Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Veterinary Microbiology and Preventive Medicine
Marian L. Kohut
The genus Echinacea is composed of nine species distributed across central and eastern North America that differ in morphology and phytochemistry. Traditionally, these plants were used as anti-inflammatory agents or for wound healing; today, Echinacea phytomedicines are most often consumed to prevent or treat upper respiratory infections such as orthomyxoviruses (such as influenza) and rhinoviruses (such as "colds"). In this dissertation, we explored the immunomodulatory properties of seven Echinacea species using in vitro human adult peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) models. All of the seven Echinacea spp. tested harbored immunomodulatory properties, but they were heterogeneous between species and varied by plant organ. Extract factors (such as extraction technique, drying time of plant material before extraction, extract storage temperature, and extract storage time) were all important factors that worked together to determine the immunomodulatory properties of a particular preparation. Lay herbalist techniques yielded extracts with immunomodulatory properties. Factors such as species selection, plant organ selection, extraction technique, and extract storage conditions need to be reported in scientific articles to allow for a more accurate comparison of findings across studies.
Digital Repository @ Iowa State University, http://lib.dr.iastate.edu
David Stewart Senchina
Senchina, David Stewart, "Medical botany of the genus Echinacea " (2006). Retrospective Theses and Dissertations. 1301.