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The cytotoxic effects of water and ethanol extracts of Echinacea purpurea (L.) (EP) and chloroform, ethyl acetate butanol and aqueous fractions from each extract of EP were examined. Every extract and fractoin of EP inhibited the growth of human hepatocarcinoma, human gastric cancer cell, human breast cancer cells and human lung carcunoma in concentration-dependent manners over a concentration range of 0.05~1.0㎎/㎖. Most extracts and fractions with the concentration of 1㎎/㎖ showed strong inhibition of more than 70% for every cancer cell. Only aqueous fractions of each extract showed very weak inhibitons of 12 to 25% on the growth of human normal lung cell with the concentration of 1㎎/㎖ . Overall selectivity of the extrats and fractions on the four human cancer cell lines was over 2.5. These results indicatd that EP has a very potent selective toxicity for cancer cells.