Zeitschrift für Phytotherapie 2016; 37 - P27
DOI: 10.1055/s-0036-1584490

Synergy Research: Investigating the combined action of chamomile, myrrh and coffee charcoal on chemokine release of activated human macrophages

C Vissiennon 1, 2, D Hammoud 3, KH Goos 2, K Nieber 4, J Arnhold 1
  • 1Universität Leipzig, Medizinische Fakultät, Leipzig, Deutschland
  • 2Repha GmbH Biologische Arzneimittel, Langenhagen, Deutschland
  • 3Institut Régional du Génie Industriel et Biotechnologiques et sciences appliquées (IRGIB-Africa), Cotonou, Bénin
  • 4Universität Leipzig, Institut für Pharmazie, Leipzig, Deutschland

Background: The herbal medicinal product Myrrhinil-Intest®, a combination of myrrh, chamomile flower extract and coffee charcoal is used for the treatment of gastrointestinal complaints. Clinical data suggest its use for the maintenance therapy of inflammatory bowel disease [1]. In vitro studies revealed, that chemokine signaling of human macrophages is influenced by the plant extracts as part of an anti-inflammatory strategy. However, the occurrence of synergistic effects remains unexplored.

Aim: The present study aims to investigate the combined effect of the plant extract on chemokine (CXCL13 release) from activated human macrophages.

Methods: The single effect of ethanolic myrrh (MY), chamomile flower (KA) and coffee charcoal extract (CC) on CXCL13 release from LPS (100 ng/ml)-stimulated human macrophages was investigated after 24 hours incubation time using an ELISA test system. The inhibitory effect was characterized by calculation of IC50 values. Budesonide served as positive control. To characterize the combined effect, IC50 values were used to prepare combinations of two plant extracts in different concentrations (0 – 100%) and proportions to each other (3:1; 1:1; 1:3). Interpretation of the data was based on isobologram analysis and calculation of a combination index (CI;= IC50 comb./IC50 single).

Results: LPS-induced CXCL13 release from human macrophages was inhibited after treatment with MY (IC50= 19 µg/ml), KA (82 µg/ml) and CC (106 µg/ml) whereby the extent of inhibition was comparable to budesonide. All combinations of two plant extracts resulted in synergistic effects with varying magnitude (CI from 0.87 to 0.46). The combination of CC and KA (ratio of 1:1) exhibited the strongest synergistic effect (CI = 0.46). Increasing amounts of CC resulted in increased synergistic activity (CICC 1:3 MY= 0.73; CICC 1:1 MY= 0.60; CICC 3:1 MY= 0.51).

Conclusion: Synergistic effects between all plant components contribute to the anti-inflammatory activity of the herbal combination.

[1] Langhorst J et al. Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2013; 38: 490 – 500