Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food. ...Hippocrates
This fact sheet provides basic information about the herb echinacea--common names, uses, potential side effects, and resources for more information. There are nine known species of echinacea, all of which are native to the United States and southern Canada. The most commonly used, Echinacea purpurea, is believed to be the most potent.
Common Names--echinacea, purple coneflower, coneflower, American coneflower
Latin Names--Echinacea purpurea, Echinacea angustifolia, Echinacea pallida
The aboveground parts of the plant and roots of echinacea are used fresh or dried to make teas, squeezed (expressed) juice, extracts, or preparations for external use.
1 Taylor JA, Weber W, Standish L, et al. Efficacy and safety of echinacea in treating upper respiratory tract infections in children: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of the American Medical Association. 2003;290(21):2824–2830.
2 Barrett BP, Brown RL, Locken K, et al. Treatment of the common cold with unrefined echinacea: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2002;137(12):939–946.
3 Fugh-Berman A. Echinacea for the prevention and treatment of upper respiratory infections. Seminars in Integrative Medicine. 2003;1(2):106–111.
Echinacea. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Web site. Accessed June 30, 2005.
Echinacea (E. angustifolia DC, E. pallida, E. purpurea). Natural Standard Web site. Accessed June 30, 2005.
Echinacea. In: Blumenthal M, Goldberg A, Brinckman J, eds. Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs. Newton, MA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2000:88–102.
NCCAM has provided this material for your information. It is not intended to substitute for the medical expertise and advice of your primary health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any decisions about treatment or care with your health care provider. The mention of any product, service, or therapy in this information is not an endorsement by NCCAM.
NCCAM Publication No. D271