Echinacea

Echinacea

Echinacea
Echinacea is an herbal treatment for colds and other infections, especially those of the upper respiratory system. Derived from the coneflower, echinacea is available in a variety of products – capsules, teas and lotions. As with any alternative medicines please consult your health provider for treatment, correct dosage, benefits and risk factors.

Recently Answered

  • 5 Answers
    A
    A answered

    Long-term use of echinacea does not ward off influenza or the common cold. A randomized placebo-controlled prevention trial among 108 persons with a history of frequent colds did not demonstrate a difference in the rate of occurrence or in the duration of new colds.

    Two subsequent trials also failed to find a preventive effect. In one study, 302 healthy volunteers were given echinacea extract or placebo for 12 weeks. In the other study, 109 patients with a history of more than three colds or respiratory infections in the preceding year were given echinacea extract or placebo for eight weeks. In both studies, there was no advantage to taking echinacea extract.

    See All 5 Answers
  • 1 Answer
    A
    A , Internal Medicine, answered
    Come cold and flu season, we see hordes of patients taking echinacea to ward off a budding bug. An herbal powder derived from the leaves and stems of the coneflower, echinacea was a popular folk remedy, and some limited research suggests that it can boost the body's natural immunity.

    Unfortunately, the very few studies on echinacea in Germany and the United States have produced mixed results. Some found an immune system benefit, but others found no positive effect (and a few even hinted at negative ones). At this stage, we really don't have any proof as to whether it works or not. You might be better putting that $6 toward a piping hot bowl of chicken soup—which has been proven beneficial by scientific research and grandma.
  • 2 Answers
    A
    A , Family Medicine, answered
    Echinacea used in children or adults has been investigated in a significant number of studies and has not been shown to be effective in lessening cold symptoms or shortening the length of illness. There is some data to suggest that in some of the studies Echinacea had a significant benefit to reduce the incidence of viral infections when taken ongoing through the whole winter, but this result was not consistent among all the better quality larger studies. So this potential benefit may be less than reported.

    Certainly, Echinacea is not a major cornerstone of improving immunity against infections, but can be used preventively through the winter cold and flu season.
    See All 2 Answers
  • 2 Answers
    A
    A , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered
    Echinacea is a flowering plant that reduces swelling due to inflammation. It has shown mixed results in clinical tests, but appears to be effective for common cold symptoms and to reduce recurrence of yeast infections. Hundreds of years ago, Native Americans used echinacea to treat skin wounds and infections. Look for echinacea in facial soaps, masks, and toners.

    This content originally appeared on doctoroz.com
    See All 2 Answers
  • 2 Answers
    A
    A , Internal Medicine, answered
    Echinacea is an herbal powder derived from the leaves and stems of the coneflower. A popular folk remedy, Echinacea is said to boost the body's natural immunity. Unfortunately, the very few studies on Echinacea, both in Germany and the United States, have produced mixed results. Some found an immune response, others found no effect. At this stage, we really don't have any proof as to whether it works. It may have gotten a bad rap in some studies because a contaminant that was found in some of the preparations of Echinacea did cause liver disease. People with allergies to plants in the sunflower family should steer clear of Echinacea, and those with autoimmune diseases will want to talk to their doctors before taking this herb. In general, Echinacea appears harmless. Do not take Echinacea for long periods; even fans of the herb recommend taking it for only a few weeks at a time, when cold or flu symptoms set in.
    See All 2 Answers
  • 1 Answer
    A
    A answered

    The following cautions should be considered before using echinacea:

    Situations in which use of echinacea is not advised:
    Do not use echinacea (1) in the presence of progressive systemic disease, such as tuberculosis, multiple sclerosis, immunodeficiency or autoimmune disorders or (2) in the presence of a known allergy to plants in the daisy (Asteraceae) family.

    Side effects:
    There are no known side effects of echinacea, with the possible exception of allergic responses.

    Drug interactions:
    There are no known interactions of echinacea with any drugs.