Home > Blog > Content

How echinacea purpurea extract works in feed

May 10, 2021

Echinacea extract or Echinacea Purpurea extract is used as a traditional anti-inflammatory drug in North America and Europe and its use in veterinary medicine


Anti-inflammatory activity and antibacterial activity 

Echinacea is used as a traditional anti-inflammatory drug in North America and Europe. Echinacea extract showed significant anti-inflammatory effects in glacial acetic acid-induced mouse vascular permeability model, carrageenan-induced rat group swelling model, and LPS-induced rat macrophage TNF-α secretion model. Stimal et al. treated mice infected with Candida albicans with Echinacea polysaccharides, and after 24 hours, the Candida in the mouse kidneys was significantly reduced, indicating that Echinacea can resist Candida infections.


Organic Echinacea powder

Antiviral and antitumor activity

Binns SE et al. found that the extract of Echinacea purpurea has an inhibitory effect on herpes simplex type I virus. Wacker and Hilbig confirmed that Echinacea extract has anti-influenza virus, herpes virus and vesicular stomatitis virus activity. Zhang Yingtao and others found that echinacea extract has varying degrees of inhibitory effects on influenza virus, Sakchi virus, and respiratory syncytial virus.


In the cell culture serum of mouse macrophages pretreated with echinacea, tumor necrosis factor-α, IL-1, interferon-β2, and cytotoxicity against tumor cells increased. The purified polysaccharide isolated from echinacea cell culture promotes the automatic migration of human leukocytes and increases the ability of these cells to kill Staphylococcus aureus.


Toxicology Research


So far, standard toxicological evaluation methods and animal experiments have considered that Echinacea is completely non-toxic. The company commissioned Shanghai Medical Research Institute to study the effects of echinacea on mouse hemolysin, phagocytic function of peritoneal macrophages and NK cell activity. The results showed that echinacea can enhance non-specific immunity, humoral and cellular immunity of animals.


(1) The effect of Echinacea purpurea on hemolysin in mice


Fifty Kunming mice were randomly divided into 5 groups. Echinacea high, medium, and low dose groups were administered intragastrically at a dose of 2.25 g/kg, 0.75 g/kg, and 0.25 g/kg respectively. The control drug high-immune polysaccharide was given The drug dose is 0.1 g/kg, once a day for 2 weeks. 4 days before the end of the administration, each mouse was intraperitoneally injected with 0.2 ml of 20% sheep red blood cell suspension. After 4 days, blood was taken from the eyeballs, the serum was separated, and diluted 500 times, 10% 0.5 ml of sheep red blood cells were added to 1 ml of diluted serum, and 1 ml of pretreated 1:10 guinea pig serum was added, and then placed in a water bath at 37°C for 10 minutes Ice water terminates the reaction. Centrifuge for 10 ml at 2000 rpm, take 1 ml of the supernatant and add 3 ml of Duchenne's reagent, stand for 10 minutes, and measure the OD value at a wavelength of 540 nm.


The three dose groups of Echinacea can increase the hemolysin value of mice in a dose-dependent manner, indicating that it has a significant promoting effect on the production of mouse hemolysin antibody, indicating that the drug can enhance humoral immunity.


(2) Effect of Echinacea purpurea on the phagocytic function of mouse peritoneal macrophages

 The experiment grouping and medication were the same as above. The mice were injected intraperitoneally with 2% chicken red blood cells 2ml/mouse, 4 hours later, the mice were sacrificed, the abdominal cavity was washed with normal saline, the washing fluid was collected, centrifuged, the supernatant was poured, and the cell smear was collected. After drying, dye with Wright's staining solution and observe under oil microscope. Count the number of chicken red blood cells swallowed by 100 macrophages, and calculate by the following formula:


Percentage of phagocytosis = the number of macrophages phagocytosing chicken red blood cells / the number of 100 macrophages


Phagocytosis index = number of chicken red blood cells engulfed/number of macrophages in 100


The three dose groups of Echinacea can increase the percentage of phagocytosis of mouse peritoneal macrophages in a dose-dependent manner.


(3) Effect of Echinacea purpurea on the activity of NK cells in C57BL/6J mice


The grouping and medication were the same as above, the necks were severed and the mice were sacrificed. The spleens were taken aseptically, the splenic lymphocytes were separated, and the activity of NK cells was determined.


It can be seen from experiments that the high-dose Echinacea purpurea group can significantly enhance the activity of mouse NK cells.


the clinical efficacy of echinacea 

The Institute of Chinese Veterinary Medicine of Nanjing Agricultural University conducted an immuno-enhancement experiment of echinacea powder against the freeze-dried vaccine of Newcastle disease. The 1-day-old egg cock was randomly divided into 7 groups when raised to 11-day-old. The specific grouping and treatment are shown in Table 4.


(1) Dynamic changes of Newcastle disease antibody titer 

It can be seen that at 21, 28, 35 and 42 days of age, the antibody levels in the high-dose Echinacea high-dose group and the Echinacea medium-dose group were significantly higher than those of the drug control and the blank control group.


(2) Dynamic changes of lymphocyte proliferation 

At 21, 35, and 42 days of age, the A570 value of the Echinacea high and medium dose groups was significantly higher than the other three groups (P <0.05), and there was no significant difference between the two groups (P> 0.05); the Echinacea low dose group and The drug control group was significantly higher than the vaccine control group (P <0.05).


(3) The effect of protection against poison and immunity 

On the 3rd day after the challenge, except for the high-dose echinacea powder group, the chickens of each group began to show sporadic green loose stools, but their spirits and diet were normal; on the 4th day, individual chickens showed depression and decreased food intake. The high-dose Echinacea powder group had no disease, the Echinacea powder-medium dose group had the lowest incidence rate, and the Echinacea powder high-dose and medium-dose group had a significantly higher incidence than the other three groups.


On the 5th day, sporadic deaths began to occur in the challenge control group, the drug control group and the low-dose echinacea group, and the death stopped on the 10th day. There was no death in the high and medium dose groups of Echinacea, while the mortality rate of the other three groups increased significantly.


By the 14th day, all surviving chickens recovered to health. The immune protection rate of the high and medium dose groups of Echinacea purpurea reached 100%, which was significantly higher than the other three groups.


Changes in growth performance

Before the challenge (14 to 42 days), there was no significant difference in the average daily weight gain, feed intake, and feed-to-weight ratio of each group. After the challenge (43-56 days), the best vaccine control group is the non-challenged vaccine. Compared with each challenge group, the average daily weight gain of the Echinacea high-dose group was the highest, followed by the Echinacea powder-medium dose group; the feed-to-weight ratio was the highest in the challenge group and was significantly higher than the other challenge groups, and the Echinacea high-dose group was the lowest. .


Indications and usage and dosage

Indications: Used before and after vaccine immunization of pigs and chickens, it can increase antibody titer and prolong antibody peak time; used for viral diseases such as mild influenza, atypical Newcastle disease, infectious bursitis; pig blue ear disease, round Adjuvant treatment of cyclovirus, etc.


Usage and dosage: add 1000 grams of echinacea powder mixture per ton of feed; add 1000 ml of echinacea solution per ton of water for 5-7 days.