is one of the most popular herb used today for its ability to
strengthen the immune system to help fight off infections. Significant
amount of research studies have been done on this herb.
It is shown to be helpful in treating (but not preventing) the common
cold and the flu.
We suggest taking this herb for about 10 days and then stopping.
Studies show that taking this herb continuously reduces its
effectiveness as the body's immune system needs time to adjust and rest.
and Influenza (Flu)
This herb has been extensively studied for its ability to boost the
immune system to fight off the common cold. It shortens the duration of
the cold symptoms by about 10 to 30%.
Many studies showed
benefits although there are studies that showed it didn't work.
There's much more research done on using this herb for treating the
common cold than the flu.
Lab studies, animal studies and clinical trials do support this herb's
ability to boost the immune function of the body.
However, many of
these clinical trials were not designed properly so some experts
positive results they reported.
||Yeast Infections (Vaginal Candidiasis)
One study combined using this herb with a standard prescription yeast
infection medication. It showed that it was able to reduce the number
of recurring infections.
to get full details on preventing and curing yeast infections.
Lab and animal studies shows that
echinacea can stimulate macrophage (a type of white blood cells) that
can kill off cancer cells.
Human studies will need to be done to
verify this benefit in treating the different types of cancer.
One study done in guinea pigs showed that an ointment containing this
herb healed wounds faster.
Lab studies done on extracts of echinacea showed that it has
antioxidant effects. Experts suggest that using this herb on the skin
may help in preventing the photo-damaging effect of UV rays from
Some experts suggest that this herb can be useful in treating acne
|Common Cold Prevention
- Probably not effective
Clinical research shows that taking this herb regularly does not
prevent a person from catching the cold virus.
Herpes - Probably
One study using this herb for six months showed that it did not have
any effect on the frequency, duration or severity of recurrent genital
Media (Inner Ear Infection) - Probably not effective
A well-designed clinical study lasting 6
months done in 90 children between the age of 12 to 60 months showed
that this herb did not help with treating inner ear infections.
Benefits and Traditional Uses
- Anti-bacterial benefits
- Anti-inflammatory effects
- Antioxidant effects
- Anti-viral benefits
- Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Bladder infection (cystitis)
- Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)
- Hay fever (allergic rhinitis)
- Immune system enhancer
- Leucopenia (radiation induced)
- Migraine headache
- Otitis media (inner ear infection)
- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
- Swine flu
- Wound healing
- Yeast Infections (Vaginal candidiasis)
- Bee stings and bug bites
- Wound healing
and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
species that are used for treating health conditions are Echinacea purpurea, Echinacea
augustifolia and Echinacea pallida
. These herbs show
system boosting effect.
They believe that the different results from clinical studies may be
due to the different species of plant used. Echinacea
is the species believed to be the one with the
This herb increases the production of interferon
our body to help fight off viruses. It also seems to activate and
increase the number of white blood cells to help fight
of bacterial, viral and fungal infections.
Lab studies show that this herb possesses anti-inflammatory actions,
useful for treating some symptoms of the common
This herb is more effective when used as needed to
treat a health problem rather than to take it regularly as a prevention.
What are some side effects of taking echinacea?
common side effects are stomach complaints such as nausea, vomiting,
diarrhea and abdominal pain. Other less common side effects
include constipation, fever, heartburn, dry mouth, sore throat
dizziness and insomnia.
Allergic reactions are rare but have been reported. These would include
rash, itch, watery eyes, runny nose, difficulty breathing, asthma
attacks and anaphylactic reactions.
What is some toxicity if I take too much of
small studies seem to show that high doses of echinacea may
fertility problems in both males and females animals. It is not known
would happen in humans.
What health conditions could be made worst by
As this plant
is shown to stimulate the immune system, people with health problems
such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), multiple sclerosis (MS), systemic
lupus erythmatosus (SLE) and leukemia should see their healthcare
provider first before using this plant.
What are the safety data on using echinacea in
children and while pregnant or breast feeding?
this herb in children as they seem to be more likely to
develop allergic reactions. Indeed 7% of the children did get a rash
after taking this herb in one clinical study.
There is some evidence to suggest it may be safe to use this herb for
up to a week during the first trimester of pregnancy. Additional
studies will be needed to verify this initial finding.
The safety of using this herb during breast feeding is unknown.
to Take It
There are wide
varieties of dosage suggested for using this herb. It comes as pills,
tincture, extract and tea formulations.
Commonly used dosage range is 500 to 1,000 mg of the herb in pill form
taken three times daily for 5 to 7 days.
300 to 800 mg two to three times daily for up to six months.
- Place a tea bag in 250 mL (1 cup) of boiling water for 15 minutes.
Allow to cool and drink three times daily.
- Drink 6 to 9 mL daily.
- Use 60 drops three times daily.
- Use 30 grams (1 oz) of the dried herb or 60 grams (2 oz) of fresh
plant in 500 mL (1 pint) of distilled (or reverse osmosis processed)
water in a non-metallic container. Simmer for 30 minutes, strain and
store refrigerated in a sealed container. This preparation may be
stored in the fridge for 48 hours with full potency.
How long can I take echinacea for?
suggests that taking this herb regularly can cause it to loose its
Experts recommend using it for no longer than 8 weeks and suggest
stopping the herb for one week in between to allow the body to "rest".
Other experts support using this herb for no longer than 10 days when
There are disagreements among experts even today. There are no studies
to show which way is better.
Articles to Echinacea
The common cold
References for Echinacea
December 26, 2009