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"Immunity protection”

Today you do not often see a man who has not heard of such a plant as Echinacea. Lloyd's words, uttered back in 1904 about Echinacea, were prophetic. The scientist said a century ago: "... the time will come when this plant will be diligently searched for and widely used because it is not one of those many which have suddenly flared up, and after research, being considered unsatisfactory, disappeared from sight and have been forgotten."

Echinacea is one of the most beautiful plants that came to us from the North American continent. Local residents appreciated the healing properties of this prairie flower and widely use it in folk medicine today as they did centuries ago.

The first attempt to create a drug with Echinacea was done in 1871 by a non-professional doctor H.K Meyer (USA). The preparation was patented in 1887 under the name "Meyer blood purifier." From that time scientists from different countries began a focused study of medicinal properties of this plant. Currently, there is more than 1000 items of medicines and dietary supplements from different species of Echinacea. Preparations of Echinacea increase the first phase of protection, i.e. they stimulate nonspecific immunity and phagocytosis and the activity of macrophages and neutrophils, as well as bactericidal function of cells. Then they “switch on” a specific immune protection, increasing the number of T-lymphocytes and cytokine production. It is proved in laboratories that the biologically active substances stimulate the T-immunity system and make it 20-30% stronger than conventional synthetic drugs in this group. Echinacea preparations decrease the activity of hyaluronidase, which is produced by microbes and viruses. The list of diseases in which treatment has been successful due to using Echinacea exceeded 70 items. Echinacea preparations are effective in treating cancer (in combination with chemotherapy), chronic upper respiratory tract infections, chronic nonspecific lung diseases, infections caused by fungi of genus Candida, locally - in the treatment of wounds, eczema, trophic ulcers, burns, psoriasis. There is information about the feasibility of its use in the treatment of prostatitis, thrombophlebitis, poliomyelitis, erosive and ulcerative lesions of the gastroduodenal system, toxic hepatitis, kidney disease, endocrine disorders, chronic gynecological disorders, osteoporosis, insect stings and snakes.

Scientists of the Poltava Agrarian Academy assistant professors V.N.Samorodov and S.V.Pospelov through individual and family selection derived a new variety of Echinacea pallida "The Beaty of Prairies”. Since 2005 it is registered in the State register of varieties of Ukraine. A phytochemical study of raw materials of this variety was held at the National University of Pharmacy. In analyzing the qualitative composition and determining the quantitative content of biologically active compounds it has been established that the raw material of domestic varieties is fully compliant with the requirements of State Pharmacopoeia of Ukraine, the American and European Pharmacopoeias. Based on the experimental data of the members of the National Pharmaceutical University, there was obtained a dry extract of the roots of Echinacea pallida. In the course of research conducted in the laboratory of biochemistry of microorganisms and nutrient media at the Institute of Microbiology and Immunology named after Illya Metchnikov under the leadership of Dr. T.P.Osolodchenko an antimicrobial activity of an extract of the roots of Echinacea pallida has been studied. The method of successive dilutions in liquid nutrient medium and the agar diffusion method have been used for this purpose.

The study found out that such microorganisms as Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Streptococcus pyogenes, Candida albicans are susceptible to dry root extract of Echinacea pale. Proteus vulgaris, Pseudomonas aeruginosa showed resistance with respect to the object. Thus, the dry extract of the roots of Echinacea pallida is promising for oral use in treating upper respiratory tract infections, infections caused by fungi of genus Candida.

The results of these studies were the basis for development of special food product – a dietary additive "Immunity Protection." Regulatory framework for dietary supplements - special foods -does not regulate the conduct of clinical trials. In spite of this, the department of clinical pharmacology under the pharmaceutical trusteeship of the National University of Pharmacy under the leadership of professor I.A.Zupanets carried out pharmacological studies of a biologically active additive "Immunity Protection". Acute toxicity, anti-inflammatory, reparative and adaptogenic activity of this dietary additive have been studied.

At present a special food product - a dietary additive "Immunity Protection". Is manufactured at the “Experimental plant GNTCLS Ltd " under order of "Pharmaceutical Company "Vertex" Ltd.” and is sold in pharmacies in Ukraine. A distinctive feature of the root extract of Echinacea pallida is that it contains the maximum amount of polysaccharides and polyphenols. Polysaccharides interact with receptors of white blood cells and increase the synthesis of interferon, stimulate the production of interleukin (tumor necrosis factor) and polysaccharides possess antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal activity. Polyphenols have a number of effects on the human body, one of them is an induration of cell membranes and reducing of their permeability, which is very important in infectious and viral diseases, which are usually accompanied by increased permeability and fragility of capillaries.

Thus, a dietary additive "Immunity Protection” is a reliable preparation for the prevention of colds and influenza in the autumn-winter period, for enhancing nonspecific immunity in recurrent colds and prevention of immune deficiency during prolonged antibiotic therapy, reducing the duration and mitigating the colds, as well as for maintaining a stable immunity during the spring avitaminosis.

V.S. Kislichenko, Doctor of Pharmacy, Professor
Y.V. Dyakonova, Ph.D. Pharmaceutical Sciences