- Side Effects
- Drug Interactions
- Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
- What Else to Know
Generic Name: echinacea
Other Names: black sampson, black Susans, Brauneria angustifolia, Brauneria pallida, Brauneria spp, Echinacea angustifolia, Echinacea pallida, Echinacea purpurea, Indian head, purple cone flower, red sunflower
Drug Class: Herbals
What is echinacea, and what is it used for?
Echinacea is a group of flowering wild plants belonging to the daisy family (Asteraceae/Compositae), commonly called coneflowers. Echinacea species including Echinacea purpurea, E. angustifolia and E. pallida are medicinal herbs native to North America.
Extracts from echinacea have been traditionally used to treat various ailments including common cold, skin disorders, wounds, and respiratory and other infections.
The therapeutic properties of echinacea may come from its bioactive compounds including echinacosides, caffeic acids, alkylamides, polysaccharides, and glycoproteins. Echinacea is believed to have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, antioxidant, antitumor, and immune-boosting properties. Echinacea may have some effect in reducing symptoms and preventing cold, however, there is no scientific evidence for its therapeutic efficacy in any of its other uses.
Suggested uses of echinacea include:
- Common cold
- Upper respiratory infections
- Urinary tract infections
- Vaginal candidiasis
- Do not use echinacea if you are hypersensitive to the aster family of plants including daisies, chrysanthemums, marigolds, and ragweed.
- Do not use echinacea if you have any of the following conditions:
- Do not use echinacea if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Use echinacea with caution if you are:
- Prone to allergic diseases
- Taking other medications that are metabolized by the enzyme CYP3A4
What are the side effects of echinacea?
Common side effects of echinacea include:
- Abdominal pain
- Unpleasant taste
- Sore throat
- Altered fertility
- Allergic reactions
- Severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis)
Call your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms or serious side effects while using this drug:
- Serious heart symptoms include fast or pounding heartbeats, fluttering in your chest, shortness of breath, and sudden dizziness;
- Severe headache, confusion, slurred speech, severe weakness, vomiting, loss of coordination, feeling unsteady;
- Severe nervous system reaction with very stiff muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors, and feeling like you might pass out; or
- Serious eye symptoms include blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain or swelling, or seeing halos around lights.
This is not a complete list of all side effects or adverse reactions that may occur from the use of this drug. Call your doctor for medical advice about serious side effects or adverse reactions. You may also report side effects or health problems to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What are the dosages of echinacea?
There isn’t enough reliable information to know what an appropriate dose of echinacea might be. Suggested dosing:
- 6-9 ml orally daily or
- 20 drops per minute orally every 2 hours for 24 hours then continue three times daily
Crude herb extract
- 2 tabs (6.78 mg) orally three times daily
Echinacea pallida root tincture
- 900 mg orally daily
Herbal compound tea
- 5-6 cups orally on day 1, then decrease by 1 cup/day over 5 days
- No more than 8 weeks of continuous use
- Apply to the affected area
- Echinacea overdose may cause gastrointestinal upset and skin rashes, but is unlikely to cause any serious or life-threatening adverse effects.
- There have been a few rare cases of allergic reactions including anaphylaxis. Overdose treatment is symptomatic and supportive.
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What drugs interact with echinacea?
Inform your doctor of all medications you are currently taking, who can advise you on any possible drug interactions. Never begin taking, suddenly discontinue, or change the dosage of any medication without your doctor’s recommendation.
Echinacea has no known severe interactions with other drugs.
Serious interactions of echinacea include:
- beclomethasone, inhaled
Echinacea has moderate interactions with at least 34 different drugs.
Mild interactions of echinacea include:
The drug interactions listed above are not all of the possible interactions or adverse effects. For more information on drug interactions, visit the RxList Drug Interaction Checker.
It is important to always tell your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider about all prescription and over-the-counter medications you use, as well as the dosage for each, and keep a list of the information. Check with your doctor or healthcare provider if you have any questions about the medication.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
- Available data suggest echinacea may not cause fetal harm or adverse pregnancy outcomes, however, there are no well-controlled studies on the safety of echinacea use during pregnancy, avoid use.
- There is no information on the presence of echinacea in breast milk, avoid use if you are breastfeeding.
- Never take any herbal supplement without first checking with your healthcare provider if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
What else should I know about echinacea?
- Echinacea extracts are possibly safe for most adults when taken orally in recommended doses, or when topically applied.
- Check with your healthcare provider before taking any herbal supplement, including echinacea.
- Use echinacea exactly as per label instructions.
- Herbal products often contain many ingredients. Check labels for the components in the echinacea product you choose.
- Echinacea is marketed as an herbal supplement and is not regulated by the FDA. Products may differ in formulations and strengths, and labels may not always match contents; exercise caution in choosing your product.
- Store safely out of reach of children.
Echinacea is a group of flowering wild plants belonging to the daisy family (Asteraceae/Compositae), commonly called coneflowers. Extracts from echinacea have been traditionally used to treat various ailments including the common cold, skin disorders, wounds, and respiratory and other infections. Do not use echinacea if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Common side effects of echinacea include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, unpleasant taste, sore throat, fever, dizziness, altered fertility, severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis), redness (erythema), itching (pruritus), and widespread rash (exanthema).
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How Do You Get Rid of a Cold Overnight?
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Diabetes and Safe Medications for Colds & Flu
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What Is the Fastest Way to Heal an Open Wound?
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Are Cold Sores the Same as Herpes?
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When Should You See a Doctor for Upper Respiratory Infection?
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How Can I Get Rid of a Cold While Breastfeeding?
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Are Cold Sores (Fever Blisters) Contagious?
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Does Being Cold Make Your Muscles Ache?
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What Happens if a Pregnant Woman Gets a Cold?
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How Do I Get Rid of a Cold Sore Overnight?
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When Should You Not Close A Wound?
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Is It Better to Drink Cold Water or Room Temperature Water?
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After you get the wound and follow all the steps of wound care, you need to observe your wound for a few days till it heals completely. Call the doctor if you feel that your wound has become infected.
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Viruses cause the common cold and most sinus infections. Bacterial and fungal infections may also cause a sinus infection. Signs and symptoms of colds and sinus infections include nasal irritation or dryness, sore throat, stuffy nose, nasal discharge/congestion, sneezing, and cough. Additional symptoms of sinus infections include sinus pressure behind the cheeks or eyes, facial pain when pressure is applied, bad breath, and thick yellow or green mucus. Treatment focuses on symptom relief.
Can Dermabond Be Used on Open Wounds?
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What Can You Take for a Cold While Pregnant?
You may take over-the-counter (OTC) treatment after consulting with the physician because these are generally safe. OTC medications for colds and flus include acetaminophen, guaifenesin syrup and saline nasal drops or spray. You can also use natural remedies to treat a cold during pregnancy.
What Part of the Body Loses the Most Heat in Cold Water?
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What Is the Most Common Cause of Urinary Tract Infection?
E. coli bacteria are the most common cause of urinary tract infection (UTI).
Is It a Cold or a Sinus Infection?
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What Is the Best Treatment for Urinary Tract Infection?
In most cases, the best treatment for a urinary tract infection (UTI) is a course of antibiotics. Which antibiotics are prescribed depend on the type of bacteria responsible.
How Does a Woman Get a Urinary Tract Infection?
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) occur more frequently in women because they have a shorter urethra, making it easier for bacteria from the anus to travel to the area.
When To Not Close A Wound
Wounds with high chances of infection should be kept open for greater than 24 hours or should not be stitched for adequate cleaning and antibiotic treatment to prevent the risk of infection.
How Do You Irrigate a Wound?
Wound irrigation is a non-invasive procedure in which a steady flow of a solution is used to achieve wound hydration; remove debris, dead cells, pathogens, and excess blood or other exudates such as pus in an open wound; and assist with a better visual examination. Wound irrigation is one of the most effective methods of wound cleansing.
How Long Does a Cold Last?
Most often, a common cold lasts anywhere from 5 to 10 days in length.
When to See a Doctor When Your Baby Has a Cold
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How Can Teens Cope With A Cold?
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What Can Trigger a Cold Sore?
After you get infected with HSV, it lies inactively in the nerve cells inside your skin and may appear as another cold sore at the same place as before.
Emphysema, Chronic Bronchitis, and Colds
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Urinary Tract Infection or Urinary Infection
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How Long Is a Cold Sore Contagious?
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How to Identify Cold Symptoms in Children
When a child is sick, their way of showing it may not always be clear. Here’s what to look for to determine whether your child is sick with a cold.
What Are the Categories of Wound Closure?
An open wound can be closed in any of the three ways. These ways are referred to as the three categories of wound closure or three ways of wound healing.
How Do You Tell If Your Child Has Allergies or a Cold?
Colds and allergies have different causes, but both involve the body's immune system. Since the symptoms of allergies and the symptoms of a cold overlap, it can be hard to tell which one your child has.
How Do You Know if You Have a Urinary Tract Infection?
Urinary tract infections can occur in both women and men. Learn the signs of urinary tract infection, what causes it, how doctors diagnose it, and what you can do to treat it.
How Do You Get Rid of a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)?
Learn what medical treatments can help treat your urinary tract infection symptoms and help you manage this condition.
How Do You Treat a Cold Naturally?
Hundreds of viruses and bacteria can cause the common cold and flu. Most cases of cold and flu usually resolve in a week with simple home remedies and over the counter (OTC) medications. If there is no improvement in a few days, it is advised to consult a doctor.
What Do You Give a Child With a Cold?
Unfortunately, there is no cure for the common cold. Antibiotics may be used to fight bacterial infections, but they have no effect on viruses.
How Do You Get a Cold Sore on Your Lip?
Cold sores, also called fever blisters or oral herpes, are a viral infection that leaves small blisters around your mouth. You get a cold sore on your lip due to viral infection from herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1).
What Causes a Urinary Tract Infection in a Child?
What is a urinary tract infection, and how does it affect children? Learn the signs of urinary tract infection in kids, what causes it, and what you can do to treat it.
How Can a Urinary Tract Infection Be Treated?
Urinary tract infections can be treated with antibiotics and adequate hydration. Learn more about how UTIs are treated and how they can be prevented. Check out the center below for more medical references on UTIs, including multimedia (slideshows, images, and quizzes), related diseases, treatment, diagnosis, medications, and prevention or wellness.
What First Aid Can Be Done if a Bone Is Fractured?
A bone fracture requires immediate medical attention; however, here is how to manage a fracture and ease the affected person until help arrives.
What Is Good for a Child's Cold?
The common cold is one of the main reasons for missing schools in children and missing work in adults. Children are affected more commonly with cold than adults, who may have an average of two to three colds each year.
Treatment & Diagnosis
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- When to Call the Doctor for Fever, Nausea, Diarrhea, Colds, and Coughs
- Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) Treatment
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