Echinacea is the common name given to the plants Echinacea purpurea , Echinacea angustifolia and Echinacea pallida , three of the ten species of Echinacea suitable for human consumption. These come from North America and have been used since the 18th century in traditional medicine to treat the common cold.Echinacea- based medications are generally hard capsules obtained from the roots, stems, and leaves of this perennial plant. The concentration of the active ingredients depends on the type of Echinacea and the part of the plant that is used. When prepared as a tincture , the product may contain a significant amount of alcohol.

What is echinacea good for?

Echinacea serves to strengthen the immune system , especially in cases of colds or upper respiratory infection. Some parts of the plant may be helpful in reducing the number of sick days and in reducing symptoms. Due to its antibiotic effects, it has also been used to:

  • Boost the immune system after chemotherapy
  • Treat sore throats
  • Treat tonsil inflammation
  • Treat urinary tract infections
  • Treat syphilis
  • Treat malaria
  • Treat diphtheria
  • Apply at the skin level in wounds and burns
  • Treat rheumatism
  • Treat septicemia
  • Treat ear infections
  • Treat severe headache and migraine
  • Treat gum infections

Its ability to support the immune system is due to its chemical composition. Some of the nutrients it contains are:

  • Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
  • Complex B
  • Beta carotenes
  • Iron
  • Sodium
  • Magnesium
  • Football

Recommended dose of echinacea

Echinacea hard capsules contain 250mg of cryo- ground (cold-ground) root of Echinacea purpurea . Its administration is orally, and the recommended dose in adults and adolescents over 12 years of age is:

  • 2 capsules at breakfast, 2 capsules at lunch and 2 capsules at dinner, with a glass of water.

Treatment should be started with the first symptoms of the cold; If after 10 days the symptoms persist, the clinical situation of the patient should be evaluated, and different medications should be used.

Contraindications of echinacea

Echinacea is contraindicated in patients with one or more of the following conditions:

  • Hypersensitivity to the active substance or to the excipients
  • Hypersensitivity to the Asteraceae plant family
  • Progressive systemic diseases such as tuberculosis
  • Diseases of the immune system such as collagenosis, multiple sclerosis, AIDS, HIV infections and others.

It is not recommended to administer to:

  • Children under 12 years old
  • Pregnant women
  • Lactating women

Side effects of echinacea

On rare occasions, dermatological hypersensitivity reactions may occur . Other side effects include the possible activation of autoimmune disorders such as multiple sclerosis and collagen diseases. The use of echinacea for longer than eight weeks is not recommended as it can cause suppression of the immune system or liver problems.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical opinion. Consult a doctor.

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  • Samantha Robson
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    Dr. Samantha Robson ( CRN: 0510146-5) is a nutritionist and website content reviewer related to her area of ​​expertise. With a postgraduate degree in Nutrition from The University of Arizona, she is a specialist in Sports Nutrition from Oxford University and is also a member of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.