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J Vet Sci. 2007 Dec;8(4):341-51.

Phytotherapeutic effects of Echinacea purpurea in gamma-irradiated mice.

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  • 1Radiation Biology Department, National Centre for Radiation Research and Technology, Cairo, Egypt.


Echinacea (E.) purpurea herb is commonly known as the purple coneflower, red sunflower and rudbeckia. In this paper, we report the curative efficacy of an Echinacea extract in gamma-irradiated mice. E. purpurea was given to male mice that were divided into five groups (control, treated, irradiated, treated before irradiation & treated after irradiation) at a dose of 30 mg/kg body weight for 2 weeks before and after irradiation with 3 Gy of gamma-rays. The results reflected the detrimental reduction effects of gamma-rays on peripheral blood hemoglobin and the levels of red blood cells, differential white blood cells, and bone marrow cells. The thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARs) level, Superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GSPx) activities and DNA fragmentation were also investigated. FT-Raman spectroscopy was used to explore the structural changes in liver tissues. Significant changes were observed in the microenvironment of the major constituents, including tyrosine and protein secondary structures. E. purpurea administration significantly ameliorated all estimated parameters. The radio-protection effectiveness was similar to the radio-recovery curativeness in comparison to the control group in most of the tested parameters. The radio-protection efficiency was greater than the radio-recovery in hemoglobin level during the first two weeks, in lymphoid cell count and TBARs level at the fourth week and in SOD activity during the first two weeks, as compared to the levels of these parameters in the control group.

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