Send to

Choose Destination
J Med Food. 2018 Mar;21(3):261-268. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2017.4073. Epub 2017 Dec 7.

Echinacea purpurea Protects Against Restraint Stress-Induced Immunosuppression in BALB/c Mice.

Author information

1 Department of Nutritional Science and Food Management, Ewha Womans University , Seoul, Korea.
2 Frutarom Switzerland Ltd. , R&D Department BU Health, Wädenswil, Switzerland .
3 Novarex Co., Ltd. , Cheongju-si, Chungcheongbuk-do, Korea.


Echinacea purpurea has been widely used for the prevention and treatment of upper respiratory tract infections and the common cold. The restraint stress has been reported to suppress a broad spectrum of immune functions. The aim of this study was to investigate the protective effects of the pressed juice of E. purpurea (L.) Moench (EFLA®894; Echinacea) against restraint stress-induced immunosuppression in BALB/c mice. Echinacea significantly normalized the restraint stress-induced reduction in splenocyte proliferation and splenic natural killer (NK) cell activity (P < .05). Echinacea treatment significantly increased the percentages of CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes in the blood (P < .05). In addition, Echinacea restored serum cytokine levels, including interleukin-6 (IL-6), interleukin-10 (IL-10), and interleukin-17 (IL-17), as well as the mRNA expressions of these cytokines in spleen (P < .05). Our findings suggest that Echinacea might have beneficial effects on restraint stress-induced immunosuppression by increasing splenocyte proliferation and NK cell activity, while modulating T lymphocyte subsets and cytokine levels in the blood.


Echinacea purpurea; NK cell; T lymphocyte; cytokines; immune; restraint stress

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center