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Echinacea

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on March 24, 2021.

What are other common names?

  • Echinacea angustifolia
  • Echinacea pallida
  • Echinacea purpurea
  • American Cone Flower
  • American Coneflower
  • Black Sampson
  • Black Susan
  • Black Susans
  • Brauneria Angustifolia
  • Brauneria Pallida
  • Brauneria Purpurea
  • Comb Flower
  • Combflower
  • Cone Flower
  • Coneflower
  • Echinacea Angustifolia
  • Echinacea angustifolia DC
  • Echinacea Pallida
  • Echinacea pallida (Nutt.) Britton
  • Echinacea Purpurea
  • Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench
  • Echinacea Serotine
  • Echinacea Speciose
  • Echinaceawurzel
  • Equinácea
  • Fleur À Hérisson
  • Hedgehog
  • Helichroa Purpurea
  • Igelkopfwurzel
  • Indian Head
  • Kansas Snakeroot
  • Narrow-Leaved Purple Cone Flower
  • Narrow-Leaved Purple Coneflower
  • Pale Cone Flower
  • Pale Coneflower
  • Pale Purple Cone Flower
  • Pale Purple Coneflower
  • Purple Cone Flower
  • Purple Coneflower
  • Purpursonnenhutkraut
  • Purpursonnenhutwurzel
  • Racine d'echininacea
  • Radix Echinaceae
  • Red Sunflower
  • Rock-Up-Hat
  • Roter Sonnenhut
  • Rudbeckia Purpurea
  • Rudbeckie Pourpre
  • Schmallblaettrige Kegelblumenwurzel
  • Schmallblaettriger Sonnenhut
  • Scurvy Root
  • Snakeroot
  • Sonnenhutwurzel
  • Échinacée
  • Échinacée Angustifolia
  • Échinacée Pallida
  • Échinacée Pourpre
  • Échinacée Purpurea

What is this product used for?

Echinacea is used by some people to treat or prevent the common cold. This is sometimes called an upper respiratory infection. Others use it to prevent vaginal yeast infections or other kinds of infection. Some people use echinacea to treat skin problems like acne or boils. It may be used to boost the immune system, for cancer, anxiety, or to limit swelling.

What are the precautions when taking this product?

  • Always check with your doctor before you use a natural product. Some products may not mix well with drugs or other natural products.

  • Limit how much caffeine you drink while using this product.

  • Take extra care if you are allergic to pollens or plants like ragweed, daisy, aster, marigolds, or chrysanthemums.

  • Take extra care if you are at a high risk for infection. This includes people who have had a transplant, are on chemo, or have an autoimmune disease.

  • Take extra care and check with your doctor if you have:

    • Kidney problems

    • Liver problems

    • HIV

    • Tuberculosis

    • Multiple sclerosis

    • Cancer

    • Autoimmune diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus. Echinacea could make autoimmune diseases worse.

What should I watch for?

  • Upset stomach or stomach pain

  • Bad taste in mouth

  • Feeling dizzy, confused, or not able to sleep

  • Joint or muscle pain

  • Fever

  • Worsening of infection

  • Rash or itchy skin

  • Face swelling

When do I need to call the doctor?

  • Signs of a very bad reaction. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat. Go to the ER right away.

  • Signs of infection. These include a fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, chills, very bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, more sputum or change in color of sputum, pain with passing urine, mouth sores, wound that will not heal, or anal itching or pain.

  • Very bad throwing up

  • Very bad loose stools

Where can I learn more?

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

https://nccih.nih.gov/health/echinacea/ataglance.htm

Last Reviewed Date

2017-07-31

Consumer information use

This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your healthcare provider. Only your healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to provide advice that is right for you. You should not rely on this information in deciding whether or not to use, or accept your healthcare provider’s advice regarding use of, any natural products or similar treatments, therapies, or life-style choices. This information does not endorse any natural products or similar treatments, therapies, or life-style choices as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information. It does NOT include all information about natural products, possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to you. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about your health and treatment options.

Copyright

Copyright © 2018 Wolters Kluwer Clinical Drug Information, Inc. and its affiliates and/or licensors. All rights reserved.

Further information

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