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Echinacea angustifolia
Echinacea purpurea
Ephedra sinica
Eleutherococcus senticosus
Eucalyptus globulus


 

 

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Untitled Document Echinacea angustifolia D.C. var. angustifolia (Asteraceae)
Related species often used interchangeably are its variety strigosa McGregor, or E. pallida (Nutt.) Nutt. (Asteraceae)

Synonyms
Brauneria angustifolia Heller, Echinacea pallida var. angustifolia (D.C.) Cronq.

Local names
American coneflower, black sampson, cock up head, coneflower, echinacea root, Igelkopf, Indian head, Kansas snakeroot, Kegelblume, narrow-leaved purple coneflower root, purple coneflower, Sonnenhut, racine d’echinacea

Description
Echinacea species are hardy, herbaceous perennials with either simple or branched stems. The terminal single flowering heads have fertile disc florets that terminate in spines (paleae). These are surrounded by infertile drooping or spreading ray flowers that have 2 or 3 teeth at each end. The leaf shape varies from lanceolate to ovate, its margin may be dentate and the leaf may be pubescent or smooth. Roots are either single taproot or fibrous in form

Plant material used
fresh or dried roots

Chemical assays
Essential oil (0.2–2%) and echinacoside (0.4–1.7%) in both E. angustifolia and E. pallida roots. Quantitative analysis of echinacoside, cynarin, chicoric acid, chlorogenic acid derivatives, and other constituents by high-performance liquid chromatography

Major chemical constituents
A number of chemical entities have been identified and reported to be biologically active, including a volatile oil, alkamides, polyalkenes, polyalkynes, caffeic acid derivatives, and polysaccharides. The volatile oil contains, among other compounds, pentadeca-(1,8-Z)- diene (44%), 1-pentadecene, ketoalkynes and ketoalkenes. More than 20 alkamides, mostly isobutylamides of C11–C16 straight-chain fatty acids with olefinic or acetylenic bonds, or both, are found in the roots; the highest concentration is in E. angustifolia, followed by E. purpurea, and the lowest is in E. pallida. The main alkamide is a mixture of isomeric dodeca- 2,4,8,10-tetraenoic acid isobutylamides. Caffeic acid ester derivatives present include echinacoside, cynarin, and chicoric acid. Cynarin is present only in E. angustifolia, thus distinguishing it from the closely related E. pallida. Polysaccharide constituents are of two types: a heteroxylan of relative molecular mass about 35 000 and an arabinorhamnogalactan of relative molecular mass about 45 000. Other constituents include trace amounts of pyrrolizidine alkaloids (tussilagine (0.006%) and isotussilagine). At these concentrations, the alkaloids are considered to be non-toxic, and since they lack the 1,2-unsaturated necine ring of alkaloids such as senecionine from Senecio species, they are considered to have no hepatotoxic potential

Dosage forms
Powdered roots, and galenics and preparations thereof for internal use

Medicinal uses
Uses supported by clinical data
Preparations of Radix Echinaceae are administered orally in supportive therapy for colds and infections of the respiratory and urinary tract. Beneficial effects in the treatment of these infections are generally thought to be brought about by stimulation of the immune response.

Uses described in pharmacopoeias and well established documents
None.

Uses described in traditional medicine
Treatment of yeast infections, side-effects of radiation therapy, rheumatoid arthritis, and food poisoning

Proven pharmacological activity
Animal studies
Immunostimulant, Anti-inflammation

Human studies
Immunostimulant

Contraindications
External use
Allergy to plants in the Asteraceae.
Internal use
Should not be used in serious conditions such as tuberculosis, leukosis, collagenosis, multiple sclerosis, AIDS, HIV infection and autoimmune disorders. Echinacea preparations should not be administered to people with a known allergy to any plant of the Asteraceae. Parenteral administration is rarely indicated owing to potential adverse side-effects (see Adverse reactions).

Warnings
None.

Precautions
General
Internal use should not exceed a period of 8 successive weeks

Carcinogenesis, mutagenesis, impairment of fertility
Mutagenicity and carcinogenicity tests were negative. Doses up to a polysaccharide concentration of 500µg/ml caused no increase in sister chromatid exchange or structural chromosome aberrations.

Pregnancy: teratogenic effects
There are no reliable studies on this subject. Therefore, administration of Radix Echinaceae during pregnancy is not generally recommended.

Nursing mothers
There are no reliable studies on this subject. Therefore, nursing mothers should not take Radix Echinaceae without consulting a physician.

Paediatric use
Oral administration of Echinacea preparations is not recommended for children, except on the advice of a physician.

Other precautions
No information was available concerning drug interactions, drug and laboratory test interactions, and non-teratogenic effects on pregnancy.

Adverse reactions
External use
Allergic reactions.
Internal use
Allergic reactions, shivering, fever, and headache.

Posology
E. angustifolia root
Unless otherwise prescribed, hot water (about 150 ml) is poured over about 0.5 teaspoon (about 1 g) of powdered plant material, allowed to steep for 10 minutes, passed through a strainer, and taken orally three times a day between meals.
Liquid extract
(1 : 5, 45% ethanol), 0.5–1ml three times daily.
Tincture
(1 : 5, 45% ethanol), 2–5ml three times daily

 

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