Echinacea plants contain a complex mix of active substances. Some of these compounds may have antimicrobial and antiviral properties, while others may support the immune system in other ways.
Like many other plants, all types of Echinacea contain phenols. Phenols control the activity of a range of enzymes and cell receptors.
They protect the plants from infections and ultraviolet radiation damage, and they may have beneficial antioxidant properties.