Echinacea Premium: Immune Support Rooted in Science
Learn about the research, traditional use, competitor analysis and use cases of Echinacea Premium.
It is never a good time to get sick, let alone in the winter. A common way we try to boost our immune system in harsh weather is by supplementing whole food vitamin C, minerals like calcium and zinc, and echinacea. But do the supplements even contain the active constituents that are required to boost our immune system?
This means we can spend money on products that don't give us the results we need. There are some herbal extracts that have been verified under strict Australian Pharmaceutical GMP to contain the active constituents necessary to modulate our immune system, including Echinacea Premium by Mediherb. Mediherb has to, by law, meet label claims before being imported to the United States!
Why use the Whole Root?
Mediherb's professional line of products includes Echinacea Premium with whole root extracts of E. Purpurea & E. Angustifolia in a patented alkylamide formula. Alkylamides are found in the root, not the flower. Roots must be dug out by hand, making it more expensive to harvest than the flowers.
Echinacea root has a strong, earthy or floral taste. Its medicinal compounds often tingle on the tongue and in the throat. The tingling effect comes from alkylamides. You'll get the same effect if you were to suck on an Echinacea Premium Tablet.
This product has been evaluated for safety and efficacy in clinical trials and have been shown to be well tolerated by most users, with little or no side effects reported. People with allergies to the daisy plant family should refrain from using this product.
Why does Echinacea Premium contain two species of echinacea?
The alkylamides found in Echinacea purpurea were degraded rapidly by human liver microsomes. In contrast, the alkylamides found in Echinacea angustifolia were much more slowly degraded.
Interestingly, it was discovered that the angustifolia alkylamides actually slowed down the rate of degradation of purpurea alkylamides. This protective effect of the Echinacea angustifolia alkylamide is a highly novel finding and it was deduced that the presence of only relatively small proportions of this compound will result in a product with enhanced bioavailability.
This is a strong justification for the combination if Echinacea purpurea root with Echinacea angustifolia root, as in Echinacea Premium. This work has been published as: Matthias A et al in Chemico-Biological Interactions 2005; 155: 62-70 and led to a patent!
Support Your Innate and Adaptive Immune Systems
The innate immune system is a fast, powerful way to fight invaders. It's your immune system's first line of defense against an infection, which is activated when the body detects foreign invaders it recognizes as being different from its own cells. In other words, it doesn't require previous exposure to learn how to recognize an invader. This process starts at your natural mucous membranes in your lungs, gut, nasal cavities and eyes.
If the foreign invader makes it past your innate immune system, then your adaptive system takes over. Your adaptive immune system is one of the ways that your body protects you from disease. It's made up of B and T cells, which are like soldiers who patrol your body looking for anything that might make you sick. When they find something harmful, they tell the rest of your immune system to destroy it.
But there's a catch: this process takes time to work. The adaptive immune system takes a while to get going because it has to activate specific clones of B and T cells before it starts making antibodies against a pathogen. That's why most people don't start feeling better right away after getting sick: their bodies are working on building up their defenses!
Echinacea Premium vs. Air Travel... Rigorous Double-Blind Testing
Echinacea Premium may support upper respiratory tract health during travel. In a randomized, double-blind trial, adults who took Echinacea Premium had lower respiratory symptom scores during travel compared to placebo (p = 0.05).
You can find this research study as Tiralongo E et al. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2012; 2012: 417267.
The dose depended on the phase of travel of the participants and their health status:
- Prior to travel (priming): one tablet twice daily (equivalent to 2.55 g/day of dried root, providing 8.8 mg/day of alkylamides)
- When traveling: twice the priming dose
- If additional immune support is needed: one tablet three times daily
The results of Mediherb's immune system experiments
The MediHerb research team, in collaboration with other scientists, studied the effects of Echinacea on the immune system in test tube experiments. They discovered that when the herb was introduced to macrophages and T cells (types of white blood cells), it helped to tone down the response of these cells, making them more efficient.
They came to the conclusion that Echinacea Premium did not activate the immune system in the absence of any immunological challenge. This research was published as Stevenson LM et al in Molecules 2005; 10: 1279-1285 and the T cell study in Fitoterapia 2008; 79(1): 53-58.
Echinacea Increasing Heat Shock Proteins and White Blood Cell Counts?
To investigate the effects of Echinacea Premium at a clinical level, a small study was undertaken in which healthy volunteers took two tablets per day for two weeks, with assessment at the beginning and the end of the trial.
They found that their hsp70 levels (a molecular chaperone which modulates the immune system response) increased, as did white blood cell counts. This work was published as: Agnew LL et al in Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics 2005; 30: 363-369.
Echinacea Competitor Analysis
We judge echinceaca based on the amount of alkylamides, or the active constituent that makes it into the blood stream to modulate the immune system. Based on internal Mediherb research of 10 professional grade products, Echinacea Premium's patented formula is far and away better than the competition.
The table shows the amount of tablets required to equal the alkylamides in just one Echinacea Premium tablet. In one product, you would have to take a whopping 341 tablets to equal just one tablet of Echinacea premium.
This illustrates why the part of the plant, manufacturing process, standardization of active chemicals and selection of herbs matter. This also shows why many people do not think that Echinacea works at all...
When choosing an echinacea product, make sure you purchase one that uses the whole root, not the flower, and choose a formula that contains high amounts of alkylamides from echinacea purpurea and angustifolia roots.
Mediherb's Echinacea Premium is our highest recommendation because of its patented formula, pharmaceutical-grade manufacturing, high amounts of the active ingredient alkylamides and novel research to support its long-term effectiveness.
It works well to modulate immune response when taken before an immune challenge. We also recommend Congaplex and Immuplex to provide zinc, calcium and thymus support. We also love Andrographis Complex that combines Echinacea Premium with Andrographis and Holy Basil (especially if your goal is to boost adaptive immune response).
Be well and have a safe winter season!
1. Matthias A et al. Life Sci 2005; 77: 2018-2029
2. Matthias A et al. Chem Biol Interact 2005, 155: 62-70
3. Lehmann R, Bone K, Penman K, Matthias A, inventors; IntegriaHealthcare (Australia) Pty Ltd, assignee. Echinacea Formulation. United States patent US 9,205,121. 2015 Dec 8
4. Matthias A et al. Phytomedicine 2007; 14: 587-590
5. Tiralongo E et al. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2012; 2012: 417267