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Alternativas Contra el Cancer
Equinacea

LA EQUINACEA, QUIMIOTERAPIA NO TOXICA

EQUINACEA (Echinacea angustifolia Moench.)

Se utiliza sobre todo la raíz. Más raramente se emplea la planta entera. Es más activa si se emplea la raíz en estado fresco.

Composición química.

Los principios activos más importantes que se conocen de la Equinacea angustifolia son:

Aceite esencial (1,5%) dentro del cual su principal componente es el humuleno.

Un equinacósido; es una molécula compuesta por glucosa, rhamnosa, ácido cafeico y brenzcatequinétilalcohol.

Polisacáridos o heteroglicanos; se trata de moléculas de peso molecular de 45.000 (compuesto de arabinosa, xilosa y galactosa) y de 25.000 (compuesto de rhamnosa, arabinosa, xilosa y galactosa).

Acidos orgánicos: derivados del ácido cichoreico, ácido cafeico, derivados del cafeoil-etílico, verbascósido, ácido clorogénico, ácido isoclorogénico.
Resina (1,9%), compuesta por ácido oléico, linoléico, cerotínico y palmítico.

Otros componentes: isobutilamida, bajo forma de ácidos grasos insaturados, poliacetileno, 8-pentadeceno-2-ona, 1,8 pentadecadieno, echinolona, cinarina, inulina, pentosano, azucares reducidos.

La Equinácea ha sido llamada con el subnombre de "antibiótico vegetal". La experiencia Médica revela una clara actividad en las afecciones bacterianas y virales, sin embargo, el término antibiótico está mal empleado, ya que esta planta no mata directamente la bacteria como un antibiótico clásico. Su actividad se explica por una estimulación del sistema inmunitario.

Wagner en Munich, ha podido demostrar esta actividad sobre el sistema inmunitario, mediante test de laboratorio, identificando también diversos constituyentes que provocan este efecto, además de la echinacina y los polisacáridos. Bauer estudió que los principios activos (isobutilamida, poliínos, echinacósido y los derivados del ácido cichoreico), contenidos en los extractos alcohólicos de la raíz de la Equinácea, tenían una acción inmunoestimulante, aunque menos importante que la de los polisacáridos.

Los diferentes mecanismos que utilizan para aislar el foco de infección son:

* Inhibición de las enzimas hialuronidasas de las bacterias. Bonadeo (1971), y otros autores, han demostrado la relación entre el extracto de Equinácea impide la capacidad despolimerizante de la hialuronidasa, tanto a nivel de la cápsula del germen, como sobre los elementos intracelulares, es decir, tienen un efecto antinfeccioso indirecto. La actividad antihialuronidasa de 0,03 ml. de Equinácea, corresponden aproximadamente a 1 mg. de cortisona y segun Koch, dosis siete veces superiores, inhiben la hialuronidasa al 100%.

* Estimula la actividad de los fagocitos séricos y tisulares. Meissner (1980) demostró en el animal un aumento del numero de leucocitos y una aceleración de la velocidad de circulación sanguínea. Chone (1965) demostró una gran elevación de los granulocitos y de la fagocitosis histogénica y hematológica después de la inyección de la fracción polisacarídica de la Equinácea. Lohmann Matthes vió que la actividad de los polisacáridos de la Equinácea, inhibían la infección producida por Cándida Albicans, en animales.

* Actua tambien elevando el nivel de properdina (indicador no específico del poder de resistencia del organismo, interviene en la lisis bacteriana). Weiss y Pillemer observaron una acción bifásica de la Equinácea, primero se produce una caída en el momento de la inyección, para después aumentar progresivamente y durante largo tiempo. El mantenimiento de la tasa de properdina, está en relación directa con la liberación de polisacáridos, desde el momento que aparecen cambios del tejido intercelular.

La acción antinfecciosa, está facilitada por una acción antinflamatoria que puede atribuirse a la equinacina o a sustancias lipófilas como los fitosteroles.

Produce una elevación del nivel de interferón. El interferón, es un producto celular natural que se forma en respuesta a virus u otros ácidos nucléicos extraños. Puede descubrirse incluso dos horas después de la infección. Es liberado por las células infectadas y estimula la producción de proteína inhibidora de la traducción (TIP) en otras células huéspedes. La TIP se fija a los ribosomas celulares y bloquea selectivamente la traducción de RNA mensajero del huésped, y por lo tanto permitiendo una función celular normal en el huésped. El interferón no es específico de un virus, y puede ser activo contra varios; pero es específico de especie, y sólo puede utilizarse en aquella misma especie que inicialmente lo produjo.

A nivel óseo, la Equinácea actua acelerando y reforzando los fibroblastos y favoreciendo el tejido de sostén.

A nivel de tejido epidérmico, estimula la transformación de fibroblastos en fibrocitos, lo que facilita la regeneración tisular, a la vez que también estimula la elevación de las células epidérmicas del estrato germinativo (favorece la cocatrización).

Se ha empleado con éxito, como estimulante del sistema inmunitario, tanto en la prevención como en el tratamiento de infecciones respiratorias agudas o crónicas, gripes, catarros, infecciones gastrointestinales, otitis, alergias, inflamaciones articulares (artritis), infecciones bucales, infecciones renales, convalecencias, en alteraciones de la piel (dermatosis, eczemas secos y liquenificados, psoriasis, etc.), heridas, quemaduras, herpes labial, ulceras varicosas, vaginitis por cándida Albicans, en tratamientos de irradiación, quimioterapia, etc.

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LA EQUINACEA

FAMILIA:

Compuestas del orden de las campanuladas, que comprende unas 14.000
especies distribuídas por todo el planeta, hermafroditas o unisexuales, de aspecto muy
diverso (herbáceas, anuales o vivaces, a veces leñosas, arbustivas o arbóreas, o trepadoras),
con flores reunidas en capítulos. Otros géneros importantes de esta familia son solidago,
helicriso, aquilea, matricaria, crisantemo, artemisa, tusílago, árnica, caléndula y centáurea.


DESCRIPCIÓN:

Planta perenne cuyos tallos huecos pueden alcanzar hasta un metro de altura.
Tiene hojas alargadas, estrechas y recubiertas de vello, y vistosas flores de color malva
que crecen en el extremo de los tallos. Originaria de América del norte y de su medicina
tradicional desde hace siglos, se cría en las llanuras y en los márgenes arenosos de
los ríos. Cultivada como planta medicinal en numerosos países centroeuropeos, está
naturalizada en muchos lugares de Europa. El género Echinacea cuenta en Estados Unidos
con 9 especies, de las cuales también se utilizan como medicinales y con aplicaciones muy
similares Echinacea pallida y Echinacea purpurea, ésta última más utilizada en Europa.


PARTES UTILIZADAS:

La raíz, las sumidades floridas y las hojas,
recolectadas en otoño en el momento de la floración y después de producidas las semillas. A veces se emplea también la planta entera.


PRINCIPIOS ACTIVOS:

Ésteres del ácido caféico (equinacósidos A y B, cinarina, ácido chicórico), aceite esencial (borneol,
bornilacetato, D-germacraneno, cariofileno), antocianósidos,
trazas casi insignificantes de alcaloides pirrolizidínicos
(tusilagina, isotusilagina), resina (conteniendo ácidos grasos,
oleico, linoleico, cerótico y palmítico, así como fitosteroles),
isobutilamidas y polisacáridos.


PROPIEDADES:

Inmunoestimulante que aumenta las defensas inespecíficas y activa laformación de leucocitos (glóbulos blancos) en la sangre. Inmunorreguladora. Bacteriostática,bloquea la hialuronidasa (=enzima que facilita una invasión patógena), impide que se
extiendan las infecciones y favorece la curación de las heridas. Antitérmica, antiinflamatoria,
analgésica, antiviral, aperitiva, digestiva, colerética, sialagoga (=provoca la secreción de
saliva) y diaforética o sudorífica. Antialérgica y desintoxicante.

Indicada en la profilaxis y tratamiento complementario de afecciones respiratorias (gripe,
resfriado común, faringitis, rinitis, sinusitis, bronquitis). La tintura se emplea en forma de
colutorios en abscesos dentarios, y en baños, pomadas o compresas sobre quemaduras,
heridas purulentas, forúnculos, acné, inflamaciones y ulceraciones dérmicas, así como en
ungüentos y cataplasmas vaginales frente a tricomonas. Suele recomendarse tratamientos
discontinuos.


MODO DE EMPLEO:

Infusión, extracto fluido, extracto seco, tintura y jarabe. Sola o asociada
a otras plantas que refuerzan o estimulan las defensas del organismo. En uso externo,
pomada, crema, loción y apósito.

ECHINACEA NATURAL HERBAL REMEDIE FOR IMMUNITY

Echinacea is one of the best-known immune- enhancing herbs. It can be used internally or externally.

Echinacea stimulates the white blood cells that help fight infections in the body. Research has shown that echinacea enhances the activity of a particular type of white blood cells-macrophages. A particular glycoprotein in echinacea was found to significantly increase the killing effect of macrophages on tumor cells. A number of studies have found that echinacea boosts the body's ability to fight Listeria, a bacterium that causes a deadly form of food poisoning, and Candida yeast.


Echinacea and Immunity

Early research has shown that echinacea has a profound effect on the number and kind of blood cells in the bloodstream.

Echinacea behaves like a tonic by keeping the ratio of red to white blood cells within acceptable limits. It does that by:

Promoting the production of white blood cells when the percentage is too low.
Suppressing the production of white blood cells when there are an excess of these.

Echinacea seemed to increase the rate of phagocytosis. It improves waste elimination and increases destruction of foreign substances in the blood.

Echinacea has been shown to improve the first lines of defense of our body. It does so by inhibiting an enzyme called hyaluronidase that can be stimulated by pathogens to break apart the connective tissue surrounding body cells. These body cells are known as the reticuloendothelial system, or RES. Once the integrity of the RES connective tissues has been compromised, germs can easily latch onto the body cells and begin the progressive destruction of cells. Substances in echinacea combine with receptors on hyaluronidase and neutralize it. This results in a temporary improvement in the skin's and other tissues' ability to keep the germs away.(3,4)

Echinacea constituents may also be involved in the regrowth of connective tissue that has been destroyed during infection. The stimulation of the healing process drastically reduces the degree to which sensitive and vulnerable body cells are exposed to an environment laden with dangerous microorganisms.

During the period of infection, when the body is running low on its resources, echinacea has been found to have a strong and direct activating force on the body's ability to produce macrophages and speed them to the area of infection. Echinacea also stimulates the production of the lymphokines.(5-6)

Echinacea exhibits a significant lethal effect on certain forms of cancerous tissue. USDA researchers have isolated a tumor-inhibiting principle in the essential oil of echinacea. The herb may do this by stimulating the production of key lymphocytes which in turn trigger the activation of cells such as the natural killer cells. (7)

In 1978, researchers in Germany discovered that echinacea behaves in a manner similar to interferon, either by stimulating the production of interferon or by acquiring some of its characteristics. No one knows for sure how it works, but the findings are consistent:

Safety

Echinacea is completely nontoxic and safe when used as recommended.

Recommended Dosage

Echinacea is best taken as a concentrated liquid extract, or tincture. It is more easily absorbed into the bloodstream in liquid form. An alcohol extract is reportedly more beneficial than the capsules, or tablets.

Some herbalists suggest that the immune benefits of echinacea are strongest when it is used no more than a couple of weeks at a time.

A German study, published in 1992, reported that 900 milligrams of echinacea significantly reduced flu symptoms. Lower doses, however, were no better than dummy pills. (12)

To treat an infection, take one-half to one teaspoon of echinacea as an herbal extract in liquid form three times daily for seven to ten days. Another method would be to take echinacea in homeopathic form. Take twenty drops as the first dose, and then take ten drops up to six times daily for two days. Then take ten drops three times daily for up to one week after overcoming the infection.

Combination

You can use echinacea alone. But many herbalists recommend it in combination with other herbs.

For immune enhancement, combine echinacea with astralagus, wild indigo, or myrrh.
For lymphatic drainage, combine it with cleavers or pokeroot.

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ECHINACEA ANGUSTIFOLIA, E. PURPUREA AND E. PALLIDA

Long used by Native Americans, Midwestern settlers, and earlier generations of doctors, this herb fell out of favor with the advent of modern antibiotics.but echinacea is regaining popularity as a safe and powerful immune-system booster to fight colds, flu, and other infections.


COMMON USES

Reduces the body's susceptibility to colds and flu.
Limits the duration and severity of infections.
Helps fight recurrent respiratory, middle ear, urinary tract, and vaginal yeast infections.
Speeds the healing of skin wounds and inflammations.


WHAT IT IS

Also known as the purple, or prairie, coneflower , echinacea (pronounced ek-in-NAY-sha) is a wildflower with daisylike purple blossoms native to the grasslands of the central Untied States.For centuries, the Plains tribes used the plant to heal wounds and to counteract the toxins of snakebites.The herb also became popular with European-American pioneers and their physicians, who considered it an all-purpose infection fighter.

Of the nine echinacea species, three (Echinacea angustifolia, E. pallida, and E. purpurea) are used medicinally.They appear in literally hundreds of commercial preparations, which utilize different parts of the plant (flowers, leaves, stems, or roots) and come in a variety of forms.Echinacea contains many active ingredients thought to strengthen the immune system, and in recent years, it has become one of the most popular herbal remedies in the world.


WHAT IT DOES

A natural antibiotic and infection fighter, echinacea helps to kill bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other disease-causing microbes.it acts by stimulating various immune-system cells that are key weapons against infection.In addition, the herb boosts the cells production of an innate virus-fighting substance called interferon.Because these effects are relatively short-lived, however, the herb is best administered at frequent intervals - as often as every couple of hours during acute infections.


LATEST FINDINGS

Scientists are investigating whether echinacea may also be helpful against cancer.In a recent study in Germany, a small group of patients with advanced colon cancer received echinacea along with standard chemotherapy.The herb appeared to prolong survival in these patients, presumably by boosting the immune system's ability to fight cancer cells. Additional research is needed to define the possible role of this herb in combating colon and other forms of cancer.


MAJOR BENEFITS

Echinacea can help prevent the two most common viral ailments - colds and flu.It is most effective when taken at the first hint of illness.In one study of people who were susceptible to colds, those who used the herb for eight weeks were 35% less likely to come down with a cold than those given a placebo.Furthermore, they caught colds less often - 40 days elapsed between infections, versus 25 days for the placebo group.Studies confirm that echinacea is also useful if you're already suffering from the aches, pains, congestion, or fever of colds or flu.Overall, symptoms are less severe and subside sooner.

DID YOU KNOW
Echinacea contains a substance that makes the lips and tongue tingle when taken in liquid form.If you use a liquid preparation, look for this effect - it's often a good indication that you've bought a high-quality product.


POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS

At recommended doses, echinacea has no known side effect, and no adverse reactions have been reported in pregnant or nursing women.


ADDITIONAL BENEF

Echinacea may be of value for recurrent ailments, including vaginal yeast, urinary tract, and middle ear infections.It is also sometimes used to treat strep throat, staph infections, herpes infections (including genital herpes, cold sores, and shingles), bronchitis, and sinus infections.Moreover, the herb is being studied as a possible treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome and AIDS.And it may prove effective against some types of cancer, particularly in patients whose immune systems are depressed by radiation treatments or chemotherapy.
Echinacea can be applied to the skin as well.Its juice promotes the healing of all kinds of wounds, boils, abscesses, eczema, burns, canker or cold sores, and bedsores.To treat a sore throat or tonsillitis, the tincture can be diluted and used as a gargle.


GUIDELINES FOR USE

Echinacea should be used no longer than eight weeks, followed by a one-week interval before you resume taking it.Some studies suggest that with continuous use, the herb's immunity-boosting effects diminish.Starting and stopping echinacea, or rotating it with other herbs, may maximize its effectiveness.You can take it with or without food.

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ECHINACEA

Biological Name: Echinacea purpurea, Echinacea angustifolia.
Other Names: Narrow-leaved purple coneflower, Sampson root, Black Sampson, Red sunflower, Echinacea
Parts Used: roots
Active Compounds:
Echinacea supports the immune system. Several constituents in echinacea team together to increase the production and activity of white blood cells, lymphocytes, and macrophages. Echinacea also increases reduction of interferon, an important part of the body's response to viral infections such as colds and flu.

History:
Echinacea was used by American Indians for a variety of conditions, including venomous bites and other external wounds. It was introduced into US. medical practice in 1887 and was touted for use in conditions ranging from colds to syphilis. Modern research started in the 1930s in Germany.

Traditionally echinacea has been used for blood poisoning, fevers, carbuncles, acne, eczema, boils, peritonitis, syphilis conditions, bites and stings of poisonous insects or snakes, erysipelas, gangrenous conditions, diphtheria, tonsillitis, sores, infections and wounds.

Remedies For:
Alterative, antiseptic, tonic, depurative, maturating, febrifuge

Echinacea is used for:

Cancer
Mouth ulcer
Common cold/sore throat
Crohn's disease
Gingivitis (periodontal disease)
Immune function
Influenza (flu)
Recurrent ear infection
Yeast infection

Echinacea had been used to treat infections. There are some anecdotal reports of using echinacea for AIDS, more research need to be done in that area before any conclusions can be reached.

Infections: Echinacea enhances the body's immune system. It has been shown effective for treating conditions such as influenza, colds, upper respiratory tract infections, urogenital infections, and other infectious conditions.

Common Cold: Echinacea is very popular for the treatment of common cold. Echinacea has been found effective in getting people back to health quickly as well as delaying getting other infections. Patients with weakened immune system have been found to be the most benefited from this herb.

Snake Bite: Echinacea had been used by American Indians as a remedy for snakebites. Echinacea is believed to inhibit hyaluronidase, a component of snake venom.

Wound Healing: Echinacea was found effective for the treatment of inflammatory skin conditions such as abscesses, foliculitis, wounds of all kinds, eczema, burns, herpes, and varicose ulcers of the leg.
Arthritis: Echinacea's anti-inflammatory activity helps alleviate rheumatoid arthritis.

Cancer: Echinacea is used to offset the depression of white cells during radiation and chemotherapy for cancer patients. Many clinical tests have shown that echinacea stabilized the white blood cells in patients undergoing cancer treatment, whereas, the patients not receiving echinacea had shown a continued decline in the white blood cells.

Description:
Echinacea is a wildflower native to North America. While echinacea continues to grow and is harvested from the wild, the majority of that used for herbal supplements is from cultivated plants. The root or aboveground part of the plant during the flowering growth phase is used medicinally.

The stout, bristly stem bears hairy, linear-lanceolate leaves, tapering at both ends, the lower on long petioles, the upper sessile. The distinctive flower features 12 to 20 large, spreading, dull-purple rays and a conical disk made up of numerous purple, tubular florets. Flowering time is June to October.

Dosage:
As an immune system stimulant, echinacea is best taken for a specific period of time. At the onset of a cold, it can be taken three to four times per day for ten to fourteen days. To prevent a cold, many people take echinacea tablets or capsules three times per day for six to eight weeks. A "rest" period is recommended after this, as echinacea's effects may diminish if used longer.

If preferred, powdered echinacea, in about 900 mg amounts, can be taken.

Liquid extracts are typically taken as 3-4 ml, three times per day.

Dried root: (or as tea): 1-2 grams

Freeze dried plant: 325-650 milligrams

Safety:
Echinacea is essentially nontoxic when taken orally. People should not take echinacea without consulting a physician if they have an autoimmune illness, such as lupus, or other progressive diseases, such as tuberculosis or multiple sclerosis. Those who are allergic to flowers of the daisy family should take echinacea with caution. There are no known contra-indications to the use of echinacea during pregnancy or lactation.

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