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Scientific Name:
Echinacea purpurea, E. angustifolia, E. pallida
Family Name:
Asteraceae/Compositae
Common Name:
echinacea
Evidence for Efficacy (Human Data)
Traditional and Folk Use
Echinacea leaf was reported to be one the herbs consistently used throughout the three trimesters of pregnancy by women in Ghana. Peprah 2019
Study on the predictors of over-the-counter drug and herbal therapies (HT) use in elderly patients with heart failure shows that the most common HT used was echinacea. Albert 2009
An Internet search was undertaken using five major search engines in order to ascertain how findings are described and represented on web pages that referred to the efficacy of echinacea in cold prevention. Hart 2009
Sixty-three percent (177 of 285) of patients undergoing otolaryngologic surgery had used complementary and alternative medicine & popular remedies were cod liver oil, garlic, aloe vera, cranberry, echinacea, primrose oil, herbal vitamin supplement, and St. John's wort. Shakeel 2009
The use of drugs for diabetes mellitus was negatively associated with the use of supplements, with most of them attributed to low use in those taking multivitamins, glucosamine and chondroitin, and echinacea. Nahin 2009
A review of possible benefits & risks of herbal medications including echinacea, focusing on their potentially positive or negative impact during the perioperative period of aesthetic surgery, was carried out using a presurgical questionnaire. Rowe 2009
Among 578 expectant mothers at least 20-weeks pregnant, 57.8% of the participants used one or more herbal remedies. The most commonly used herbal preparations during pregnancy were ginger, cranberry, raspberry leaf, chamomile, peppermint and echinacea. Holst 2009
The most frequently purchased products were echinacea, propolis, garlic, guggul, ginkgo, liquorice, ginseng, glucomannan, guarana, valerian, and passionflower; 71.8% of consumers reported to have been taking conventional medicines along with natural products. Cuzzolin 2009
Review on complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use in Irish paediatric patients indicates that commonest medicinal CAMs used were vitamins (88%), fish oils (27%) and Echinacea (26%). Low 2008
The trends in annual US sales of 5 major supplements including St. John's wort, echinacea, saw palmetto, and glucosamine, in temporal relationship with publication of research from three top US general medical with each publication using the Lexus-Nexis database. Tilburt 2008
[Benefit of echinacea for the prevention and treatment of the common cold?] von Maxen 2008
Among 874 high-performing athletes in UK sample, 58.8% of them reported use of at least one nutritional supplement which includes multivitamins (72.6%) & vitamin C (70.7%) were used most, followed by creatine (36.1%), whey protein (31.7%), echinacea (30.9%), iron (29.9%) & caffeine (23.7%). Petroczi 2008
Echinacea extracts are widely used in European countries and in the United States as immune-stimulating agents for the prevention of recurrent respiratory tract infections in children. [Article in Italian] Miniello 2007
[Echinacea purpurea.] [No authors listed] 2007
Review on the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in pediatric otolaryngology patients attending a tertiary hospital in the UK shows that commonly used CAM preparations were cod-liver oil, echinacea, aloe vera, cranberry, primrose oil and herbal vitamin supplements. Shakeel 2007
Review on the ethnoveterinary medicines used to treat endoparasites and stomach problems in pigs and pets in British Columbia, Canada shows that 14 drugs including Echinacea purpurea were used as anthelmintics. Lans 2007
[Echinacea--much ado (meanwhile) about nothing?] [Article in Hebrew] Miron 2007
Among adults who used herbs, the most commonly mentioned were echinacea (41%), ginseng (25%), gingko (22%), and garlic (20%). Gardiner 2007
Review on the use of herbs among adults based on evidence-based indications shows among people who used only 1 herb (except echinacea and ginseng), approximately one third used it consonant with evidence-based indications. Bardia 2007
Throughout the later part of the nineteenth century and the first thirty years of the twentieth century, Echinacea was the preferred treatment for infections. Tierra 2007
The evidence-of-benefit and magnitude-of-benefit for 8 treatments in common cold includes antihistamine, oral decongestant, and the herbal echinacea. Barrett 2007
The article reviews the common cold and influenza viruses, presents the conventional treatment options, and highlights select botanicals such as Echinacea spp., and nutritional considerations that may help in the prevention and treatment of these conditions. Roxas 2007
Review on ethnoveterinary medicines used for ruminants in British Columbia, Canada showed that 8 plants including Echinacea purpurea, Symphytum officinale, are used for abscesses. Lans 2007
In a review on common cold it has been stated that Complementary and alternative therapies (i.e., Echinacea, vitamin C, and zinc) are not recommended for treating common cold symptoms. Simasek 2007
A survey of Americans aged 60 years and above regarding their use of herbal products & dietary supplements & their attitudes & knowledge regarding the safety of these substances shows glucosamine, garlic, Echinacea & Gingko biloba were the frequently cited substances used by survey participants. Marinac 2007
Review on the use of herbal therapies in pediatric oncology patients shows that Echinacea is used as an immunostimulant. Quimby 2007
[Echinacea spp. (coneflower) and upper respiratory tract infections] [Article in Norwegian] Raknes 2006
Among adults who used prescription medications in the United States, the most commonly used supplements included echinacea, ginseng, ginkgo, garlic, and glucosamine chondroitin. Gardiner 2006
[Echinacea.] Charrois 2006
[Common cold.] Arroll 2006
[Echinacea for the common cold: exploring the rational of scientific research on complementary and alternative medical therapies.] Ulrich 2006
Examination of complementary and alternative medicine and dietary supplement use among a national sample of adolescents shows that the commonly used supplements included ginseng and echinacea. Wilson 2006
The most commonly used therapies for cardiovascular disease were herbal products (18%) and mind-body therapies (17%). Among herbs, echinacea, garlic, ginseng, ginkgo biloba, and glucosamine with or without chondroitin were most commonly used. Yeh 2006
The prevalence of past 2-day natural health products use in Canada was 9.3% in 2000-2001. Fifty-seven percent of users reported taking a conventional medicine in the same period. Glucosamine, echinacea, and garlic were the most frequently used products. Singh 2006
Among elderly people 65-69 years of age, purchasing over-the-counter and prescription drugs, herbal use was 13.9% +/- 0.6% & 12.8% +/- 0.6% respectively and glucosamine, echinacea, and garlic supplements represented the most common herbals used. Bruno 2005
[Echinacea treatment for the common cold.]. Knight 2005
20 plant extracts which have been widely used as topical applications for wound-healing, anti-aging and disease treatments include ginkgo biloba, echinacea, ginseng, grape seed, green tea, lemon, etc. Hsu 2005
[Echinacea: cold comfort.]. [No authors listed] 2004
Echinacea, one of the most common herbs used to treat symptoms of the "common cold" or upper respiratory tract allergies, has no common drug interactions but there is a risk of hepatotoxicity, exacerbation of allergies and asthma, and anaphylactic reactions. Bielory 2004
[Alternative remedies may activate autoimmune disorders.]. [No authors listed] 2004
Review on treatment of acute bacterial rhinosinusitis in adults reveals that mist, zinc salt lozenges, echinacea extract, and vitamin C have no proven benefit in the treatment of acute bacterial rhinosinusitis. Scheid 2004
[Echinacea and clarification.]. Chopra 2003
[Echinacea as a functional food ingredient.]. Hall 2003
Among a stratified random sample of 15,985 adult members of a large group model health maintenance organization in northern California, an estimated 32.7% of adult health plan members used at least one supplement. The most frequently used herbs were Echinacea (14.7%)& Gingko biloba (10.9%). Schaffer 2003
The consumption of the most common functional foods and supplements in 2000 included yoghurt with extra lactic acid bacteria, milk and margarine with extra Ca, Ca tablets, multivitamin and mineral supplements & Echinacea supplements. de Jong 2003
A survey of herbal use in children with attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder or depression shows that herbal medicines were given most frequently for a behavioral condition, including ginkgo biloba, echinacea, & St. John's wort. Cala 2003
An evidence-based review on herbs commonly used by women indicates that Echinacea slightly decreases the duration of colds but does not prevent them. Tesch 2003
[Echinacea for the common cold.]. [No authors listed] 2003
Among 537 participants including 111 physicians, 30 advanced practice nurses, 46 pharmacists and 350 dietitians, most respondents knew the most common clinical uses of echinacea & St.John's wort. Kemper 2003
Information on use of Echinacea from traditional healers ranges from external application for wounds, burns and insect bites to the chewing of roots for toothache and throat infections, and internal application for pain, coughs, stomach cramps and snake bites. [Article in German] Hostettmann 2003
[Echinacea for the common cold.]. Abrahams 2003
[Echinacea for the common cold.]. Russo 2003
[Echinacea for the common cold.]. Applequist 2003
[Echinacea for the common cold.]. Mittman 2003
[Echinacea for the common cold.]. Shober 2003
[Echinacea for the common cold.]. Millea 2003
The information presented and indications claimed on the Internet for the 8 best-selling herbal products including ginkgo biloba, St John's wort, echinacea, ginseng, etc, was assessed. Morris 2003
Examination of prevalence of dietary supplement use among elite figure skaters, gender differences in supplement use, & differences in nutrient intake of supplement users versus non-users showed Echinacea and ginseng were most popular herbal supplements. Ziegler 2003
Herbal medicine which includes herbal drugs & dietary supplements (Bio-Strath and Echinacea) was especially used to strengthen the immune system among patients. Madsen 2003
A survey on herbal therapy use in a pediatric emergency department population revealed that the most common therapies reportedly used were aloe plant/juice (44%), echinacea (33%), and sweet oil (25%). Lanski 2003
[Commonly used herbs.]. Cuddy 2003
[Upper respiratory tract infection.]. Del Mar 2003
["Indian" echinacea.]. Strong 2003
Type "echinacea" in the search field of D. Moerman's Native American Ethnobotany
[Echinacea for the common cold: can alternative medicine be evidence-based medicine?] Turner 2002
[Summaries for patients. Treatment of colds with a capsule form of the herb echinacea.] [No authors listed] 2002
Review on advances in the Diagnosis and Management of Influenza indicates that Echinacea extracts, steam, chicken soup, ipatropium bromide, and oxymetazoline in adults are the interventions that appear to have the best empirical evidence. Jefferson 2002
Echinacea for prevention and treatment of upper respiratory infections. [No authors listed] 2002
An evidence based review on herbs commonly used by women indicates that Echinacea slightly decreases the duration of colds but does not prevent them. Tesch 2002
Review of plants with clinical & scientific evaluation that might be considered for adoption into orthodox medicine indicates that commonly used herbs, such as Echinacea purpura, valerian and ginseng, still do not have sufficient clinical studies to consider them for orthodox use. Pinn 2001
Investigation of the use of complementary therapies in a rural region of New South Wales showed that of the vitamins, vitamin C and multivitamins were used most often, with garlic and Echinacea being the most used herbal products. Wilkinson 2001
Among 66 Amish women, 36% used at least one form of complementary and alternative medicine, and ten pregnant Amish women reported using echinacea, St.John's Wort, red clover, garlic and ginseng. von Gruenigen 2001
[Herbs and the common cold.]. Chichon 2000
Review of immunomodulatory activities of botanicals used by native peoples of North America, focuses particularly on 3 species of purple coneflower (Echinacea) due to widespread use of Echinacea in the United States to boost immunity and prevent upper respiratory infections. Borchers 2000
Survey on attitudes and practices of physicians and naturopaths toward herbal products including use during pregnancy and lactation shows the most popular product recommended by both medical doctors and naturopaths was echinacea, followed by St John's Wort. Einarson 2000
Among 135 health maintenance organization patients, 40% of patients had used herbal remedies to treat or prevent a health condition (e.g., common cold) and the remedies most frequently used were garlic, aloe gel, cranberry, and echinacea. Bennett 2000
[From rudbeckia to echinacea: the emergence of the purple cone flower in modern therapeutics.]. Flannery 1999
[Echinacea]. Pepping 1999
The more widely-used herbal preparations designed to help manage or prevent the onset of chronic disease, improve cognitive function, boost overall general well-being, and increase longevity include St. John's wort, ginkgo biloba, echinacea, garlic, and ginger. Ness 1999
[Echinacea: treatment or prevention?]. [No authors listed] 1999
Echinacea is often used to treat infections, especially the common cold due to its able to stimulate the immune system, but study results indicate that it weakens the immune system’s ability to control HIV.[Article in English, French]. [No authors listed] 1999
GC/NPD and rapid screening TLC methods for the simultaneous determination of uracil herbicide residues (bromacil, lenacil, terbacil) in the roots of E angustifolia Tekel 1998
Search for ethnobotanical uses of Echinacea in Dr. Duke's Phytochem and Ethnobot DB
Monograph in "A Modern Herbal" by Mrs. M. Grieve at botanical.com
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