VI.  Documented Side Effects


        In 1991, the German journal Arzneimittelforshung published an article entitled “Toxicity of Echinacea purpurea.”  Mice and rats were given large oral and intravenous overdoses of Echinacea purpurea daily for 14-days.  Upon completion of the regimen the specimens were dissected and studied with a microscope.  In addition, 18 male and 18 female rats were given Echinacea orally in doses of 0, 800, 2400, or 8000 mg/kg/day for 4 weeks.  The highest dose was approximately 60 times the recommended amount for humans.  Furthermore, Echinacea was tested for its ability to cause cell mutation.  Mice lymphoma cells were placed in a culture of Echinacea extract and allowed to grow.  No abnormalities were found among mice undergoing the 14-day regimen, except for minor reactions to the intravenous administration.  In the 4 weeks regimen, mice receiving Echinacea were compared to a placebo on the basis of weight, food consumption, observation of blood vessels, and dissection.  No relevant evidence was found supporting Echinacea as being toxic.  Tests to prove that Echinacea causes mutations in mice lymphoma cells showed no significant differences in comparison to the placebo.  According to this study, Echinacea can be classified as non-toxic, even in large doses (Mengs et al. 1076-81).



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