Echinacea species (including E. purpurea and E. angustifolia).
Echinacea is taken to support the immune system; Tends to increase immune responses
It is traditionally used to maintain, rather than restore, good health; Modern users may apply differently
Echinacea Should not be taken by individuals with autoimmune conditions, or those undergoing immunosuppressive therapy
The root is historically the preferred part,; modern preparations may include root and/or above-ground parts
Clinical Evidence Highlights:
Schoop R, Klein P, Suter A, Johnston S L. Echinacea in the prevention of induced rhinovirus colds: a meta-analysis. Clinical Therapeutics 2006; 28(2): 174-183.
A systematic review of three placebo-controlled trials suggested that Echinacea extract reduced the chances of experiencing a cold after experimental exposure to rhinovirus. In subjects who did experience a cold, symptoms were not reduced compared to the placebo group.
Shah S A, Sander S, White C M, Rinaldi M, Coleman C I. Evaluation of echinacea for the prevention and treatment of the common cold: a meta-analysis. Lancet Infectious Diseases 2007; 7(7): 473-480.
A review of 14 randomized trials (n=1,356 for incidence; n=1,630 for duration) found that treatment with echinacea significantly reduced cold incidence and duration compared with placebo.