Safety of Hydrastis Mericana, Commiphora Habessinica, Phytolacca Mericana and Echinacea Purpurea Formula and its Effects on In Vitro Bacterial Growth and In Vivo Human Immune Cell Function

Principal Investigators: Nicole Vasilevsky, PhD

Student Investigator: Josh Corn

Background: With the continued rise of antimicrobial resistance, new strategies and treatments are needed to treat minor infections so that antibiotics may be reserved for more serious conditions. Botanical medicines, used in traditional healing systems for centuries, present a potential alternative for treating minor bacterial infections.  While studies on individual herbs have shown promising results for the ability of botanical medicines to both inhibit bacterial growth and stimulate the immune system, in clinical practice these medicines are often administered as formulations of several herbs.  One such formula, prescribed for minor infections, includes Hydrastis canadensis, Commiphora habessinica, Phytolacca americana, and Echinacea purpurea (HMPE).  Anecdotal evidence suggests that this formula is effective as an antimicrobial and immune system modulator, but to date, there has been no scientific research to support this conclusion.

Study Aims: This study primarily seeks to evaluate the safety of the HMPE formula in healthy adults.  Secondary outcomes will evaluate the effect of the formula on the immune system.