Botanical Medicine

Survey of Cannabis Use

Cannabis has been legalized in multiple states, both medically and recreationaly, and its use becoming more widely accepted. This survey seeks to describe the use patterns, beliefs, and any therapeutic benefits or side effects experienced by Cannabis users.

Echinacea alkylamides inhibit interleukin-2 production by Jurkat T cells

Alkylamides present in Echinacea species have reported immunomodulatory actions, yet their direct effects on T lymphocytes, key mediators of antiviral immunity, are poorly understood. We hypothesized that constituents present in ethanolic extracts of Echinacea species exert direct immunomodulatory effects on human Jurkat T cells. Modulation of IL-2 production by submaximally stimulated Jurkat cells was determined in response to treatment with extracts prepared from dried aerial parts of Echinacea purpurea.

Echinacea for Preventing Colds in Children, Subcontract with Child Health Institute

An unexpected result of an earlier randomized controlled trial was that patients receiving Echinacea had fewer subsequent upper respiratory infections (URIs) during the four-month study period than children who received placebo for treatment of acute symptoms. This study is designed to further delineate the potential efficacy of Echinacea in preventing URIs in children.

Preclinical studies of CAM Botanicals and Iron Overload

This study investigates effects of turmeric and its components on liver damage and liver cancer caused by iron overload. It is a laboratory based project that makes use of cell culture and mouse models of human disease.  It includes genomic and proteomic approaches to identify biomarkers of turmeric action through collaboration between investigators at Bastyr University, the Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason, and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Echinacea for Upper Respiratory Infection (URI) in Pediatrics , (UW subcontractor)

A two-year-study of 600 children. Not only will the results of this study determine if echinacea, the most popular medicinal herb sold in the United States, is an effective therapy for URIs in children, but the study will also provide a design framework for future assessments on the efficacy of complementary and alternative medicines in children.

K01 Mentored Research Scientist Development Award: Composition, Activity and Drug Interactions of Echinacea

The aims of this research project are to assess how Echinacea composition correlates with immunological activities, determine the role of cytochrome P450 metabolism in bioactivity of reportedly active constituents, and investigate whether distinct constituents synergize to enhance bioactivity of complex Echinacea extracts.