Medicinal properties of Echinacea : A critical review

Medicinal properties of Echinacea : A critical review Summary Preparations from Echinacea purpurea are among the most widely used herbal medicines. Most uses of E. purpurea are based on the reported immunological properties. A series of experiments have demonstrated that E. purpurea extracts do indeed demonstrate significant immunomodulatory activities. Among the many pharmacological properties reported, macrophage activation has been demonstrated most convincingly. Phagocytotic indices and macrophage-derived cytokine concentrations have been shown to be Echinacea -responsive in a variety of assays. Activation of polymorphonuclear leukocytes and natural killer cells has also been reasonably demonstrated. Changes in the numbers and activities of T- and B-cell leukocytes have been reported, but are less certain. Despite this cellular evidence of immunostimulation, pathways leading to enhanced resistance to infectious disease have not been described adequately. Several dozen human experiments – including a number of blind randomized trials – have reported health benefits. The most robust data come from trials testing E. purpurea extracts in the treatment for acute upper respiratory infection. Although suggestive of modest benefit, these trials are limited both in size and in methodological quality. Hence, while there is a great deal of moderately good-quality scientific data regarding E. purpurea , effectiveness in treating illness or in enhancing human health has not yet been proven beyond a reasonable doubt. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Phytomedicine Elsevier

Medicinal properties of Echinacea : A critical review

Phytomedicine, Volume 10 (1) – Jan 1, 2003

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2003 Urban & Fischer Verlag
ISSN
0944-7113
eISSN
1618-095X
D.O.I.
10.1078/094471103321648692
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Summary Preparations from Echinacea purpurea are among the most widely used herbal medicines. Most uses of E. purpurea are based on the reported immunological properties. A series of experiments have demonstrated that E. purpurea extracts do indeed demonstrate significant immunomodulatory activities. Among the many pharmacological properties reported, macrophage activation has been demonstrated most convincingly. Phagocytotic indices and macrophage-derived cytokine concentrations have been shown to be Echinacea -responsive in a variety of assays. Activation of polymorphonuclear leukocytes and natural killer cells has also been reasonably demonstrated. Changes in the numbers and activities of T- and B-cell leukocytes have been reported, but are less certain. Despite this cellular evidence of immunostimulation, pathways leading to enhanced resistance to infectious disease have not been described adequately. Several dozen human experiments – including a number of blind randomized trials – have reported health benefits. The most robust data come from trials testing E. purpurea extracts in the treatment for acute upper respiratory infection. Although suggestive of modest benefit, these trials are limited both in size and in methodological quality. Hence, while there is a great deal of moderately good-quality scientific data regarding E. purpurea , effectiveness in treating illness or in enhancing human health has not yet been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

Journal

PhytomedicineElsevier

Published: Jan 1, 2003

References

  • Antibiotics in acute bronchitis: A meta-analysis
    Bent, S.; Saint, S.; Vittinghoff, E.; Grady, D.
  • Cytokine production in leukocyte cultures during therapy with Echinacea extract
    Elsasser-Beile, U.; Willenbacher, W.; Bartsch, H.H.; Gallati, H.; Schulte Monting, J.
  • Harmless herbs? A review of the recent literature
    Ernst, E.
  • Herb-drug interactions
    Fugh-Berman, A.
  • A randomized controlled trial of the effect of fluid extract of Echinacea purpurea on incidence and severity of colds and respiratory infections
    Grimm, W.; Muller, H.H.
  • Present concepts of the common cold
    Jackson, G.G.; Dowling, H.F.; Muldoon, R.L.
  • Effect of temperature on stability of marker constituents in Echinacea purpurea root formulations
    Livesey, J.; Awang, D.V.C.; Arnason, J.T.; Letchamo, W.; Barrett, M.; Pennyroyal, G.
  • Viral respiratory infections in the community: Epidemiology, agents, and interventions
    Monto, A.S.
  • Plant adaptogens III. Earlier and more recent aspects and concepts on their mode of action
    Panossian, A.; Wikman, G.; Wagner, H.
  • Benefit-risk assessment of the squeezed sap of the purple coneflower ( Echinacea purpurea ) for long-term oral immunostimulation
    Parnham, M.J.
  • Comparison of chemical components and antioxidant capacity of difference Echinacea species
    Sloley, B.D.; Urichuk, L.J.; Tywin, C.; Coutts, R.T.; Pang, P.K.T.; Shan, J.J.
  • Anti-inflammatory activity of a polysaccharide fraction of Echinacea angustifolia
    Tubaro, A.; Tragni, E.; del Negro, P.; Galli, C.L.; Della Loggia, R.

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