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Since May 10th 2008

Initial E

Echinacea angustifolia
Echinacea purpurea
Ephedra sinica
Eleutherococcus senticosus
Eucalyptus globulus



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Untitled Document Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench (Asteraceae/Compositae)

Brauneria purpurea (L.) Britt., Echinacea intermedia Lindl., E. purpurea (L.) Moench f., E. purpurea (L.) Moench var. arkansana Steyerm., E. speciosa Paxt., Rudbeckia purpurea L., R. hispida Hoffm., R. serotina Sweet

Local names
Coneflower, purple coneflower herb, purpurfarbener Igelkopf, purpurfarbene Kegelblume, purpurfarbener Sonnenhut, red sunflower, roter Sonnenhut

A hardy, herbaceous perennial. Stems erect, stout, branched, hirsute or glabrous, 60–180 cm high; basal leaves ovate to ovate-lanceolate, acute, coarsely or sharply serrate, petioles up to 25 cm long, blades to 20 cm long and 15cm wide, blade abruptly narrowing to base, often cordate, decurrent on petiole, 3–5 veined; cauline leaves petiolate below, sessile above, 7–20 cm long, 1.5–8cm broad, coarsely serrate to entire, rough to the touch on both surfaces; phyllaries linear-lanceolate, attenuate, entire, pubescent on outer surface, ciliate, passing into the chaff; heads 1.5–3cm long and 5–10mm broad, purplish; pales 9– 13mm long, awn half as long as body; disc corollas 4.5–5.5mm long, lobes 1mm long; achene 4–4.5 mm long, pappus a low crown of equal teeth; pollen grains yellow, 19–21µm in diameter; haploid chromosome number n= 11

Plant material used
fresh or dried aerial parts harvested in full bloom

Chemical assays
For essential oil (0.08–0.32%); chicoric acid (1.2–3.1%). Quantitative analysis of echinacoside, chicoric acid, isobutylamides, and other constituents by high-performance liquid chromatography. Quantitative analysis of alkamides and caffeic acid derivatives by thin-layer chromatography and highperformance liquid chromatography

Major chemical constituents
A number of chemical entities have been identified, including alkamides, polyalkenes, polyalkynes, caffeic acid derivatives, and polysaccharides. The volatile oil contains, among other compounds, borneol, bornyl acetate, pentadeca-8-(Z)-en-2-one, germacrene D, caryophyllene, and caryophyllene epoxide. Isobutylamides of C11–C16 straight-chain fatty acids with olefinic or acetylenic bonds (or both) are found in the aerial parts of Herba Echinaceae Purpureae, with the isomeric dodeca-(2E,4E,8Z,10E/Z)-tetraenoic acid isobutylamides. The caffeic acid ester derivative chicoric acid is the major active compound of this class found in the aerial parts of Echinacea purpurea, with a concentration range of 1.2–3.1%. Chicoric acid methyl ester and other derivatives are also present. Polysaccharide constituents from Herba Echinaceae Purpureae are of two types: a heteroxylan of average relative molecular mass about 35 000 (e.g. PS-I), and an arabinorhamnogalactan of average relative molecular mass about 45000 (e.g. PS-II). Other constituents include trace amounts of pyrrolizidine alkaloids (tussilagine (0.006%) and isotussilagine). At these concentrations, the alkaloids are considered to be non-toxic. Furthermore, because these alkaloids lack the 1,2-unsaturated necine ring of alkaloids such as senecionine (structure in box) from Senecio species, they are considered to be non-hepatotoxic

Dosage forms
Powdered aerial part, pressed juice and galenic preparations thereof for internal and external use

Medicinal uses
Uses supported by clinical data
Herba Echinaceae Purpureae is 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. External uses include promotion of wound healing and treatment of inflammatory skin conditions.

Uses described in pharmacopoeias and well established documents

Uses described in traditional medicine
Other medical uses claimed for Herba Echinaceae Purpureae include treatment of yeast infections, side-effects of radiation therapy, rheumatoid arthritis, blood poisoning, and food poisoning

Proven pharmacological activity
Animal studies
Immunostimulant, Wound healing, Antiviral

Human studies
Immunostimulant, Wound healing

External use
Allergy to the plant.
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.

No information available.

Internal or external use should not exceed a period of 8 successive weeks.

Carcinogenesis, mutagenesis, impairment of fertility
Mutagenicity and carcinogenicity test results were negative. Doses up to a polysaccharide concentration of 500 mg/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 the drug during pregnancy is not recommended.

Nursing mothers
There are no reliable studies on this subject. Nursing mothers should not take the drug without consulting a physician.

Paediatric use
Oral administration of Echinacea preparations is not recommended for small children, except on the advice of a physician. Herba Echinaceae Purpureae may be used for external treatment of small superficial wounds.

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

Adverse reactions
Occasionally allergic reactions may occur owing to allergy to plants in the Asteraceae (Compositae).

Oral daily dosage of Herba Echinaceae Purpureae, 6–9ml expressed juice for no longer than 8 successive weeks. External use of semisolid preparations containing at least 15% pressed juice for no longer than 8 successive weeks. Information on dosages for children is not available.


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