Echinacea Quality Story
The Important Constituents
Echinacea is the most widely used herb and the most misunderstood. MediHerb has for many years invested heavily into research on Echinacea to identify quality markers that are important for clinical use. The levels of the phenolic acid esters, e.g. echinacoside, are commonly used by many manufacturers as marker compounds or indicators of Echinacea quality. However, recent trials have highlighted the significance of alkylamides for clinical efficacy, hence it is important that quality products are characterized for these phytochemicals as well. This has led to the incorporation of a specification and analytical test methodology for Echinacea products in the USP26-NF21 draft monographs which focuses on alkylamides tested by HPLC and DAD detection. The alkylamides being tested are the 2,4-diene alkylamides and the 2-ene alkylamides.
This method has been adopted by MediHerb and the alkylamides are determined as 2,4-diene alkylamides and 2-ene alkylamides. The 2-enes are characteristic of Echinacea angustifolia and are not found in the other species. The 2,4-dienes are found in both E. purpurea and E. angustifolia and these phytochemicals are responsible for the intense tingling sensation in the mouth when tasting good quality Echinacea products.
The phenolic acids are determined as the levels of caftaric acid, echinacoside and cichoric acid; echinacoside is typical of E. angustifolia and E. pallida roots and is not found in E. purpurea. Cichoric acid is not found in E. angustifolia root, but is found in the aerial parts of all species and characteristically in the root of E. purpurea.
MediHerb products are quantified to contain a minimum level of alkylamides by the USP26-NF21 HPLC method, the levels of phenolic acids are measured for information only and are used to confirm product identity and the absence of contamination from other Echinacea species.
The MediHerb Difference
MediHerb has developed specialized knowledge in the manufacture and testing of Echinacea products over the past 20 years. This includes a PhD study, extensive analytical method development, establishment of optimal harvesting, drying and storage protocols to maximize retention of actives and a successful clinical trial.
*Please note this item requires a 15-minute practitioner phone consultation before we can ship to you. We do this in order ensure the highest level of safety and quality in treatment.