Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Arch Intern Med. 2003 Mar 24;163(6):699-704.

Echinacea and truth in labeling.

Author information

  • 1Department of General Internal Medicine, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, USA. cgilroy@health1.org

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Echinacea sales represent 10% of the dietary supplement market in the United States, but there is no guarantee as to the content, quality, variability, or contamination in Echinacea preparations.

OBJECTIVE:

To qualitatively and quantitatively assess the contents of Echinacea-only preparations available in a retail setting.

METHODS:

One of each single-herb Echinacea preparations that were available in August 2000 was obtained from several stores in the Denver, Colo, area. Thin-layer chromatography (TLC) was used to determine species and measure quantity. From this information, accuracy of species labeling and comparison of constituent to labeled content were assessed. The samples were stratified by whether they were labeled as standardized, and the standardized and nonstandardized samples were compared by ratio of constituent to labeled content.

RESULTS:

Of the samples, 6 (10%) of 59 preparations contained no measurable Echinacea. The assayed species content was consistent with labeled content in 31 (52%) of the samples. Of the 21 standardized preparations, 9 (43%) met the quality standard described on the label. Labeled milligrams were weakly associated with measured constituent (r = 0.35; P =.02).

CONCLUSIONS:

Echinacea from retail stores often does not contain the labeled species. A claim of "standardization" does not mean the preparation is accurately labeled, nor does it indicate less variability in concentration of constituents of the herb.

Comment in

  • Echinacea and clarification. [Arch Intern Med. 2003]
PMID:
12639203
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk