Analysis of polar fractions of E. purpurea extracts showed the presence of antiviral activity, with evidence suggesting that polyphenolic compounds other than the known HIV inhibitor, cichoric acid, may be involved.

Diane F Birt, Mark P Widrlechner, Carlie A LaLone, Lankun Wu, Jaehoon Bae, Avery KS Solco, George A Kraus, Patricia A Murphy, Eve S Wurtele, Qiang Leng, Steven C Hebert, Wendy J Maury and Jason P Price


Abstract

Ongoing studies have developed strategies for identifying key bioactive compounds and chemical profiles in Echinacea with the goal of improving its human health benefits. Antiviral and antiinflammatory–antipain assays have targeted various classes of chemicals responsible for these activities. Analysis of polar fractions of E. purpurea extracts showed the presence of antiviral activity, with evidence suggesting that polyphenolic compounds other than the known HIV inhibitor, cichoric acid, may be involved. Antiinflammatory activity differed by species, with E. sanguinea having the greatest activity and E. angustifolia, E. pallida, and E. simulata having somewhat less. Fractionation and studies with pure compounds indicate that this activity is explained, at least in part, by the alkamide constituents. Ethanol extracts from Echinacea roots had potent activity as novel agonists of TRPV1, a mammalian pain receptor reported as an integrator of inflammatory pain and hyperalgesia and a prime therapeutic target for analgesic and antiinflammatory drugs. One fraction from E. purpurea ethanol extract was bioactive in this system. Interestingly, the antiinflammatory compounds identified to inhibit prostaglandin E2 production differed from those involved in TRPV1 receptor activation.


http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/abstract/87/2/488S

References

From The Center for Research on Botanical Dietary Supplements (DFB, MPW, CAL, LW, JB, AKSS, GAK, PAM, ESW, QL, SCH, WJM, and JPP),

The Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition (DFB, CAL, AKSS, PAM), the Interdepartmental Genetics Graduate Program (CAL and LW),

The Department of Genetics, Development, and Cell Biology (LW and ESW),

The Department of Chemistry (JB and GAK), the Department of Horticulture (MPW)

Department of Agronomy (MPW)

Iowa State University, Ames, IA

The US Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service

North Central Regional Plant Introduction Station (MPW), Ames, IA

The Department of Microbiology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA (WJM and JPP)

The Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT (QL and SCH)