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Echinacea - Benefits, Usage and Benefits

Andrographis paniculataAndrographis paniculata (Indian Echinacea) is also known as 'King of Bitters'. It has been widely used in Asia to treat different kind of infections. It is found in the Indian pharmacopoeia and it is incorporated in many Ayurvedic formulas. As an Ayurvedic herbal supplement, it is also known as 'Kalmegh or Kalamegha' which means 'dark cloud'.

Scientific Classification

  • Latin Name : Andrographis paniculata
  • Sanskrit Name: Kariyat
  • Kingdom : Plantae
  • Division : Angiospermae
  • Class : Dicotilydonae.
  • Order : Tubiflorae.
  • Family : Acanthaceae
  • Parts used : Leaves and stems

Active Constituents

The chief constituent present in Andrographis paniculata is the andrographolides which belong to the diterpene lactones group. The maximum amount of andrographolides is found in the leaves, thus a bitter taste. The leaves also contain other diterpene lactones such as neoandrographolide, andrographiside etc. and flavonoids i.e. oroxylin, wogonin etc.

Benefits of Echinacea

Echinacea is an herbal supplement and possesses immuno-stimulant, anti-parasitic, anti-biotic and anti-viral properties. It is also used for the treatment of hepatitis B, HIV, flatulence, gastric disorders, bowel complaints and common cold. Andrographis paniculata is also used to care diabetes.

Medicinal Uses of Echinacea

Andrographis paniculata (Indian Echinacea) and its various components have demonstrated a variety of beneficial effects in the body. It has been reported to stimulate the general immune activities, inhibit the body's inflammatory mechanism and anti-microbial activities. The active chemical i.e. Andrographolide helps to stop the clumping of blood platelets and prevents clotting process leading to heart attacks.

Andrographis compounds possess an antiviral property which inhibit glycoproteins in the virus and impedes the ability of viruses to invade cells in the body and replicate. Andrographolides have antiviral effects on avian bird flu virus and HIV. Echinacea helps to activate the general defense function of the immune system. It stimulates the production of antibodies and effective in healing colds, flu, sinusitis and upper respiratory tract infections.

Echinacea has an anti-inflammatory affect because the dehydroandro-grapholides stimulate the production of ACTG in the hypophysis and increase the release of corticosteroids which possess anti-inflammatory effect.

Andrographis paniculata acts as a natural immune-booster. It is a powerful stimulant for the immunological system. Echinacea also possess anti-carcinogen properties. Tumor cells appear to take the form of carcinogenic cells which do not mature. The terpenes from the Echinacea plant leads to differentiation in Leukemia cells, thus making them to be mature and less aggressive. The extract of this plant causes the differentiation in cancerous cells. As per studies conducted, the extract blocked the development of prostate cancer, breast cancer and non Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Echinacea (Andrographis paniculata) is a powerful antiretroviral agent. All the viruses cannot reproduce without using the replication process of the cells. Viruses enter the cell and multiply themselves. This process is termed 'reverse transcriptase'. The alkaloids present in Andrographis paniculata increase the action of the inhibitors over the reverse transcriptase. It also reduces the multiplication of the hepatitis B, influenza and herpes viruses.

Echinacea is a cardio-protective and anti-thrombotic agent. Andrographolides have been reported to reduce the pro-coagulant properties of the blood. Andrographis paniculata helps to reduce the size of the myocardium in a significant way. It possesses the capacity to activate the fibrinolysis and reduce the aggregation of platelets. It also possesses spasmolytic and beta-blocker effect.

Side effects: No side effects have been reported. However, when taken in higher doses it may cause infertility, dizziness and heart palpitations. Pregnant women should avoid taking Echinacea, because it possesses abortifacient properties.

Dosage: One capsule twice daily.

To buy Echinacea Capsules, please visit store.planetayurveda.com/products/indian-echinacea.


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