The effect of Echinacea purpurea Moench on phagocytosis in granulocytes measured by chemiluminescence


Gaisbauer M, Schleich T, Stickl HA






Chemiluminescence was used as an indicator for phagocytic activity of granulocytes induced by zymosan in whole blood. Luminol was used to amplify the luminescence measured. Methods and conditions of the trial were varied and the dependence on the methods applied became evident. The effects of echinacea-extract (Echinacin) and phorbolester (PMA) in various concentrations on phagocytic activity of whole blood heparinized with 10 I.E./ml heparin as well as on phagocytic activity of erytrocytolized blood were investigated. The reaction of the granulocytes--phagocytis and therefore chemilumenescence--under the influence of echinacea extract depends on the doses and methods applied. Therefore standardized methods and investigations of various immunoparameters as well as clinical investigations are necessary to prove the immunostimulative effect of socalled immunotherapeutics. This has not been undertaken up to now. Dose and method dependent single results cannot be a convincing justification for specific therapeutic medication.