruptions of the skin from simple boils to gangrenous infection. This is one of the most widely used and storied medicinal plants in North American history.

Function

The exact mechanism of E. angustifolia’s effect on the mucosal membranes has not been fully understood until recently. Research conducted by Gaia Herbs and several institutions and Universities has elucidated compounds that have restructured our understanding of how Echinacea works. These compounds are called RxA Factors and represent the alkylamide fractions known as isobutlyamides. RxA Factors are found in the roots of E. angustifolia and purpurea and also in the mature ripe seed of E. purpurea. RxA Factors help maintain a healthy inflammatory response. RxA Factors supports the tissues of the sinuses and throat that are exposed to airborne stressors and help support an acutely challenged immune system.

Uses of Echinacea Angustifolia

Disclaimer

This information in our Herbal Reference Guide is intended only as a general reference for further exploration, and is not a replacement for professional health advice. This content does not provide dosage information, format recommendations, toxicity levels, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Accordingly, this information should be used only under the direct supervision of a qualified health practitioner such as a naturopathic physician.

Active Constituents

The phenol compounds Cichoric and caftaric are present in E. purpurea, and other phenols including echinacoside. Other chemical constituents that may be important in echinacea include alkylamides.

Parts Used

  • root

Important precautions

Additional Resources