Section: Medicinal herbs
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Serrano Ruiz A. Echinacea. Metas de Enferm jul/ago 2006; 9(6): 50-52
Alfredo Serrano Ruiz
Enfermero. Servicio de Farmacología Clínica. Hospital Universitario “Puerta de Hierro” (Madrid).
Servicio de Farmacología Clínica, Hospital “Puerta de Hierro”. C/ San Martín de Porres, 4. 28035 Madrid.
Contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Echinacea, the purple coneflower, is one of the most widely used herbs by the autochthonous populations of North America. Several tribes (Cheyenne, Choctaw, Dakita, Ponca, Sioux, Winnebago) use this herb as a remedy to fight respiratory infections and snake bites. After the European colonisation, its use extended throughout the United States to be later exported to Europe, where it became very popular in the early XX century.
Currently, the echinacea herb is used to reduce the symptoms and duration of the common cold and flu. This is the most researched use in clinical trials, explaining why the German E Commission (regulatory organisation on medicinal herb consumption in Germany) has approved its use for that indication.
The World Health Organisation based on a review of papers published until 1999, also supports the use of this herb both for respiratory and urinary infections.
The consumption of Echinacea, based on purely theoretical foundations, would be contraindicated in patients with any type of autoimmune disease.
echinacea; Medicinal herbs; respiratory infections; immunostimulatorfungal infections
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