A review article concluded that there is inadequate evidence to support claims that echinacea decreases the severity or shortens the duration of upper respiratory infections and that allergic reactions have been reported. [Med Lett Drugs Ther 2002;44(1127): pp.29-30]
Coneflower (Echinacea purpura) can help with the following
A tincture of equal parts of coneflower (Echinacea), goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis), cleavers (Gallium asparine), eyebright (Euphrasia officinalis), ginger root (Zingiber officinalis), and elderberry (Sambucus nigra) will strengthen your immune system, increase circulation, and help your respiratory system work better. Take 30 drops two or three times per day.
Echinacea is a popular immune-boosting herb that has been investigated for use with chemotherapy. One study looked at the effects of cyclophosphamide, echinacea, and thymus gland extracts to treat advanced cancer patients. Although small and uncontrolled, this trial suggested that the combination modestly extended the life span of some patients with inoperable cancers. Signs of restoration of immune function were seen in these patients. [Cancer Invest 1992;10: pp.343-48]
Echinacea may interfere with wound healing and could possibly lead to liver inflammation when combined with certain drugs.
To promote the spread of colonies, streptococci secrete large amounts of hyaluronidase. This enzyme is inhibited by echinacea and prevents tissue invasion by the bacteria. Echinacea also promotes increased phagocytosis and natural killer cell activity. Physical contact is required, so gargling or topical application is best.
Echinacea boosts the immune system and fights viral and bacterial infections.
In a study of nearly 150 university students with the common cold, using Echinacea purpurea herb and root (50%) and E. angustifolia root (50%) had no effect on the severity and duration of self-reported symptoms. The dosage used was 1gm, six times on the first day of illness and three times daily thereafter for up to 10 days. [ Ann Intern Med 2002;137(12): pp.939-46]
However, a review concluded that echinacea has modest benefit for treating, but not preventing, upper respiratory tract infections. [Am Fam Physician 2003;67(1): pp.77-80, 83]
This indicates that the use of echinacea to treat URIs is of limited use.
|May do some good|
|Likely to help|
|May have adverse consequences|