Allergy type 1
Type I hypersensitivity reactions occur when allergens cross-link IgE molecules that are bound to receptors on mast cells and basophils and trigger degranulation. Clinical signs of type I hypersensitivity responses include facial or periorbital edema, urticaria, cutaneous hyperemia, generalized pruritus, salivation, hypotensive shock, tachypnea, vomiting, diarrhea, collapse, and even death.
It is hypothesized that purified polysaccharides, alkamides and caffeic acid derivatives from Echinacea species possess immunostimulatory activity. In this regard, Rininger and colleagues reported that Echinacea stimulates murine macrophage cytokine secretion and enhances the viability of proliferation of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). Echinacea extracts have the ability to influence cell morphology via their effect on fibroblast synthesis and collagen formation.