Can Echinacea be a potential candidate to target immunity, inflammation, and infection - The trinity of coronavirus disease 2019

M. F. Nagoor Meeran, Hayate Javed, Charu Sharma, Sameer N. Goyal, Sanjay Kumar, Niraj Kumar Jha, Shreesh Ojha

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is an ongoing public health emergency. The pathogenesis and complications advanced with infection mainly involve immune-inflammatory cascade. Therefore, the therapeutic strategy relies on immune modulation, reducing infectivity and inflammation. Given the interplay of infection and immune-inflammatory axis, the natural products received attention for preventive and therapeutic usage in COVID-19 due to their potent antiviral and anti-immunomodulatory activities. Recently, Echinacea preparations, particularly E. purpurea, have been suggested to be an important antiviral agent to be useful in COVID-19 by modulating virus entry, internalization and replication. In principle, the immune response and the resultant inflammatory process are important for the elimination of the infection, but may have a significant impact on SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis and may play a role in the clinical spectrum of COVID-19. Considering the pharmacological effects, therapeutic potential, and molecular mechanisms of Echinacea, we hypothesize that it could be a reasonably possible candidate for targeting infection, immunity, and inflammation in COVID-19 with recent recognition of cannabinoid-2 (CB2) receptors and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) mediated mechanisms of bioactive components that make them notable immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory and antiviral agent. The plausible reason for our hypothesis is that the presence of numerous bioactive agents in different parts of plants that may synergistically exert polypharmacological actions in regulating immune-inflammatory axis in COVID-19. Our proposition is to scientifically contemplate the therapeutic perspective and prospect of Echinacea on infection, immunity, and inflammation with a potential in COVID-19 to limit the severity and progression of the disease. Based on the clinical usage for respiratory infections, and relative safety in humans, further studies for the evidence-based approach to COVID-19 are needed. We do hope that Echinacea could be a candidate agent for immunomodulation in the prevention and treatment of COVID-19.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere05990
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Echinacea
  • Herbs
  • Immunomodulators
  • Phytochemicals
  • Phytomedicines
  • SARS-CoV-2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Can Echinacea be a potential candidate to target immunity, inflammation, and infection - The trinity of coronavirus disease 2019'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this