Skip to main content


Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 19, 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 prevent the common cold. It may be used to boost the immune system.

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.

  • Be sure to tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan on getting pregnant, or are breastfeeding. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using this natural 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 if you are taking drugs to help with swelling or inflammation. These can also decrease your immune system. These are drugs like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, cyclosporine, infliximab, tacrolimus, dexamethasone, or hydrocortisone.

  • 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, inflammatory bowel disease, or lupus. Echinacea could make autoimmune diseases worse.

What should I watch for?

  • Upset stomach or stomach pain

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.

  • Signs of liver problems like upset stomach or throwing up, belly pain, feeling tired, dark urine, yellow skin or eyes, not hungry.

  • Very bad throwing up

  • Very bad loose stools

Where can I learn more?

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

Last Reviewed Date


Consumer information use

This generalized information is a limited summary of diagnosis, treatment, and/or medication information. It is not meant to be comprehensive and should be used as a tool to help the user understand and/or assess potential diagnostic and treatment options. It does NOT include all information about conditions, treatments, medications, side effects, or risks that may apply to a specific patient. It is not intended to be medical advice or a substitute for the medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment of a health care provider based on the health care provider's examination and assessment of a patient’s specific and unique circumstances. Patients must speak with a health care provider for complete information about their health, medical questions, and treatment options, including any risks or benefits regarding use of medications. This information does not endorse any treatments or medications as safe, effective, or approved for treating a specific patient. UpToDate, Inc. and its affiliates disclaim any warranty or liability relating to this information or the use thereof. The use of this information is governed by the Terms of Use, available at


Copyright © 2022 UpToDate, Inc. and its affiliates and/or licensors. All rights reserved.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.