The valuable ingredients are very suitable for skin care of itchy and dry skin, but also nourish unproblematic skin and support its preservation
The first Echinacea preparation came on the market around 1880 under the name “Meyers Blood Purifier” by a Nebraska physician who claimed it as a cure for rheumatism, neuralgia and rattlesnake bites. By the early 20th century, preparations of Echinacea were the most widely used herbal medicine in the United States. Chemists and pharmacologists became interested in Echinacea and many beneficial substances are known today, such as polysaccharides, echinacoside, chicoric acid, ketoalkenes and alkylamides. Commercial cultivation started in Germany around 1939[*]. Out of more than 10 species, the following three have the most important significance today: Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench, Echinacea angustifolia DC. and Echinacea pallida (Nutt.) Nutt.
Cultivation and harvest
Echinaceas of ἐχῖνος (echínos= sea urchin) reach growth heights of almost 1.5 m and all except Echinacea purpurea have taproots. When cultivated for root production, planting is done in spring or fall. The sowing and cultivation of the sophisticated seedlings usually takes place under controlled conditions. Harvesting is possible from the 1st year of cultivation and usually takes place between the end of October and the beginning of November. After harvesting, the roots are cut, washed and dried.
Optimised drying and storage conditions are important to minimise the loss of alkylamide content.
For this reason, Flavex processes the raw material as quickly as possible after arrival to guarantee the highest possible alkylamide content. The basis for a good alkylamide yield also lies in the breeding of special seeds, in which we have been investing in for a several years.
These ingredients make Echinacea CO2 extracts so valuable
During CO2 extraction, the lipophilic plant components are extracted in a gentle manner. The lipophilic fraction in Echinacea includes the alkylamides and polyacetylenes. Alkylamides are a group of bioactive natural compounds that rarely occur in the plant kingdom. The effects on the organism are diverse with regard to both systemic and topical application . They are inhibitors of cyclooxygenase 1 and 5-lipoxygenase and thus have a phagocytosis-stimulating and anti-inflammatory effect . These processes help the body to fight uninvited intruders, such as viruses and bacteria.
The “tingling” effect triggered by alkylamides, which has an anesthetic and salivation stimulating effect, is triggered by a blockade of potassium channels that can be found widely throughout the body .
The effect of alkylamides on cannabinoid receptors (CBR) has also been studied for several years, with interesting results . Immunomodulating and anti-inflammatory effects, even a tumour-specific defense reaction, were also observed here. When applied topically, the alkylamides interact with the CBR of the skin. These are associated with many diseases and problems, such as psoriasis, dry skin, wound healing, inflammation, acne, pain and also hair growth disorders . The beneficial effects of Echinacea has also been proven for all of the above.
Versatile application possibilities of Echinacea CO2 extracts
In addition to the traditional use of Echinacea purpurea root extracts for colds and upper respiratory tract infections, the aforementioned effects of alkylamides when used topically offer a wide range of applications in cosmetic formulations, such as ointments and creams. Among other things, they can have a supportive effect on wounds and inflammations and the pain associated with them.
Furthermore, the valuable ingredients are very suitable for skin care of itchy and dry skin, but also nourish unproblematic skin and support its preservation.
For more information about our Echinacea CO2 extracts, click here.
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