How Does Echinacea Boost Immune System?

- Jan 07, 2020-

Echinacea extract has a significant immune stimulating effect, which can enhance the body's non-specific immunity and specific immune function. Its immunomodulatory effect is closely related to enhancing the function of macrophages and lymphocytes, and stimulating the production of cytokines and antibodies.

Echinacea Purpurea Extract

The isoxylan and arabinose in echinacea can stimulate the proliferation of monocytes and the activity of macrophages, causing macrophages to release tumor necrosis factor-a, interleukin-1, interleukin-6, and interferon beta-2 (Bauer and Remiger, 1989). Echinacea ethanol extract has a promoting effect on the phagocytosis of granulocytes. The echinacea contained in echinacea can inhibit the activity of 5-lipoxygenase and cyclooxygenase, thereby increasing the number of natural killer cells. There are some differences in the effect on the body's immune function.


How does echinacea extract boost immune system?

(1) Improving the humoral immune function of animals by increasing humoral antibody levels and B lymphocyte conversion rate of immune organs, thereby promoting the growth and development of immune organs. Gavage experiments show that echinacea and its extracts can enhance the antibody secretion function of mice, up-regulate the expression of non-specific immune genes, increase the spleen index of normal mice, thereby promoting the spleen growth and development of mice, and enhancing immune function . At the same time, it can alleviate the immune function of mice in the state of inhibition induced by cyclophosphamide, and can also increase the thymus index and spleen index of mice. The effects of echinacea and its extracts on the development of immune organs in aquatic animals have not been reported.

(2) Acts directly on immune cells to enhance cellular immune function. Echinacea and its extracts increase the number and activity of lymphocytes in the body, induce an increase in interleukin-2, γ-interferon content, and significantly increase the level of cellular immunity.

(3) Echinacea and its extracts can regulate Toll-like receptor signal transduction, activate the downstream key signal molecule MAPK pathway, phosphorylate extracellular regulatory protein kinases ERK and JNK, and then activate NF-κB, up-regulate the co-stimulatory molecules CD80, The expression of CD86 and major histocompatibility complex class II molecules upregulates macrophage function. In 2017, Fu et al. Found that echinacea extract polarized mouse bone marrow-derived macrophages to the classic activated macrophage phenotype by activating the JNK signaling pathway, induced macrophage activation and antigen presentation, and exerted its anti-infective function.

(4) Echinacea active ingredients polysaccharides and glycoproteins can promote the production and secretion of macrophages γ-interferon, β-interferon, interleukin-2 and interleukin-6, enhance respiratory burst activity, and further enhance phagocytosis Ability to improve immune function.


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