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Scientific Name:
Echinacea purpurea, E. angustifolia, E. pallida
Family Name:
Asteraceae/Compositae
Common Name:
echinacea
Evidence of Activity
Literature Reviews
Although most studies are limited by methodological failures and small sample sizes, echinacea may help prevent pediatric otitis media especially during the watchful waiting phase. Nathan 2022
Echinacea is one of the systemic immunotherapeutic modalities commonly used and effective for the treatment of different types of warts. . Mohammed 2022
Out of 45 medicinal plants, Echinacea purpurea, E. augustofolia, and E. pallida were among the 11 plants which demonstrated the most promising effects against two different types of viral infections. 2022 Saifulazmi
Nine medicinal plants and their compounds, including Echinacea purpurea, demonstrated antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2, including impeding adsorption to host cells and preventing multiplication after entry into host cells, as well as controlled excessive release of cytokines. de Oliveira 2022
A review of chicoric acid sources, mainly found in Echinacea purpurea, includes information on chemical synthesis, biosynthesis, and bioactive effects. Yang 2022
Although more evidence is necessary, Echinacea purpurea is a potential non-antibiotic prophylactic particularly for the treatment and prevention of urinary and respiratory tract infections. [Article in German] Seneghini 2022
Bioactive compounds, chemical constituents, therapeutic uses, and biological effects of Echinacea purpurea are reviewed. Burlou-Nagy 2022
Echinacea is included in a review of commonly used herbal supplements in the United States. Furhad 2022
A review of various botanicals and their metabolites as interventions to support the respiratory system during viral outbreaks concluded that Echinacea spp. (echinacea) exhibits uncertain potential. Rathinasabapathy 2022
According to this review, although Echinacea purpurea is among popular botanicals with preclinical evidence for immunomodulatory and antiviral effects, further research is advised, including monitoring of production, demand, and side effects after consumption. Kim 2022
Echinacea spp. is included in this review as one of many plants affecting the immune response and considered for repurposing as potential COVID-19 treatment. Brendler 2021
Among five medications, 11 vaccinations, and four complementary therapies, echinacea oseltamivir, zanamivir, Ganmao capsules, and three types of vaccines were probably beneficial interventions for reducing the incidence of influenza compared to placebo. None of the interventions reduced the hospitalization rate. Yuan 2021
Although there was no substantive research on the effects of echinacea in the management of cytokine storms or COVID-19, evidence suggests supplementation may be associated with a decrease in the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-6, IL-8, and TNF and an increase in the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10. Aucoin 2021
A review of commonly used herbal supplements in the United States includes echinacea, saw palmetto, ginkgo, black cohosh, ginseng, hawthorn, garlic, St. John's wort, goldenseal and feverfew. Furhad 2021
Out of 183 ingredients found in function foods, beverages, or supplements, including echinacea, only 12 showed evidence to support claims of alleviating air travel symptoms. Chan 2021
An article proposes that echinacea, particuarly E. purpurea, might be a plausible agent for treating the complex etiological factors of COVID-19 by synergistically targeting molecules involved in immunity and inflammation such as cannabinoid-2 (CB2) receptors and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ). Nagoor Meeran 2021
A review identified echinacea among biological products with potential activity against SARS-CoV-2 targets such as spike glycoprotein, angiotensin converting enzyme 2, proteases, and RNA polymerases. Keflie 2021
This review article suggests echinacea could be an effective treatment for COVID-19 by targeting infection, immunity, and inflammation. Nagoor 2021
A review article in which the Food and Drug Administration mentions precautions for safe use for various herbal preparations as food supplements includes Echinacea spp. Williams 2021
A benefit/risk assessment of selected herbal medicines likely to appeal to a COVID-19 patient placed Echinacea angustifolia and E. purpurea, along with 10 other herbs, in the "promising" category. Silveira 2020
A review of the potential of natural products to treat or prevent COVID-19 highlights the ability of Echinacea extracts to stimulate the immune system, noting that the immunomodulatory action of the "bioavailable alkamides" is due to their interaction with cannabinoid receptors. Hensel 2020
An article reviews the potential of Echinacea constituents in the treatment of COVID-19, including a discussion of the pros and cons of using herbal medicine during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nugraha 2020
A review of Echinacea potential against COVID-19 found the evidence of its efficacy consistent with decreases in factors associated with deaths of COVID-19 patients (cytokine storm and acute respiratory distress syndrome), despite no trials conducted on conditions similar to COVID-19. Aucoin 2020
A review of 9 medicinal herbs used in the traditional management of breast cancer and displaying anti-tumorigenic properties includes the evidence for echinacea. McGrowder 2020
A review of how herbal teas may be beneficial in some areas of clinical and preventative health and what further research is required to understand whether regular consumption can contribute to healthy living includes echinacea. Poswal 2019
A review of observational data identified echinacea among the medicinal herbs most commonly used by pregnant women worldwide. [Article in Portuguese] Cardoso 2019
A review assesses the efficacy and safety of complementary medicinal products, including echinacea, in the treatment of acute respiratory and urinary tract infections. [Article in French] Dumitrascu 2019
A professional medical publication presents a review of the medicinal properties of Echinacea, among several other popular herbal supplements. Furhad 2019
Potion or Poison? Echinacea. [No abstract] Walsh 2018
This review addresses the immunomodulatory/anti-inflammatory activity of Curcuma longa and Echinacea spp., focusing on phytochemical research and possible strategies to obtain novel agents to supplement present therapies. Catanzaro 2018
A review of the prevention of upper respiratory tract infections found moderate efficacy of Echinacea preparations (e.g., E. purpurea). [Article in German] Voß 2018
A review of evidence for vitamins C and D, zinc, and Echinacea for the prevention of common cold suggests that prophylactic treatment with an extract of Echinacea (2400 mg/day) over 4 months may be beneficial for prevention and treatment. Rondanelli 2018
The potential of echinacoside, first isolated from Echinacea angustifolia, in the treatment of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases is reviewed, including its broad distribution, preparation technologies, poor pharmacokinetics, therapeutic uses, and future perspectives for application. Liu 2018
Medicinal properties of Echinacea species, cultivation, chemical composition, and potential uses as antioxidant and antibacterial agents are reviewed; factors affecting chemical composition are also covered. Sharifi-Rad 2018
Sinupret, an oral preparation that contains echinacea, is one of the few alternative therapies for chronic rhinosinusitis supported by clinical evidence according to this review. Griffin 2018
Echinacea extracts are superior to placebo for rhinosinusitis and allergic rhinitis, according to the review of clinical phytotherapeutic evidence in otorhinolaryngology. Laccourreye 2017
A review of complementary and natural therapies for prevention and treatment of influenza, influenza-like illness, and common cold lists echinacea among the therapies found effective. Mousa 2017
Combination of Echinacea purpurea, Panax quinquefolius, Thymus vulgaris and Pelargonium sidoides is proposed as an effective therapy for respiratory tract infections. Šmejkal 2016
Use of echinacea to improve performance in athletes is not supported by the majority of studies, according to this review. Baumann 2016
The putative potential of echinacea in the treatment of refractory warts was discussed. Thappa 2016
The potential of echinacea for the management of breast cancer is reviewed. Shareef 2016
Use of echinacea for the management of respiratory tract infections in Hajj travelers is promoted, based on the available evidence. Daneshmehr 2016
Critical evaluation of the clinical data, in the form of systematic reviews and meta-analyses, on the efficacy and safety profiles of several popular herbal remedies was performed. Izzo 2016
Phytotherapy drug is convincing once again. [Article in German; no abstract] [No authors listed] 2015
Echinacea preparations inhibit tumor-related angiogenesis, according to this review. Radomska-Leśniewska 2015
The phytochemistry, pharmacology, and methods of analysis of Echinacea purpurea are reviewed. Manayi 2015
Echinacea may provide benefit in the treatment of cutaneous warts, although its efficacy remains to be established, according to this review. Sinha 2015
The review of the effects of medicinal plants on cutaneous wound healing lists echinacea among the studied agents. Pazyar 2014
The evidence of efficacy and safety of echinacea in pregnancy is insufficient, according to the review. Dante 2014
The benefits associated with the use of plants, including purple coneflower (Echinacea), as natural immune boosters in the context of the human diet, their modes of action, and possible herb/drug interactions are reviewed. Sultan 2014
The potential of echinacea to improve sport performance is reviewed. Amico 2013
Echinacea supplements are unlikely to boost immunity or reduce infection risk in athletes, according to this review. Gleeson 2013
On call. I always catch colds during the winter and they last more than a week. I heard that zinc and echinacea help to shorten colds. Should I try them? [No abstract] Kormos 2012
Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea) is reported to improve common cold symptoms in adults but to be ineffective in children in this review. Fashner 2012
Studies on the ability of echinacea and other herbal supplements (ginseng, rhodiola) to augment performance and/or modulate the immune response in athletes are reviewed. Megna 2012
Evidence of immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antiviral activities of Echinacea purpurea is reviewed, extending its potential applications beyond the traditional uses. Hudson 2012
The current evidence on echinacea efficacy for cough and cold treatment is reviewed for caregivers of children and youth. [Article in English, French] Goldman 2011
Potential of echinacea in dentistry is discussed. Taheri 2011
Summaries for patients. Echinacea for the common cold. [No abstract] [No authors listed] 2010
Echinacea purpurea was one of the few herbs for which considerable evidence of therapeutic effect was found in the review of 1000 plant extracts marketed in Western countries. Cravotto 2010
Herbal medicine. [No abstract] Wold 2007
From rudbeckia to echinacea: the emergence of the purple cone flower in modern therapeutics. [No abstract] Flannery 2003
History of Record
ORIGINAL RESEARCH BY: Soaring Bear, Ph.D.
May 1999
MAJOR REVISION BY: J. Mohanasundarum, MD, PhD
January 2010
LATEST UPDATES BY: Julie Dennis
December 2022