Echinacea: Nature's Cold Fighter?
What Is It?
What Is the Background on It?
What Is It Used for?
How Does It Work?
- Stimulating phagocytosis, the process by which white blood cells and lymphocytes consume (and thus destroy) foreign organisms in the body
- Increasing the rate at which the immune system ejects foreign organisms from the body
- Increasing the number of cells working as part of the immune system
- Increasing the production of interferon, a major component of the body's immune system
How Should You Use It?
What Are the Side Effects?
When Should Echinacea Be Avoided?
- People taking immunosuppressive drugs for any purpose
- Multiple sclerosis
- Ulcerative colitis
- Crohn's disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Any autoimmune disease not mentioned above
Regulation of Echinacea
Longwood Herbal Task Force http://www.longwoodherbal.org
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine http://nccam.nih.gov
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Public Health Agency of Canada http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca
About echinacea. University of Pittsburgh website. Available at: http://www.pitt.edu/~cjm6/w98echin.html . Published November 1998. Accessed October 17, 2013.
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Dietary supplements. US Food & Drug Administration website. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/food/dietarysupplements/. Updated August 28, 2013. Accessed Octobr 17, 2013.
Echinacea. EBSCO Natural and Alternative Treatments website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/healthLibrary/. Updated August 2013. Accessed October 17, 2013.
Echinacea. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine website. Available at: http://nccam.nih.gov/health/echinacea. Accessed October 17, 2013.
Echinacea. North Carolina Consortium on Natural Medicines website. Available at: http://www.naturalmedicinesofnc.org/Echinacea/Echinacea-history.html. Accessed October 17, 2013.
Echinacea. Edgewood College website. Available at: http://biology.edgewood.edu/pages/outreach/raingarden/raingarden%5Fechinacea.htm. Accessed October 17, 2013.
Echinacea. The Herb Research Foundation website. Available at: http://www.herbs.org/greenpapers/echinacea.html. Accessed October 17, 2013.
History of echinacea. Vanderbilt University Psychology Department website. Available at: http://healthpsych.psy.vanderbilt.edu/HealthPsych/echinacea-history.htm. Accessed October 17, 2013.
Hostettmann K. [History of a plant: the example of Echinacea]. Forsch Komplementarmed Klass Naturheilkd. 203 Apr;10 Suppl 1:9-12.
Parnham MJ. Benefit-risk assessment of the squeezed sap of the purple coneflower ( Echinacea purpurea) for long-term oral immunostimulation. Phytomedicine. 1996;3:95-102.
Timmer A, Günther J, Rücker G, Motschall E, Antes G, Kern WV. Pelargonium sidoides extract for acute respiratory tract infections. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008 Jul 16;(3):CD006323.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 10/2013 -
- Update Date: 10/17/2013 -