How is Echinacea used?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
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

Echinacea includes several varieties of the daisy family, or coneflowers, all native plants of America. Some echinacea products are derived from the thickened, underground robot-like stem (rhizome) and roots of E. pallida. Most products are prepared from the aboveground plant, E. purpurea, which has become the more commonly cultivated and studied species.

Research has shown that echinacea enhances the activities of immune cells and can be used for the supportive treatment of influenza-like infections.

Echinacea is available in a variety of product types. For extracts of E. pallida prepared from dried roots, the recommended daily dose corresponds to 900 milligrams of herb. The recommended daily dose of E. purpurea capsules is one 500-milligram capsule, corresponding to six to nine milliliters of expressed juice. Use of echinacea products should not exceed eight weeks.

Continue Learning about Echinacea

What is echinacea?
Dr. Michael Roizen, MDDr. Michael Roizen, MD
Come cold and flu season, we see hordes of patients taking echinacea to ward off a budding bug. An h...
More Answers
Are there any reasons to avoid taking echinacea?
The following cautions should be considered before using echinacea: Situations in which use of ec...
More Answers
What Are the Health Benefits of Echinacea?
What Are the Health Benefits of Echinacea?
Can Echinacea Boost My Immune System?
Can Echinacea Boost My Immune System?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.