Abstract Title:

Bactericidal and anti-inflammatory properties of a standardized Echinacea extract (Echinaforce): dual actions against respiratory bacteria.

Abstract Source:

Nutr Cancer. 2008;60(1):69-74. PMID: 20036523

Abstract Author(s):

S M Sharma, M Anderson, S R Schoop, J B Hudson

Article Affiliation:

Department of Pathology&Laboratory Medicine, University of British Columbia, 2733 Heather Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada.


Common symptoms of upper respiratory infections, such as sore throat, cough, and inflammation, are often caused by bacteria, sometimes as a complication of virus infection. Extracts of Echinacea purpurea (Asteraceae) have been advocated traditionally for use by individuals suffering from these symptoms, although the underlying basis for the beneficial effects of Echinacea is not known. We hypothesized that Echinacea could inactivate certain respiratory bacteria and could also reverse inflammatory effects caused by these bacteria in epithelial cells. In order to test this we used a commercial standardized extract of Echinacea purpurea (Echinaforce), and a novel cytokine array system designed to measure simultaneously the levels of 20 different cytokines secreted by bronchial epithelial cell cultures in response to infection. Streptococcus pyogenes (Group A Strep), which is often associated with sore throat and more severe pulmonary infections, was readily inactivated by Echinacea, which also completely reversed the cellular pro-inflammatory response. Hemophilus influenzae and Legionella pneumophila were also readily inactivated, and their pro-inflammatory responses reversed. Staphylococcus aureus (methicillin-resistant and sensitive strains) and Mycobacterium smegmatis were less sensitive to the bactericidal effects of Echinacea however, but their pro-inflammatory responses were still completely reversed. In contrast some other pathogens tested, including Candida albicans, were relatively resistant. Thus Echinaforce) exerts a dual action against several important respiratory bacteria, a killing effect and an anti-inflammatory effect. These results support the concept of using a standardized Echinacea preparation to control symptoms associated with bacterial respiratory infections.

Print Options

Sayer Ji
Founder of GreenMedInfo.com

Subscribe to our informative Newsletter & get Nature's Evidence-Based Pharmacy

Our newsletter serves 500,000 with essential news, research & healthy tips, daily.

Download Now

500+ pages of Natural Medicine Alternatives and Information.

This website is for information purposes only. By providing the information contained herein we are not diagnosing, treating, curing, mitigating, or preventing any type of disease or medical condition. Before beginning any type of natural, integrative or conventional treatment regimen, it is advisable to seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.

© Copyright 2008-2022 GreenMedInfo.com, Journal Articles copyright of original owners, MeSH copyright NLM.