Echinacea and Preterm Labor: A Natural Remedy

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jordan Anne Estes (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Chishimba Mowa

Abstract: Causally, premature births largely result from inflammation and current treatments are either unsafe or ineffective. Here, our goal was to test whether the use of natural products [Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench, root extract] with anti-bacterial and -inflammatory activities and a long history of safe use could attenuate induction of inflammation in the cervix (birth canal). Studies using three different complementary models, specifically non-pregnant in vivo, non-pregnant ex vivo and preterm labor models, were conducted. We also sought to decipher mechanisms likely to mediate Echinacea’s anti-inflammatory activities by blocking the activity of heme-oxygenase-1 (HO-1). Tissues were harvested and evaluated using real time-PCR, Western blot and/or histology. Here, we compare the suitability of the three models and show that Echinacea attenuates levels of the activated (phosphorylated) master inflammation transcription factor, nuclear factor kappa B (NF?B), and expression of select pro-inflammatory cytokines associated with inflammation-induced preterm labor. We also show that HO-1 may mediate Echinacea’s anti-inflammatory activities in the cervix. These findings are significant as they provide important data that could potentially lead to the development of natural strategies for modulating infection-induced preterm labor.

Additional Information

Estes, J.A. (2013). Echinacea and Preterm Labor: A Natural Remedy. Unpublished master’s thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2013
Echinacea, inflammation, preterm labor, mouse

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