Natural Health Products

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Echinacea Purpurea

General Information

Echinacea species are perennials. There are 9 known species but only 3 are used medicinally: Echinacea angustifolia, Echinacea purpurea, and Echinacea pallida. They are native to the Rocky Mountains in the United States, but are now grown in the western US, Canada, and Europe.

Traditionally, echinacea was used to relieve cold symptoms by Native Americans of the Great Plains.

Common Name(s)
Echinacea, purple coneflower
Scientific Name(s)

Echinacea purpurea L.Moench (Asteraceae)

How is this product usually used?

The root and herb top (aerialaerialplant parts appearing above ground parts) of Echinacea purpurea are used to prepare oral dosage forms, including tablets, caplets, capsules, strips, lozenges, and liquid extractextractto get, separate, or isolate a desired active ingredients.

The usual dose for people over 15 years and older ranges from 2.5 g to 6 g per day of the dried aerial parts and 1.5 g to 4.5 g per day of the dried roots.

Your health care provider may have recommended using this product in other ways. Contact a health care provider if you have questions.

What is this product used for?

Traditionally, Echinacea purpurea was used in herbal medicine to relieve symptoms of cold. Echinacea was also used to relieve symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections.

Today, the herb is used for conditions such as anxiety, gingivitis, herpes simplex virus (HSV), influenza, middle ear infection, and warts, but there is little scientific evidence of Echinacea purpurea‘s effectiveness for these health uses.

Your health care provider may have recommended this product for other conditions. Contact a health care provider if you have questions.

What else should I be aware of?

Echinacea purpurea should be taken at first signs of common cold. Although it appears generally safe for most people, it can cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, abdominalabdominalrelating to the stomach and intestines pain, and heartburn.

Do not use Echinacea purpurea if you are allergic to it. If you experience a severe allergic reaction (swelling of the face and throat, difficulty breathing), stop using echinacea immediately and seek medical attention.

There may be an interaction between Echinacea purpurea and the following medications:

  • caffeine
  • medications metabolized by liver enzyme cytochrome P450 1A2 (e.g., acetaminophen, olanzapine, propranolol)
  • medications metabolized by liver enzyme cytochrome P450 3A4 (e.g., clarithromycin, cyclosporine, diltiazem)
  • immunosuppressants

Talk to your doctor before using Echinacea purpurea if you are taking any of these medications.

Your health condition may be affected by the use of Echinacea purpurea. Talk to your health care provider before using Echinacea purpurea if you have any of the following disease or conditions:

If your symptoms persist or worsen, contact your health care provider.

For use beyond 8 weeks, you should consult a health care provider.

Before taking any new medications, including natural health products, speak to your physician, pharmacist, or other health care provider. Tell your health care provider about any natural health products you may be taking.


Health Canada. Drugs & Health Products. Monograph – Echinacea Purpurea. Accessed May 10 2017.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2020. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.