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Scientific Name:
Echinacea purpurea, E. angustifolia, E. pallida
Family Name:
Asteraceae/Compositae
Common Name:
echinacea
Evidence of Activity
Analytical Chemistry
Chemical pattern recognition, HPLC, and multi-component determination provided a fingerprint for evaluating Echinacea purpurea from 6 different locations in China, revealing that caftaric acid, chlorogenic acid, and cichoric acid contents were highest from Shandong cultivation and the lowest from Anhui and Shaanxi. Lv 2022
A study to optimize the production of chicoric acid in Echinacea purpurea cell culture using methyl jasmonate as an elicitor measured the content of total polyphenols and chicoric acid. Ravazzolo 2022
HPTLC analysis revealed that 33.3% of the Echinacea (purple coneflower) supplements tested exhibited quality issues (mainly adulterations). Frommenwiler 2022
Docking analysis revealed that chicoric acid from Echinacea purpurae has a strong binding affinity to the HPV L1 protein and can be considered when synthesizing anti-HPV compounds. Lukman 2022
Compounds from Echinacea angustifolia, including rutin, echinacoside, cynaroside, echinacin, quercetagetin 7-glucoside, and kaempferol-3-glucoside, may inhibit Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) protein, while demonstrating considerable stability and intermolecular interaction with ligand-binding site residues of JEV-RNA-dependent RNA polymerase. Yadav 2022
Testing the elemental composition of Echinacea angustifolia, a common tea infusion consumed in Portugal, revealed 5.6 mg g-1 calcium, that it contained no harmful elements including arsenic and lead, and was one of the stand-outs in regards to enriching daily intake of micro and macronutrients. Fernandes 2022
Substrates of BAHD and SCPL acyltransferases contribute to the diversity of hydroxycinnamic acid derivatives in Echinacea purpurea. Fu 2022
Researchers identified a unique acyltransferase which uses chlorogenic and caftaric acid to produce chicoric acid, one of Echinacea's major bioactive compounds. This suggests a convergent evolution of chicoric acid biosynthesis. Using these acyltransferases, researchers reconstituted chicoric acid biosynthesis in tobacco indicating a flexibility of acyltransferases in the evolution of specialized metabolism in plants. Fu 2021
An ultra performance liquid chromatography (UPLC) method for simultaneous quantification of caffeic acid derivatives, including chicoric acid, caftaric acid and chlorogenic acid, in dried extracts of Echinacea purpurea is presented with significant variation found in contents between samples. de Oliveira 2021
A newly developed UHPLC method is linear, precise, accurate, selective and robust for detection and quantitation of caffeic acid and its derivatives from Echinacea purpurea dried extracts. de Oliveira 2021
A phytochemical study provided results of the analysis of Echinacea purpurea aerial parts, with various extracts showing antimicrobial activities, while dichloromethane and n-hexane extracts possessed significant cytotoxic effects with evidence pointing to synergism between the constituents. Coelho 2020
A study determined the content of trace minerals (As, Ba, Cd, Co, Cu, Cr, Ni, Pb, Se, V, Zn) in 28 herbal teas, including echinacea. Kilic 2020
A review focuses on inulin-type fructans as potential contributors to the immunomodulatory and antiviral effects of Echinacea plants and products. Dobrange 2019
An assessment of chemical and biological consistency of Echinacea purpurea samples found correlation between the constituent and biological response profiles. Ryan 2019
Phylloxanthobilins, tetrapyrrolic products that arise from degradation of chlorophyll, were found in Echinacea purpurea senescent yellow leaves and green leaves with no visible chlorophyll degradation. Antioxidant activity and uptake by human endothelial kidney cells were demonstrated. Karg 2019
Extracts from roots, flowers, and leaves of Echinacea purpurea using three different solvents (100% and 40% ethanol and water) were obtained and high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrophotometer utilized to identify and quantify 23 individual phenolics. Senica 2018
This paper reviews analytical techniques (HPLC, HPLC-ESI-MS, HPLC-ESI-MS/MS, HPCE, HPTLC, and GC), including sample preparation tools and chromatographic procedures, most suitable for the analysis of Echinacea species; the strength and weakness of different extraction techniques are also discussed. Bruni 2018
A combination of high performance thin layer chromatography (HPTLC) and DNA metabarcoding showed discrepancies between declared ingredients in Echinacea products marketed across Europe and detectable content. Raclariu 2018
The levels of macro-, micro-, trace minerals, and potentially toxic elements were assessed in medicinal plants, including Echinacea, grown in Romania. Haidu 2017
Methods of detection of antioxidant compounds in methanolic extracts of Echinacea purpurea, coupled with on-line HPLC with diode array and ultraviolet detectors, were compared. The ABTS and FRAP, but not DPPH assays were found reliable. Arslan Burnaz 2017
Results of a collaborative study conducted among 11 laboratories to evaluate an HPLC method for determination of phenolic compounds in Echinacea spp. raw materials, powdered extracts, and tinctures are reported. Brown 2016
The protein content of Echinacea purpurea dried roots was evaluated. Balciunaite 2015
Levels of toxic metals (Cd, Pb, Al, As, Ba, Ni and Sb) were determined in Echinacea purpurea supplements available in Poland. Filipiak-Szok 2015
Hyperspectral imaging, combined with chemometric modeling, was used to distinguish the root and leaf samples of Echinacea angustifolia, E. pallida and E. purpurea, to differentiate the roots of the three different species, and to predict the species identity in commercial products. Sandasi 2014
Sixteen compounds were isolated from the aerial parts of Echinacea purpurea, including five isolated for the first time from Asteraceae, five from Echinacea spp., and two from E. purpurea, as reported. [Article in Chinese] Chen 2013
A method of quantitation of phenylpropanoid concentrations in echinacea products, utilizing thin-layer chromatography, high-resolution digital imaging, and artificial neural network-based data analysis, was developed. Agatonovic-Kustrin 2013
Multiple samples of echinacea extracts did not pass polyphenol content standards, as shown by HPLC. [Article in Chinese] An 2012
Seasonal variations in the concentrations of lipophilic compounds (alkamides, ketoalkenes, and ketoalkynes) and phenolic acids in the roots of Echinacea pallida and E. purpurea were assessed. Thomsen 2012
Two new cinnamic acids, as well as three known caffeic acids, were isolated from Echinacea purpurea. Lu 2012
A detailed phytochemical characterization of Echinacea pallida root extracts and dietary supplements was carried out, reportedly for the first time. Pellati 2012
Selective extraction of chlorogenic acid from Echinacea purpurea was performed using a novel hollow fiber/solid phase microextraction technique. Golsefidi 2012
An ultrafast liquid chromatography (UFLC) method for the analysis of alkylamides in the roots of Echinacea angustifolia, Echinacea purpurea, and commercial dietary supplements was developed. Mudge 2011
A simple, reliable rapid resolution liquid chromatographic method for quantification of Echinacea angustifolia and E. purpurea extracts simultaneously with Flos Lonicerae, Radix Scutellariae and Fructus Forsythiae was developed. Ma 2011
Isolation of alkylamides from Echinacea angustifolia roots was performed by high-speed countercurrent chromatography. One compound, dodeca-2E,4E-dienoic acid 2-methylbutylamide, was allegedly reported in the roots for the first time. Lopes-Lutz 2011
A previously validated method was applied to the determination of major phenolic compounds (caftaric acid, chlorogenic acid, cynarin, echinacoside, and cichoric acid) in the dry extract and liquid tincture of Echinacea spp. Brown 2011
A single-laboratory validation of the optimized HPLC method, developed by the Institute for Nutraceutical Advancement, for the determination of phenolic constituents in Echinacea angustifolia, E. pallida, and E. purpurea was performed. Brown 2010
A liquid chromatography-particle beam/mass spectrometry method, with electron impact and glow discharge ionization sources, for the determination of caffeic acid derivatives in echinacea tinctures is presented. Castro 2010
A modification of AOAC Official Method 991.31 for the determination of aflatoxins in botanical roots, including those of echinacea, is described. Weaver 2010
A novel, carbon nanotube-reinforced microextraction technique for the measurement of caffeic acid in Echinacea purpurea herbal extracts, combined with high-performance liquid chromatography, was developed. Es'haghi 2010
The different extractions and utility of the analytical methods used to determine the wide-ranging individual alkylamide content of commonly consumed Echinacea extracts was demonstrated. Spelman 2009
Diffusion-edited 1H-NMR (1D DOSY) and 1H-NMR with suppression of the ethanol and water signals were applied here for the first time to the direct analysis of commercial herbal tinctures derived from Echinacea purpurea, Hypericum perforatum, Ginkgo biloba and Valeriana officinalis. Politi 2009
(1)H NMR-based metabolomics and multivariate analysis techniques were applied to diverse Echinacea plants including roots and aerial parts, authentic plants, commercial plants and commercial dry extracts. Frédérich 2009
The isolation and structure characterization of a dienone from the roots of Echinacea pallida, namely (8Z,11Z)-pentadeca-8,11-dien-2-one, are described; the compounds exert a dose-dependent cytotoxicity with a medium-level potency on the tested cell line. Morandi 2008
Investigation was carried out by designing a digital imaging system with simple equipment, developing an image analysis software based on novel algorithm, and validating the system in the TLC quantitative assay of cichoric acid present in Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench. Tie-xin 2008
The amounts of total free amino acids varied widely between plants, from approximately 12 g in 100 g of Echinacea pallida extract to less than 60 mg in the same amount of Coleus forskohlii, Garcinia cambogia, and Glycine max. Carratù 2008
Validation of HPLC methods for identification of botanicals in Current GMP environment were applied for green tea leaf, ginseng root, eleuthero root, echinacea root, black cohosh rhizome, licorice root, kava root, milk thistle aerial parts, feverfew aerial parts & ginger root. Reich 2008
The first synthesis of a series of ketones & the natural distribution in Echinacea pallida is described. The natural distribution of these ketones among different Echinacea species is also reported. Kraus 2007
The contents of total phenolics and caffeic acid derivatives in aerial parts and roots of Echinacea purpurea grown in China were investigated by high-performance liquid chromatography and colorimetric analysis. Liu 2007
Automated, high-throughput processing method that, teamed with matrix-assisted laser desorption/ ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry analysis, differentiate Echinacea species by their mass profiles was developed. Greene 2007
The content and quality of the essential oil in relation to the main ontogenetic stages of plants were studied in three various sorts of Echinacea genus. Vaverková 2007
High-performance liquid chromatography analysis identified individual alkamides present at concentrations below 2.8 microM in the extracts from the six Echinacea species (15 microg/mL crude extract). LaLone 2007
Changes of antioxidant and antiradical activities and the total contents of phenolics, anthocyanins, flavonols, and hydroxybenzoic acid in roots and different aerial sections of Echinacea purpurea, nettle, and dandelion were analyzed spectrophotometrically. Hudec 2007
The amount of phenol compounds in tinctures prepared from Ginkgo leaves, Echinacea plant & Ginseng roots was evaluated & the antioxidative activity of the preparations was determined using standard 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl radical cation scavenging and tyrosine nitration inhibition tests. Masteikova 2007
A divergent synthesis of (2E,4E,8E,10E)- and (2E,4E,8E,10Z)-N-isobutyldodeca-2,4,8,10-tetraenamides from pent-4-yn-1-ol allowed identification of the (2E,4E,8E,10Z)-isomer for the first time in Echinacea species. Matovic 2007
A RP-HPLC method for the analysis of polyacetylenes and polyenes in Echinacea pallida roots and phytopharmaceuticals was developed. Pellati 2007
The synthesis and distribution of two anti-inflammatory alkamides in accessions of the nine species of Echinacea was determined. Kraus 2006
Determination of aflatoxins and ochratoxin A in ginseng and other botanical roots including ginger and echinacea, by immunoaffinity column cleanup and liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection was carried out. Trucksess 2006
A new, rapid, and reproducible reversed-phased liquid chromatography method with ultraviolet absorption and/or mass spectrometry detection has been developed and validated for quantitation of cichoric acid, a major constituent of Echinacea spp. Chen 2006
An analysis by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry showed that none of 47 metals was found in highly toxic amounts in 23 brands of ephedra-containing dietary supplements including black cohosh, echinacea and two nonprescription reference preparations. Grippo 2006
Mercury determination in an assortment of dietary supplements including echinacea, ephedra, fish oil, ginger, ginkgo biloba, using an inexpensive combustion atomic absorption spectrometry technique was carried out. Levine 2005
An improved capillary electrophoresis method for determining cichoric acid which is an appropriate marker of the quality of E. purpurea containing product in dried press juice from purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), was developed. Mancek 2005
In order to provide an authentic standard and to generate pure material for biological testing, an efficient synthetic route was developed and represents the first total synthesis of a major bioactive diynone from Echinacea pallida. Kraus 2005
The arabinogalactan-proteins from pressed juices of Echinacea purpurea, which are used as non-specific immunostimulants, was isolated by precipitation with ss-glucosyl Yariv reagent, followed by gel-permeation chromatography. Classen 2005
Two new alkamides, dodeca-2Z,4E,10Z-trien-8-ynoic acid isobutylamide from Echinacea angustifolia and dodeca-2Z,4E-diene-8,10-diynoic acid isobutylamide from E. purpurea and E.pallida were identified by analysis of spectroscopic data and comparison with reported alkamides. Chen 2005
An arabinogalactan-protein and an arabinan, the high molecular weight constituents were identified and isolated from roots of Echinacea pallida by using Linkage analyses and NMR spectroscopy. Thude 2005
A high-resolution method was developed for regulatory control of Echinacea species in Nutraceuticals by Cyclodextrin-modified micellar electrokinetic chromatography in combination with pattern recognition of some caffeoyl solutes. Bensalem 2005
Botanical supplements including echinacea, garlic, ginkgo, ginseng, grape seed extract, etc., analyzed for lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic, etc. using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry indicated that they did not contain unacceptable concentrations of these metals. Raman 2004
A new test method for measuring the total antioxidant power of herbal products, based on solid-phase spectrophotometry was approved in the analysis of the most popular herbal beverages (black and green teas) & drugs (Echinacea products). Zaporozhets 2004
The total phenolic contents were found to be 10.49 mg/g, 17.83 mg/g & 23.23 mg/g for Echinacea angustifolia, E. pallida & E. purpurea respectively and their free radical scavenging activity was determined by DPPH method. Pellati 2004
A fast, simple and sensitive qualitative TLC method superior to HPLC method was developed to identify Echinaceae pallidae radix and to distinguish this drug from similar ones. Schicke 2004
The synthesis of 3 diacetylenic isobutylamides of Echinacea angustifolia(EA) was achieved by direct synthetic routes by way of a common intermediate. The presence of all 3 diacetylenic isobutylamides in 6 of the 9 Echinacea species including EA, E. sanguinea, E.simulata are reported. Wu 2004
The first synthesis of a diacetylenic amide from Echinacea is reported. The key steps included the reaction of an aldehyde with the monoanion of a diacetylene and the reductive removal of a propargylic alcohol. Kraus 2003
A reversed-phase HPLC which has been developed to determine caffeic acid derivatives, like cichoric acid & alkamides in plant parts & herbal products of Echinacea purpurea was the first one validated for determination of these 2 compounds using Naringenin as an internal standard. Molgaard 2003
The estimation of maximum acceptable concentration of lead & cadmium in Echinacea purpurea revealed that the amounts of heavy metals do not exceed the allowable norms in fruits of Crataegus monogyna Jacq., herbs of Leonurus cardiaca L. & Echinacea purpurea Moench. [Article in Lithuanian] Zitkevicius 2003
Content of Zn, Fe, Cu, Mn, Ca, Mg, Sr, Ni & Li in root versus upper plant parts of Echinacea purpurea were determined, by flame atomic absorption & atomic emission spectrometry & the trace element data were evaluated by multivariate methods, i.e. principal component & hierarchical cluster analyses. Razic 2003
The alkamide concentration in 3 year roots of Echinacea purpurea was less than that in 2 year roots, with an average decrease of 50.5% but total phenolic acids increased an average of 70.0% for all treatments from 2 to 3 years of age. Gray 2003
The liquid chromatography method with reversed-phase column & coulometric electrochemical detection showed better sensitivity & selectivity in the determination of phenolic compounds in dietary supplements and tea blends containing Echinacea. Luo 2003
The measuring method of content of cichoric acid (CA) in Echinacea purpuea was successful and reliable by using reverse HPLC method & the maximum CA content of roots occured in seedling age of May & that of the flowers occured in blooming stage of mid July. [Article in Chinese] Wang 2003
In contrast to the time-consuming HPLC method, the non-destructive NIR reflection and ATR-IR spectroscopy measurements allow to predict the echinacoside content in roots of Echinacea angustifolia and Echinacea pallida with an analysis time of approx. one minute. Schulz 2002
Evaluation of commercial ginkgo and echinacea dietary supplements for colchicine using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry did not show any contamination and no colchicine was detected in any of the samples. Li 2002
Separation of nine important alkyl methylbutyl- and isobutylamides (known as alkamides) obtained from Echinacea purpurea extracts was investigated by using cyclodextrin-modified micellar electrokinetic chromatography. Gotti 2002
Seventeen components, including the 11 alkamides known to Echinacea purpurea roots, were identified in the GC-MS traces of the analyzed fractions and efficiently separated in a turnaround time of 25 min. Hudaib 2002
A reversed-phase HPLC method was developed for the identification of dried roots of Echinacea purpurea, E. angustifolia, E. pallida and Parthenium integrifolium and hydrophilic and lipophilic compounds were analysed simultaneously. Laasonen 2002a
Near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy is a good tool for the fast identification of Echinacea purpurea roots if the samples are milled using the same procedure as for the calibration samples and adulterated E. purpurea samples can be detected at a minimum of 10% of adulteration. Laasonen 2002b
5 water-soluble constituents were isolated by chromatography method from Echinacea purpurea & their structures including ampelopsisionoside were identified on the basis of spectral analyses. [Article in Chinese] Li 2002
5 lipid compounds were isolated from Echinacea purpurea & the structures which includes 1 beta, 6 alpha-dihydroxy-4(14)-eudesmene were identified for the first time using spectral analyses.[Article in Chinese] Lii 2002
[Advances in the study of the chemical constituents and biological activities of 3 species of Echinacea].[Article in Chinese] Li 2002
The yield from supercritcal fluid extraction of alkylamides from fresh E. angustifolia roots increased with temperature, decreased with pressure. Air-dried root yields increased with both. Freeze-drying did not result in an increased yield. Sun 2002
Alpha-L-Araf-(1-->2)-beta-D-Galp-(1-->6)-beta-D-Galp-(1-->6)-[alpha-L-Araf-(1-->2)]-beta-D-Galp-(1-->6)-D-Gal hexasaccharide was synthesized for the characterization of the supposed epitope of an arabinogalactan, isolated from the extract of cell-cultured Echinacea purpurea. Csavas 2001
Lipophilic root extracts of Echinacea pallida that were sprayed with 100 ppm of Methyl jasmonate, separated by HPLC, revealed increases in six alkamides or related ketoalkene/ynes produced by 34 day-old plants and in seven compounds produced by 58 day-old plants. Binns 2001
Many goldenseal products which are currently available in the United States, either alone or in combination with Echinacea was determined by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method which was developed for the detection and quantification of hydrastine and berberine. Abourashed 2001
HPLC analysis method showed chicoric acid was the main phenolic in Echinacea purpurea roots (mean 2.27% summer, 1.68% autumn) and tops (2.02% summer, 0.52% autumn), and echinacoside was the main phenolic in E. angustifolia (1.04%) and E. pallida roots (0.34%). Perry 2001
A rapid and sensitive improved HPLC method developed for the separation and quantification of betaine in Echinacea products showed variations from 0.04 to 0.64% in their betaine content with a detection limit of 0.2 microgram/ml. Ganzera 2001
Alcoholic extracts of roots and leaves of three Echinacea species were analysed for the characteristic chemicals by HPLC, UV and electrospray MS detectors. Extracts of all three were found to have antioxidant properties. Sloley 2001
An arabinogalactan-protein (AGP) from pressed juice of Echinacea purpurea herb was isolated from a high molecular weight fraction by precipitation with the beta-glucosyl Yariv reagent, followed by gel-permeation chromatography. Classen 2000
Using HPLC, 6 alkamide fractions(AF) (alkamides 1, 2, 3, 6a/6, 7, 8/9) were quantitated in dried roots; four AF(alkamides 1, 2, 3, 8/9) were measured in leaves of Canadian-grown Echinacea purpurea after drying by various methods like freeze-drying, vacuum microwave drying & air-drying. Kim 2000a
Of 70 compounds identified from roots, stems, leaves, and flowers of Echinacea angustifolia, E. pallida, and E. purpurea, using capillary gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, more than 50 were reported for the first time. Maze 1999
For the characterisation of anticipated epitope of an arabinogalactan, isolated from extract of Echinacea purpurea, the trisaccharide alpha-L-Araf-(1->2)-beta-D-Galp-(1->6)-D-Gal was synthesized along with 2 other oligosaccharides including alpha-L-Araf-(1->6)-beta-D-Galp-(1->6)-D-Gal. Borbas 1999
Micellar electrokinetic chromatography was applied to define the fingerprints of Echinacea angustifolia, Echinacea pallida, and Echinacea purpurea, and their mixtures. Pietta 1998
(4-O-Methyl-alpha-D-glucurono)-D-xylan from Rudbeckia fulgida Kardosova 1998
Automated TLC of alcohol extracts of E angustifolia and other plants Gocan 1996
Echinacoside and 6 other phenylpropanoid glycosides have hydroxyl radical scavenging with high rate constants of (0.97-1.91) x 10(10)L.mol-1.s-1. Activity relates to number of phenolic hydroxyl groups and o-dihydroxy group Wang 1996
FAB-MS of E angustifolia root ethylacetate extr. shows 2,3-O-dicaffeoyltartaric acid (chicoric acid), 5-O-dicaffeoylquinic acid (cynarine), 2-O-caffeoyltartaric acid (caffaric acid). Hyaluronidase IC50 was 0.4, 1.9, 0.6 mM, respectively Facino 1993
There was no cross-reactivity of antibodies raised against arabinogalactan proteins from Baptisia tinctoria and Echinacea purpurea Egert 1992
Echinacoside (caffeic glycoside esters) from several species of Oleaceae Andary 1992
E. paradoxa contains several ketoalkenynes and HPLC shows to have almost identical constituents as E. pallida. E. simulata contained alkamides as found in E. angustifolia and in addition ketoalkenynes as in E. pallida Bauer 1991
Review indicates most chemical analyses have been done with E angustifolia whereas biological activity was tested with E purpurea. Water extract of E angustifolia showed no effects on the immuno system using the carbon clearance test Schumacher 1991
Germinating seeds of E. purpurea, E. angustifolia, and E. pallida have dodeca-2E, 4E, 8Z, 10E(10Z)-tetraenoic acid isobutylamide (8/9), alkamides, alkene derivatives of isovalerianic acid but no 2-monoene alkalmides nor polyacetylenes Schulthess 1991
Dithiacyclohexadiene from Rudbeckia hirta exhibit strong antibacterial and antifungal activity enhanced further by light which converts it to the corresponding thiophene Constabel 1989
[N-Alkanes of Echinacea angustifolia (author's transl)] [Article in German] Verelis 1977
Echinolone ((E)-10-hydroxy-4,10-dimethyl-4,11-dodecadien-2-one) from Echinacea angustifolia roots induces strong juvenilizing effects in the yellow mealworm Jacobson 1975
Insect juvenile hormone activity is high in Echinacea angustifolia roots and Chamaecyparis lawsoniana seeds Jacobson 1975
[The structure of echinacein, the insecticidal component of American coneflower roots.] Jacobson 1967
[The presence of polyacetylene compounds in Echinacea purpura Mnch and Echinacea angustifolia DC]. Schulte 1967
HPLC chromatogram of total Polyphenols in Echinacea. Institute for Nutraceutical Advancement
A validated method for detecting total Polyphenols in Echinacea, by HPLC. Institute for Nutraceutical Advancement
History of Record
ORIGINAL RESEARCH BY: Soaring Bear, Ph.D.
May 1999
MAJOR REVISION BY: J. Mohanasundarum, MD, PhD
January 2010
LATEST UPDATES BY: Julie Dennis
December 2022