Research: REHMAN and colleagues,

Listed in Issue 47

Abstract

REHMAN and colleagues, Department of Internal Medicine, Veterans Affairs Medical Center and University of California, San Diego 92161 USA write that little is known about whether treatment with certain medicinal plants can enhance antigen-specific immunity . The authors studied the immune effects of Echinacea angustifolia and Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) .

Background

Methodology

The authors investigated, using the novel antigen keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH) injected into rats, the antigen-specific in vivo immunomodulatory potential of continuous treatment with Echinacea and Goldenseal root extract for a period of 6 weeks.

Results

The Echinacea-treated group showed a significant augmentation of their primary and secondary IgG antigen response; the Goldenseal-treated group showed an increase in the primary IgM response during the first 2 weeks of treatment.

Conclusion

These data suggest that medicinal plants such as Echinacea and Goldenseal may enhance immune function by increasing antigen-specific immunoglobulin production .

References

Rehman J et al. Increased production of antigen-specific immunoglobulins G and M following in vivo treatment with the medicinal plants Echinacea angustifolia and Hydrastis canadensis. Immunology Letters 68(2-3): 391-5. 1 Jun 1999.

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