Recent Study on Grindelia & Elecampane

Acute bronchitis is the most common respiratory disease in children, especially during epidemic seasons. Both neutrophil and eosinophil have been shown to mediate the inflammation process in acute bronchitis; of these, neutrophil is the dominant mechanism. Ongoing inflammation however, can lead to overaccumulation of neutrophils to inflamed site. Therefore, suppression of chemo-attractants and cytokines such as Interleukin-8 (IL-8), Interleukin-1β (IL-1β) or Tumor necrosis alpha (TNF-α) and adhesive molecules could potentially reduce neutrophil migration and overaccumulation.

Several different plant parts commonly used to treat respiratory tract diseases were assessed in their capacity to reduce neutrophil migration. ELISA was used to measure the expression of IL-8, IL-1β and TNF-α by neutrophils and respiratory epithelium line A549. Neutrophil adhesion was measured using flow cytometry and fluorimetry.

Grindelia herb and Elecampane root displayed the highest capacity in suppressing IL-8, IL-1β and TNF-α expression, comparable to budesonide control. This activity was attributed to grindelic acid and alantolactone in those herbs. The study confirmed the anti-inflammatory activity of Grindelia and Elecampane, supporting their use as traditional remedy in inflammation-based disease found in the respiratory tract.

  • Traditionally used in respiratory tract disease, asthma, bronchitis, persistent cough
  • Study demonstrates a valuable source of active compounds with anti inflammatory activity
  • Grindelia complex preparations (liquid extracts, syrups etc.) are sold on Polish and German markets for treating cough and bronchitis (van Wyk and Wink, 2008).

  • Traditionally used in respiratory tract disease, antitussive, bronchial and throat affection, bronchitis, catarrh, colds, aids the coughing up of mucus, and immunostimulant


  • Gierlikowska, B., et. al., 2020. Inula helenium and Grindelia squarrosa as a source of compounds with anti-inflammatory activity in human neutrophils and cultured human respiratory epithelium. Journal of ethnopharmacology, 249, p.112311.
  • Van Wyk, B.E. and Wink, M., 2018. Medicinal plants of the world. CABI.

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