How Does Echinacea work?

Echinacea has a complex mix of active substances, some of which are said to be antimicrobial, while others are believed to have an effect on the human immune system.

All species of this herbal remedy have compounds called phenols. Many plants contain phenols, active substances that control the activity of a range of enzymes and cell receptors, and protect the plant from infections and ultraviolet (UV) radiation damage. Phenols have antioxidant properties, which may be good for human health.

Echinacea also contains alkylamides or alkamides, (not in Echinacea pallida), which have an effect on the immune system, as well as polysaccharides, glycoproteins, and caffeic acid derivatives.