Willow herb – Epilobii herba (Epilobium angustifolium L. and/or Epilobium parviflorum Schreb.)

Latin name of the genus: Epilobii herba
Latin name of herbal substance: Epilobium angustifolium l. and/or epilobium parviflorum schreb.
Botanical name of plant: Herbalref.com
English common name of herbal substance: Willow herb

Latin name of the genus: Epilobii herba
Botanical name of plant: Epilobium angustifolium L. and/or Epilobium parviflorum Schreb.
English common name of herbal substance: Willow herb

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

1.1. Description of the herbal substance(s), herbal preparation(s) or combinations thereof

Herbal substance(s)

Monographs in the European Pharmacopoeia or any national pharmacopoeia are not available.

There is a monograph “Epilobii herba” available in the Czech Pharmaceutical Codex 1993 (Český farmaceutický kodex 1993). It includes the dried flowering herb of Epilobium parviflorum Schreb.,

Epilobium montanum L., Epilobium collinum C. C. Gmel. and Epilobium roseum Schreb. The herbal substance contains not less than 8% of tannins. According to the test for foreign matter and adulteration the two species Chamerion angustifolium (L.) Holub and Epilobium hirsutum (L.) must be absent.

According to Hänsel et al. (1993), Wichtl & Tadros (1982) and Wichtl (1984, 2009) the herbal substance consists of the whole or cut dried aerial parts of Epilobium angustifolium L. and/or Epilobium parviflorum Schreb. collected before or during flowering time. In the 1980s according to Flora Europaea the genus was structured into sectio Chamaenerion and sectio Epilobium. Today the plant name Chamaenerion (or sometimes Chamerion) angustifolium is regarded as a synonym for Epilobium angustifolium (Sennikov 2011).

Constituents (Hänsel et al. 1993, Lachinger 2004, Wichtl 2009, Granica et al. 2014):

Tannins and related compounds (4-14%): e.g. oenothein B, oenothein A, tri-, tetra-, and penta-O- galloylglucose

Flavonoids (1-2%): e.g. kaempferol, kaempferol 8-O-methyl-ether, kaempferol-3-O-rhamnoside, kaempferol 3-O-arabinoside, kaempferol-3-O-gluruconide, kaempferol-3-O-(6’’-p-coumaroyl)- glucoside, quercetin, quercetin-3-O-rhamnoside, quercetin-3-O-glucoside, quercetin-3-O-galactoside, quercetin-3-O-arabinoside, quercetin-3-O-glucuronide, quercetin-3-O-(6’’-galloyl)-galactoside, myricetin, myricetin-3-O-rhamnoside, myricetin-3-O-glucoside, myricetin-3-O-galactoside, myricetin- 3-O-arabinoside, myricetin-3-O-glucuronide (according to Lachinger 2004 and Hiermann et al. 1991 only detected in Epilobium angustifolium)

Phenolic acids and their derivatives: e.g. ellagic acid, valoneic acid dilactone, chlorogenic acid, neochlorogenic acid, coumaroylyquinic acids, feruloylquinic acids, gallic acid, cinnamic acid, protocatechuic acid, caffeic acid, ferulic acid

Steroids (ca.0.4%) and triterpenes (ca. 1.5%): e.g. cholesterol, campesterol, stigmasterol, β-sitosterol, ursolic acid, corosolic acid, oleanolic acid

Other constituents: e.g. linoleic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid, eicosenoic acid, behenic acid, arachidic acid

Herbal preparation(s)

Comminuted herbal substance

Combinations of herbal substance(s) and/or herbal preparation(s) including a description of vitamin(s) and/or mineral(s) as ingredients of traditional combination herbal medicinal products assessed, where applicable.

The request for information exchange concerning preparations from Epilobium herba revealed that the herbal tea is widely distributed in the food sector in Poland, also in combination products. However, such combinations are not subject of this assessment report.

1.2. Search and assessment methodology

The assessment is based on the sources mentioned in the list of references. Publications in other languages than English or German (at least abstract in English or German available) were precluded from assessment.

Search engines used: Google; key words: “Weidenröschen”, “Koptischer Tee”, “willow herb”, “Ivan tea”, “Kapor tea”

Scientific databases: Scifinder, Scopus; search date 29.10.2014; key words: “Epilobium”, “Epilobium angustifolium”, “Chamaenerion angustifolium”, Chamerion angustifolium”, “Epilobium parviflorum”, “willow herb”, “myricetin-3-O-glucuronide”, “oenothein”

Medical databases: Pubmed, Cochrane library; search date 29.10.2014; key words: “Epilobium”, “Epilobium angustifolium”, “Chamaenerion angustifolium”, Chamerion angustifolium”, “Epilobium parviflorum”, “willow herb”, “myricetin-3-O-glucuronide”, “oenothein”

Toxicological databases: Toxnet; search date 29.10.2014; key words: “Epilobium”, “Epilobium angustifolium”, “Chamaenerion angustifolium”, Chamerion angustifolium”, “Epilobium parviflorum”, “willow herb”, “myricetin-3-O-glucuronide”, “oenothein”

Pharmacovigilance resources: Not applicable.

Data from EU and non-EU regulatory authorities: Not applicable.

Other resources: Library of the University of Vienna (Pharmacy and Nutritional Sciences library)

2. Data on medicinal use

2.1. Information about products on the market

2.1.1. Information about products on the market in the EU/EEA Member States

Information on medicinal products marketed in the EU/EEA

Table 1: Overview of data obtained from marketed medicinal products

*According to the monograph Epilobii herba included in the Czech Pharmaceutical Codex 1993

This overview is not exhaustive. It is provided for information only and reflects the situation at the time when it was established.

Information on relevant combination medicinal products marketed in the EU/EEA

Austria

In Austria three combination products (herbal tea) containing Epilobium angustifolium L. are known to

be registered under a simplified procedure according to special national provisions (§11a Austrian Medicines Act). Data is available for two of them. One was marketed from 1997 to 2010; the other one

is marketed since 1993:

Herbal tea

100 g herbal tea containing 30 g Epilobii angustifolii herba, 30 g Urticae radix, 20 g Uvae ursi folium, 20 g Herniariae herba.

Indication: inflammation of the bladder, irritable bladder and for prevention of prostate related disorders

Posology: 1 heaped teaspoon/150 ml of boiling water, 2 – several times daily On the market: from 1997 to 2010

Herbal tea

100 g herbal tea containing 20 g Orthosiphonis folium, 20 g Uvae ursi folium, 20 g Epilobii angustifolii herba, 20 g Herniariae herba, 10 g Solidaginis herba, 10 g Ericae herba Indication: for flushing of the urinary tract and for adjuvant treatment of symptoms related to inflammation of the bladder and irritative bladder.

Posology: 2 teaspoons/150 ml of boiling water, 3-4 times daily On the market since 1993

Czech Republic

Epilobin Planta herbal tea

1 tea bag containing 750 mg Epilobii herba, 375 mg Bucco folium, 225 mg Solidaginis virgaureae herba, 150 mg Calendulae flos cum calyce

Indication: For symptomatic treatment of mild micturition disorders related to benign prostatic hyperplasia

Posology: 1 tea bag/300 ml of boiling water, 2-3 times daily

On the market since: 1999 (registration was granted in the old legislative frame in 1999, switched to current TUR within the transition period in 2011)

Hungary

Herbal tea

1 tea bag containing 0.175 g Epilobii herba, 0.175 g Equiseti herba, 0.175 g Matricariae flos, 0.175 g Urticae folium.

Indication: Relief of urinary symptoms of benign prostatic hypertrophy Posology: 2 tea bags 3 times daily

On the market since: 11/04/2005

Oral drops

One ml liquid extract containing 80.00 mg Epilobii herba, 80.00 mg Urticae folium,

53.40 mg Urticae radix, 40.00 mg Solidaginis herba, 13.40 mg Foeniculi dulcis fructus; DER 1:5, extraction solvent: ethanol

Indication: Relief of urinary symptoms of benign prostatic hypertrophy and inflammation at the initial stage of disease

Posology: 30 drops 3 times daily On the market since: 25/07/2002

Information on other products marketed in the EU/EEA (where relevant)

The request for information exchange concerning preparations from Epilobium, herba revealed that the herbal tea is widely distributed in the food sector in Poland, also in combination products. However, no further product-specific details are given. In Austria and Germany the herbal substance “Herba Epilobii” was widely distributed for use according to folk medicine (Treben 1978, 1980, 1982; Wichtl & Tadros 1982, Saukel 1982, Schilcher 1982, Hiermann et al. 1984). According to an Austrian wholesaler for herbal substances in Austria at least up to 1000-1500 kg per year of the herbal substance (ca. 70% Epilobium parviflorum and 30% Epilobium angustifolium) were sold also via pharmacies especially at the beginning of the 1980s (Kottas-Heldenberg 2014). Additionally, another Austrian wholesaler for herbal substances reported an amount of 400 kg of “Herba Epilobii” that was sold via pharmacies in 1984 (Zimmermann 2014).

2.1.2. Information on products on the market outside the EU/EEA

No information available.

2.2. Information on documented medicinal use and historical data from literature

Comminuted herbal substance as herbal tea for oral use

The genus Epilobium (Onagraceae) consists of approximately 200 species distributed worldwide (Granica et al. 2014), twenty-seven different species can be found in Europe (Saukel 1982). The roots and herb of some of these species have been used traditionally as medicinal plants in and outside Europe. The roots and also the aerial parts of Epilobium angustifolium and other species were used externally by Native Americans to treat skin infections and rectal bleeding (Hänsel et al. 1993, Granica et al. 2014). Infusions from the aerial parts of Epilobium, especially Epilobium angustifolium, were recommended by American herbalists in the 19th and 20th century as a very effective agent to treat gastrointestinal diseases such as dysentery and diarrhoea of different aetiologies as well as other bowel and intestinal disorders associated with infection, irritation and inflammation (Granica et al. 2014). In Russia, the aerial parts of Epilobium angustifolium were consumed untreated or fermented

as infusion, called “Ivan tea”, “Kapor tea” or “Russian tea”, to treat stomach ulceration, gastritis and sleeping disorders (List & Hörhammer 1972, 1973; Granica et al. 2014). In Europe, the genus Epilobium was known as a medicinal plant from the 16th century for the treatment of wounds, to stop bleeding and for the treatment of female disorders. At that time the herbal substance was known as “Weiderich” or “Herba Lysimachiae” (Fuchs 1543, reprint 2001). In the 20th century, especially in Austria, Germany and Poland, the use of Epilobium parviflorum as a herbal tea in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia, prostatitis as well as bladder and kidney disorders became very popular after the publication of experiences of Maria Treben (1978, 1980, 1982, 1986). Her knowledge on and experiences with several herbal remedies, among them also Epilobium, were first published in German language as a brochure in 1978 and as a book in 1980. Since then it has been translated in

27 languages and until today more than 8 million copies were sold. Due to the high popularity of the book an increasing demand for “Herba Epilobii” for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia as well as bladder or kidney disorders was recognised in pharmacies, especially in Austria and Germany (Wichtl & Tadros 1982, Schilcher 1984). Also the scientific community became interested in the genus Epilobium and first botanical and phytochemical investigations were published (e.g. Saukel 1982, Saukel 1983, Hiermann 1983, Wichtl & Tadros 1982, Wichtl 1984). Even though Maria Treben recommended only the use of “small flowered” willow herb, such as Epilobium parviflorum, Epilobium montanum, Epilobium obscurum, Epilobium lanceolatum, Epilobium collinum, Epilobium palustre, Epilobium fleischeri and Epilobium anagallidifolium and considered Epilobium angustifolium not to be effective, also Epilobium angustifolium was marketed (via pharmacies and drug stores) since the 1980s. (Wichtl & Tadros 1982, Wichtl 1984, Wichtl 2009, Schilcher 1982, Schilcher 1984, Saukel 1982, Hiermann et al. 1984, Lachinger 2004, Gerlach 2007). According to an Austrian wholesaler for herbal substances at least up to 1000-1500 kg per year of the herbal substance “Epilobii herba” (ca. 70% Epilobium parviflorum and 30% Epilobium angustifolium) were sold especially at the beginning of the 1980s in Austria (Kottas-Heldenberg 2014). In contrast, according to Schilcher (1982, 1984) and Hiermann (1984) the major part of the herbal substance on the market was derived from Epilobium angustifolium. Such data suggest that both species were used as herbal substance. Additionally, another Austrian wholesaler for herbal substances reported an amount of 400 kg of “Herba Epilobii” that was sold via pharmacies in 1984 (Zimmermann 2014). Furthermore, until today Epilobium angustifolium and/or Epilobium parviflorum are also mentioned as traditional medicinal plants in several textbooks for phytotherapy (e.g. Jänicke et al. 2003, van Wyk et al. 2004, Frohne 2006, Schilcher et al. 2010) for the treatment of symptoms related to benign prostatic hyperplasia.

Moreover, the Czech Pharmaceutical Codex (Český farmaceutický kodex 1993) includes a monograph

“Epilobii herba” classifying the herbal substance as astringent and diuretic. Due to these findings it can be assumed that the comminuted herbal substances of Epilobium angustifolium and Epilobium parviflorum were used as an herbal tea for oral use at least since 1982 in considerable amounts in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia as well as bladder and kidney disorders within the European Union. Thus the requirements for the period of medicinal use according to Directive 2001/83/EC as amended with respect to “traditional use” are regarded fulfilled.

The recommended posology is, according to Treben (1980), 1 heaped teaspoon per 250 ml of boiling water. One cup of tea should be taken in the morning on an empty stomach, 1 cup in the evening half an hour before a meal. According to Wichtl (1984, 2009) the single dose is 1.5 – 2.0 g. Consequently the daily dose is 3-4 g. According to the Czech Pharmaceutical Codex (Český farmaceutický kodex 1993) the therapeutic dose is a single oral dose as an infusion using 2.0 g of the herbal substance.

Table 2: Overview of historical data

2.3. Overall conclusions on medicinal use

As discussed in 2.2 since the end of the 1970s/the beginning of the 1980s the medicinal use of the aerial parts of Epilobium angustifolium and Epilobium parviflorum has become very popular in folk medicine in several European countries for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia as well as bladder or kidney disorders. Products containing the single active substance Epilobium parviflorum, herba, were or are still in medicinal use in CZ and HU (see table 1). Furthermore, combination products were or are still on the market in AT, CZ, and HU. Whereas the medicinal use for the treatment of symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia is well documented and known also in the scientific community, data are too scarce concerning the use in bladder and kidney disorders. Thus the requirements for the period of medicinal use according to Directive 2001/83/EC as amended with respect to “traditional use” are only regarded fulfilled for the indication benign prostatic hyperplasia.

Table 3: Overview of evidence on period of medicinal use

Based on available literature references the following posology is proposed:

Herbal tea: 1.5-2.0 g of the comminuted herbal substance in 250 ml of boiling water as an herbal infusion 2 times daily.

Based on the available literature references and with respect to the legal requirements for traditional herbal medicinal products the following indication is proposed:

Traditional herbal medicinal product for the relief of lower urinary tract symptoms related to benign prostatic hyperplasia, after serious conditions have been excluded by a medical doctor.

3. Non-Clinical Data

3.1. Overview of available pharmacological data regarding the herbal substance(s), herbal preparation(s) and relevant constituents thereof

3.1.1. Primary pharmacodynamics

Anti-proliferative activity and potential effect on prostate cells growth as well as anti-inflammatory activities are considered as primary pharmacodynamic effects in the treatment of symptoms related to benign prostatic hyperplasia.

Table 4: Overview of the main non-clinical data/conclusions

3.1.2. Secondary pharmacodynamics

Anti-diarrhoeal activity, analgesic activity, antioxidant activity (often also related to anti-inflammatory processes) as well as antibacterial and antifungal activity are considered as secondary pharmacodynamic effects.

Antioxidant activity (in vitro)

Hevesi et al. (2009)

The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect of an aqueous-acetone (80% V/V) extract of Epilobium parviflorum was investigated in the study. In the 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl-assay (DPPH-assay) the extract possessed a stronger antioxidant activity than the reference substances Trolox or ascorbic acid. In the thiobarbituric acid-assay (TBA-assay) the extract showed a concentration-dependent inhibition of lipid peroxidation at concentrations over 0.20 mg/ml (IC50 2.37±0.12 mg/ml).

Steenkamp et al. (2006)

Aqueous and methanolic extracts of Epilobium parviflorum were examined for radical scavenging capacity by electron spin resonance spectrometry. Concentrations of 4 mg/ml of extract showed scavenging activities above 80%, comparable to 80 mg/l and 160 mg/l of Vitamin C.

Kiss et al. (2011)

Aqueous extracts of Epilobium angustifolium, Epilobium parviflorum, and Epilobium hirsutum were investigated for antioxidant activity by evaluation of ROS (reactive oxygen species) production in formyl-met-leu-phenylalanine- and 4β-phorbol-12-β-myristate-α13-acetate-induced human neutrophils and for radical scavenging activity in the xanthine-xanthine oxidase assay. The tested extracts significantly reduced the production of ROS in the activated neutrophils with IC50 values of 5-30 µg/ml, showing no significant differences between the species. For the radical scavenging activity IC50 values between 2.2 and 33 µg/ml were determined. Oenothein B showed a radical scavenging activity with IC50 < 1 µM.

Shikov et al. (2006)

Different water-soluble extracts of Epilobium angustifolium were screened in 5 assays [iron(III) to iron (II)reducing activity, iron(II) chelation activity, 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl-radical scavenging (DPPH-assay), ascorbate-iron(III)-catalysed phospholipid peroxidation, non-site-specific as well as site specific hydroxyl radical mediated 2-deoxy-D-ribose degradation] for antioxidant activity. In all test- systems considerable antioxidant properties were detected.

Antimicrobial activity (in vitro)

Kosalec et al. 2013

Extracts of flowers and leaves of Epilobium angustifolium were tested for antimicrobial activity against gram-positive as well as gram-negative bacteria and yeasts. MIC values from 4.6 to 18.2 mg/ml were determined. There was no difference detected between flower- and leaf-extracts.

Bartfay et al. 2012

Extracts of Epilobium angustifolium (no further details) were tested for antibacterial activity against

Staphylococcus aureus, Micrococcus luteus, Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The tested concentrations were not given but the extract showed bacterial growth inhibition in all tested strains, comparable to or more effective than 250 µg/ml vancomycin and tetracycline.

Battinelli et al. 2001

Extracts of Epilobium angustifolium, Epilobium hirsutum, Epilobium rosmarinifolium, Epilobium palustre and Epilobium tetragonum were screened for antimicrobial activity in gram-positive as well as gram- negative bacteria, yeasts and fungi. Minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values and minimum cytocidal concentration (MCC) values were determined between 10 and 650 µg/ml for the different extracts depending on the respective microorganism.

Antidiarrhoeal activity (in vivo)

Vitali et al. (2006)

Ethanolic extracts (65% V/V) prepared from the whole fresh plants of Epilobium hirsutum, Epilobium palustre, Epilobium rosmarinifolium, Epilobium spicatum and Epilobium tetragonum were tested in 4 different animal models for effects on the gastrointestinal tract (charcoal meal in mice, castor oil-

induced diarrhoea in mice, intestinal fluid accumulation in mice, activity of rabbit jejunum). Epilobium extracts showed anti-diarrhoeal activity (statistically significant from 25 mg/kg b.w. i.p.), a decrease of intestinal transit (statistically significant from 50 mg/kg b.w. i.p.), but no fluid intraluminal accumulation. Furthermore, spontaneous and acetylcholine-induced contractions of the rabbit jejunum were inhibited.

Analgesic activity (in vivo)

Tita et al. (2001)

An ethanolic tincture of Epilobium angustifolium was evaporated to dryness (under vacuum at 45°C). The resulting dry extract was resuspended in 3% propylene glycol-water mixture and tested for analgesic activity in the hot plate test and writhing test. Concentrations of 0, 47.5, 95, 190, and 380 mg/kg b.w. were applied s.c. to Swiss ICR (CD1) male mice (about 30 g). The authors reported analgesic effects in the writhing test, comparable to the reference lysine acetylsalicylate (300 mg/kg s.c.).

3.1.3. Safety pharmacology

No data available.

3.1.4. Pharmacodynamic interactions

In an attempt to elucidate molecular mechanisms of Epilobium angustifolium in benign prostate hyperplasia, Kujawski et al. (2009; 2010) investigated the effects of a dried aqueous extract (no information regarding the DER available) on the expression of several cytochrome P450 genes known to participate in the metabolism of steroid hormones. Both repression and induction of mRNA expression were observed, but possible functional consequences of these findings remain hypothetical. In a more recent study (Kujawski et al. 2014), the authors suggest that this extract may cause interactions with synthetic drugs used in the treatment of proliferative changes in hormone-dependent reproductive organs, but potential consequences are purely hypothetical.

3.1.5. Conclusions

Most of the studies briefly described in table 4 were in vitro tests, thus allowing only limited conclusions on the real contribution of the observed effects to the plausibility of the therapeutic indication as no data on the bioavailability of the extracts or isolated compounds are available.

However, the study by Stolarczyk et al. (2013b) could be considered important as also metabolites of oenothein B (urolithins) were investigated. According to Seeram et al. (2006) certain ellagitannins were shown to be metabolised by human gut microbiota to urolithins which are well absorbed after oral administration and can reach blood concentrations of 0.5-18.6 µM. Furthermore, according to Seeram et al. (2007) urolithins are able to accumulate in mice prostate gland. Although, it has to be considered that to date similar experiments on bioavailability were not conducted with oenotheins A and B it, seems possible that data obtained with the substances described by Stolarczyk et al. (2013b) might support the plausibility of the traditional use. Investigations on the activity and/or expression levels of phase I and phase II drug-metabolising enzymes were conducted in rats. The results show certain changes, both repression and induction, in expression levels but do not allow firm conclusions on interaction potential with synthetic drugs also in humans.

3.2. Overview of available pharmacokinetic data regarding the herbal substance(s), herbal preparation(s) and relevant constituents thereof

Pharmacokinetic interactions

Karakurt et al. (2013)

The study investigated in vivo effects of an dried aqueous extract (no information regarding the DER available) of Epilobium hirsutum on CYP2E1, CYP1A1, NADPH quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activities, and protein and mRNA expression in liver tissue. Male Wistar albino rats were treated with 37.5 mg/kg b.w. (i.p) of the dried extract for nine consecutive days.

Enzyme activity, protein and mRNA expression analysis revealed that CYP1A1 and CYP2E1 levels were decreased while those of NQO1 and GPx increased after treatment. The authors concluded that the metabolism of drugs might be altered due to changes in the expression and activity of these proteins by Epilobium hirsutum. The changes observed also implicate protection against possible reactive metabolites of drugs and chemicals.

3.3. Overview of available toxicological data regarding the herbal substance(s)/herbal preparation(s) and constituents thereof

3.3.1. Single dose toxicity

Tita et al. (2001)

The LD50 in Swiss ICR (CD1) mice of an Epilobium angustifolium ethanolic mother tincture (1 part herbal substance :10 parts extration solvent, no details regarding the strength of the ethanol) evaporated to dryness was determined to be 1.4 g/kg s.c.

3.3.2. Repeat dose toxicity

Roman et al. (2010)

1.5 ml of an ethanolic extract (no further characterisation given) did not show signs of toxicity after 10 days of treatment in male albino wistar rats.

3.3.3. Genotoxicity

No data available.

3.3.4. Carcinogenicity

No data available.

3.3.5. Reproductive and developmental toxicity

No data available.

3.3.6. Local tolerance

No data available.

3.3.7. Other special studies

No data available.

3.3.8. Conclusions

Data on toxicity are very scarce but from the few available information no concern arises regarding the use of Epilobium angustifolium and Epilobium parviflorum as a herbal tea. As no data on genotoxicity are available a List Entry is not proposed.

3.4. Overall conclusions on non-clinical data

Non-clinical data on anti-proliferative activity and potential effects on prostate cells growth as well as anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity were mostly obtained from in vitro experiments. Especially the investigations on metabolites of oenothein A and B and their effects on prostate cancer cells seem to be of interest with respect to the plausibility of the traditional use. However, to draw firm conclusions on the supportive character of such data more information on the metabolism and bioavailability of these substances in humans would be necessary.

Specific data on pharmacokinetics and interactions of Epilobium angustifolium and Epilobium parviflorum extracts are not available.

Non-clinical information on the safety of Epilobium angustifolium and Epilobium parviflorum is scarce.

As there is no information on reproductive and developmental toxicity, the use during pregnancy and lactation cannot be recommended. Moreover the proposed indication is not applicable for women.

Oral administration of the herbal tea of Epilobium angustifolium and/or Epilobium parviflorum can be regarded as safe at traditionally used doses.

Tests on reproductive toxicity, genotoxicity and carcinogenicity have not been performed. Therefore, a List Entry is not proposed.

4. Clinical Data

4.1. Clinical pharmacology

4.1.1. Overview of pharmacodynamic data regarding the herbal substance(s)/preparation(s) including data on relevant constituents

No data available.

4.1.2. Overview of pharmacokinetic data regarding the herbal substance(s)/preparation(s) including data on relevant constituents

No data available.

4.2. Clinical efficacy

No data available.

4.2.1. Dose response studies

No data available.

4.2.2. Clinical studies (case studies and clinical trials)

No data available.

4.3. Clinical studies in special populations (e.g. elderly and children)

No data available.

4.4. Overall conclusions on clinical pharmacology and efficacy

As there is no data available no conclusions on clinical pharmacology and efficacy can be drawn.

5. Clinical Safety/Pharmacovigilance

5.1. Overview of toxicological/safety data from clinical trials in humans

No data available.

5.2. Patient exposure

Aside from market presence there are no concrete data concerning patient exposure.

If patients with known intolerance to Epilobium species are excluded, a traditional use is possible if administration follows the instructions as specified in the monograph.

5.3. Adverse events, serious adverse events and deaths

Adverse events, serious adverse events and deaths have not been reported so far.

5.4. Laboratory findings

No data available.

5.5. Safety in special populations and situations

No data available.

5.5.1. Use in children and adolescents

No data available.

5.5.2. Contraindications

Hypersensitivity to the active substance.

5.5.3. Special Warnings and precautions for use

To ensure a safe use the following statement should be labelled:

If complaints worsen or if symptoms such as fever, spasms or blood in the urine, painful urination, or urinary retention occur during the use of the medicinal product, a doctor should be consulted.

5.5.4. Drug interactions and other forms of interaction

Drug interactions from clinical trials or case studies have not been reported so far.

5.5.5. Fertility, pregnancy and lactation

No data available.

The use in pregnancy and lactation is not applicable due to the indication.

5.5.6. Overdose

No data available.

5.5.7. Effects on ability to drive or operate machinery or impairment of mental ability

No data available.

5.5.8. Safety in other special situations

Not applicable.

5.6. Overall conclusions on clinical safety

Adverse events serious adverse events and deaths have not been reported so far. Furthermore, drug interactions from clinical trials or case studies have not been reported so far.

6. Overall conclusions (benefit-risk assessment)

The aerial parts of Epilobium angustifolium L. and/or Epilobium parviflorum Schreb. have been used medicinally in several countries in the European Union for more than 30 years. Based on the available data from various literature sources supported by data on the market presence of the herbal substance and medicinal products thereof the legal requirements for traditional use are regarded fulfilled for the comminuted herbal substance as a herbal tea for oral use in the following indication: Relief of lower urinary tract symptoms related to benign prostatic hyperplasia, after serious conditions have been excluded by a medical doctor.

According to the indication the use in women, during pregnancy and lactation as well as in children and adolescent is not applicable.

So far adverse events, serious adverse events and deaths as well as drug interactions from clinical trials or case studies have not been reported. Furthermore, no concerns arise from the few available data from toxicity studies. Due to the widespread traditional medicinal use for more than 30 years the safety of Epilobium angustifolium and Epilobium parviflorum can be assumed.

Tests on reproductive toxicity, genotoxicity and carcinogenicity have not been performed. As no data on genotoxicity are available a List Entry is not proposed.

Annex

List of references