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Molecular method for the authentication of Echinacea species

DNA analysisEchinaceaMolecular markersPhytotherapeutic products


The invention consists in a new method for identifying material from Echinacea purpurea in a sample, and distinguishing it from material coming from very similar species such as Echinacea pallida and Echinacea angustifolia, including the reagents and the kit necessary to carry out this method.

Technical features

The species of perennial plants belonging to the genus Echinacea are generally used in herbal medicine for their antiviral, immuno-stimulant and antibacterial properties for internal use, while for external use they are known for their anti-inflammatory, purifying, decongesting, toning and healing properties. It is however known that the different species of Echinacea produce different substances, in different quantities and in different parts of the plant. The known methods of authentication of the species are applicable only to the intact plant and, therefore, unsuitable for the validation of the samples available on the market, after their processing and production process. Other methods designed for finished products, on the other hand, are not able to differentiate the most commonly used varieties with a good degree of certainty (E. purpurea, E. angustifolia, E. pallida). The patent overcomes the aforementioned limits by identifying a specific molecular marker that allows to unambiguously identify the presence, in a sample of plant products despite its production process for commercial use, of the derivatives of E. purpurea, or to distinguish plant material belonging to plants of this species by means of a rapid analysis of simple nuclear DNA present in the sample.

Possible Applications

  • Recognition of the three most commonly used species (E. purpurea, E. angustifolia, E. pallida) for the preparation of therapeutic products;
  • Anti-fraud system to identify products containing E. pallida and / or angustifolia instead of E. purpurea.


  • Certain identification of processed materials;
  • Easy, fast and reproducible analysis method.