- What is it?: This herbal supplement is made from extracts derived from the roots, leave and stem of the Coneflower species (family Asteraceae). The three most effective varieties are: Echinacea purpurea, Echinacea angustifolia, Echinacea pallida. It is available in teas, extracts (tinctures), capsules and tablets.
- History: Used by Native Americans since the 1800s for everything from toothaches to snakebites.
- What is does: Helps lessen symptoms of colds and upper respiratory infections. May aid in prevention of viral infections.
- How it works: E. purpurea extracts have long been reported to demonstrate immunoactivity. Research in mice more than two decades ago demonstrated activation of macrophages and natural “killer cells” to help fight the source of infection. Additionally, Echinacea varieties E. angustifolia and E. purpurea have also reported to have anti-inflammatory agents which may reduce discomfort. Several studies have also shown antiviral activity and even anti anxiety benefits.
- Safety and Side Effects: There have been no known side effects from Echinacea in clinical trials. Echinacea has no known safety issues.
As with most supplements, efficacy varies with quality of the product. Ask us which supplements we recommend.