Echinacea Angustifolia herb and root/Pallida herb (Echinaceae angustifoliae/pallidae herba)

Published August 29, 1992.
List of German Commission E Monographs (Phytotherapy)

Echinaceae angustifoliae radix schmalblättriges Sonnenhutkraut/blaßfarbenes Kegelblumenkraut schmalblättriges Sonnenhutwurzel

Name of Drug

Echinacea angustifolia/pallidae herba, echinacea angustifoliae/pallidae herb; echinacea angustifolia radix, echinacea augustifolia root.

Composition of Drug

The fresh or dried roots, or the fresh or dried above-ground parts collected at the time of flowering, of Echinacea angustifolia D. C. [Fam. Asteraceae], as well as their preparations.

The fresh or dried above-ground parts, collected at the time of flowering, of E. pallida (Nutt.) Nutt., as well as their preparations.

On the market, preparations of E. pallida are to some extent incorrectly labeled as "Echinacea angustifolia."

Pharmacological Properties, Pharmacokinetics, Toxicology

Animal experiment:

In the carbon-clearance test, alcoholic root extracts as well as extracts of the above-ground herb show a rate increase in elimination of carbon particles. In vitro:

Alcoholic root extracts show an increase in phagocytic elements of 23 percent when tested in granulocyte smears. Experiments reported in older publications cannot be definitely assigned to either of these species.

Uses

Preparations of "Echinacea angustifolia" are used to support and promote the natural powers of resistance of the body, especially in infectious conditions (influenza and colds, etc.) in the nose and throat, as an alterative in influenza, inflammatory and purulent wounds, abscesses, furuncles, ulcus cruris (indolent leg ulcers), herpes simplex, inflammation of connective tissue, wounds, headaches, metabolic disturbances, diaphoretic, and antiseptic. Activity for the uses listed has not been authenticated.

Risks

Internal use:

Not to be used in systemic diseases such as tuberculosis, leukosis, collagenosis, multiple sclerosis, AIDS, HIV infection, and other autoimmune diseases. Parenteral use:

Depending upon dosage, chills, short-term fever reactions, nausea and vomiting may occur. In rare cases allergic reactions of the immediate type are possible. If there is a tendency for allergy, especially against Asteraceae, and during pregnancies, do not apply parenterally.

Warning: The metabolic condition in diabetics can decline upon parenteral application.

Evaluation

Since the activity of the herb for the conditions listed above has not been substantiated, its therapeutic use cannot be recommended. Because of the risks, the use of parenteral preparations is not justified.

[Ed.note: Echinacea pallida root is an approved herb, as is E. purpurea herb. The E. purpurea root monograph is in the Unapproved Component Characteristics section. See Introduction for a discussion of positive and negative evaluations of Echinacea preparations.].