Echinacea spp. are native to North America and were traditionally used by the Indian tribes for a variety of ailments, including mouth sores, colds and snake-bites. The three most commonly used Echinacea spp. are E. angustifolia, E. pallida and E. purpurea. Systematic literature searches were conducted in six electronic databases and the reference lists of all of the papers located were checked for further relevant publications. Information was also sought from the spontaneous reporting programmes of the WHO and national drug safety bodies.
BACKGROUNDS AND AIMS: Echinacea angustifolia is a widespread species distributed throughout the Great Plains region of North America. Genetic differentiation among populations was investigated along a 1500 km north-south climatic gradient in North America, a region with no major geographical barriers. The objective of the study was to determine if genetic differentiation of populations could be explained by an isolation-by-distance model or by associations with climatic parameters known to affect plant growth and survival.
BACKGROUND: Echinacea has been widely used as an herbal remedy for the common cold, but efficacy studies have produced conflicting results, and there are a variety of echinacea products on the market with different phytochemical compositions. We evaluated the effect of chemically defined extracts from Echinacea angustifolia roots on rhinovirus infection. METHODS: Three preparations of echinacea, with distinct phytochemical profiles, were produced by extraction from E. angustifolia roots with supercritical carbon dioxide, 60 percent ethanol, or 20 percent ethanol.
Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (New York, N.Y.)
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to determine whether Echinacea purpurea given to children for the treatment of acute upper respiratory tract infection (URI) was effective in reducing the risk of subsequent URI. DESIGN: This was a secondary analysis of data from a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of Echinacea for the treatment of URI in children. SETTING: The study was conducted as a joint project between the Puget Sound Pediatric Research Network (Seattle, WA) and Bastyr University (Kenmore, WA).
Due to high incidence and quality-of-life impact, upper respiratory infection substantially impacts on population health. To test or compare treatment effectiveness, a well-designed and validated illness-specific quality-of-life instrument is needed. Data reported in the current study were obtained from a trial testing echinacea for induced rhinovirus infection. Laboratory-assessed biomarkers included interleukin (IL)-8, nasal neutrophil count (polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN)), mucus weight, viral titre and seroconversion.
PURPOSE: The purpose of this report is to characterize reports to poison control centers (PCCs) involving two widely used herbal dietary supplements (HDSs), Echinacea, and St. John's wort (SJW). METHODS: We purchased data from the American Association of Poison Control Center's (AAPCC) toxic exposure surveillance system (TESS(R)) on reports made to PCCs in 2001 involving Echinacea or SJW. Analyses were limited to those cases in which Echinacea or SJW were the only associated products, and in which these HDSs were deemed primary to observed adverse effects.
Food and Chemical Toxicology: An International Journal Published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association
Ethanolic extracts from fresh Echinacea purpurea and Spilanthes acmella and dried Hydrastis canadensis were examined with regard to their ability to inhibit cytochrome P450(2E1) mediated oxidation of p-nitrophenol in vitro. In addition, individual constituents of these extracts, including alkylamides from E. purpurea and S. acmella, caffeic acid derivatives from E. purpurea, and several of the major alkaloids from H. canadensis, were tested for inhibition using the same assay. H.
Inhibition of prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)) production in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated RAW264.7 mouse macrophage cells was assessed with an enzyme immunoassay following treatments with Echinacea extracts or synthesized alkamides. Results indicated that ethanol extracts diluted in media to a concentration of 15 microg/mL from E. angustifolia, E. pallida, E. simulata, and E. sanguinea significantly inhibited PGE2 production.
Ongoing studies have developed strategies for identifying key bioactive compounds and chemical profiles in Echinacea with the goal of improving its human health benefits. Antiviral and antiinflammatory-antipain assays have targeted various classes of chemicals responsible for these activities. Analysis of polar fractions of E. purpurea extracts showed the presence of antiviral activity, with evidence suggesting that polyphenolic compounds other than the known HIV inhibitor, cichoric acid, may be involved. Antiinflammatory activity differed by species, with E.
We have identified potent monocyte/macrophage activating bacterial lipoproteins within commonly used immune enhancing botanicals such as Echinacea, American ginseng and alfalfa sprouts. These bacterial lipoproteins, along with lipopolysaccharides, were substantially more potent than other bacterially derived components when tested in in vitro monocyte/macrophage activation systems.