Echinacea Echinacea angustofolia
Echinacea is believed to work by cranking-up the immune system to ward off disease and infection. There is evidence that it may mimic the action of interferon, a natural chemical in the body that is capable of shielding cells from viral invasion. As an antiviral and antibacterial, Echinacea not only works to destroy bacteria and viruses but also actually strengthens immunity by increasing the number of white blood cells in the blood stream. According to German researchers, the herb is said to increase the levels of infection-fighting T-cells by thirty percent, thereby building immune strength. Echinacea is now considered one of the most effective detoxicants in Western medicine for circulatory, lymphatic and respiratory systems. It is thought to be an excellent lymphatic tonic that cleanses the system of toxic materials. Echinacea is also called a depurative, or agent that tends to cleanse and purify the blood by killing contaminants in the blood, and this action has made it useful in the area of blood poisoning and septicemia. Echinacea is said to cleanse morbid matter from the stomach and help to expel poisons, toxins, pus and abscess formations in the body. As a sweat producing agent, Echinacea further cleanses and detoxifies the body through the skin. Echinacea Angustifolia is believed to possess indirect anticancer activity, via its general immune-enhancing effects. The stimulation of the herb's polysaccharides and phytosterols are particularly important, because they are the ingredients that are thought to activate macrophages, the agents that engulf and digest tumor cells and destroy bacteria, viruses and infectious agents.