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Echinacea

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What other names is Echinacea known by?

American Cone Flower, Black Sampson, Black Susans, Brauneria Angustifolia, Brauneria Pallida, Comb Flower, Coneflower, Echinacea Angustifolia, Echinacea Pallida, Echinacea Purpurea, Echinaceawurzel, Échinacée, Échinacée Angustifolia, Échinacée Pallida, Échinacée Pourpre, Échinacée Purpurea, Equinácea, Fleur à Hérisson, Hedgehog, Igelkopfwurzel, Indian Head, Kansas Snakeroot, Narrow-Leaved Purple Cone Flower, Pale Coneflower, Purple Cone Flower, Purpursonnenhutkraut, Purpursonnenhutwurzel, Racine d'echininacea, Red Sunflower, Rock-Up-Hat, Roter Sonnenhut, Rudbeckie Pourpre, Schmallblaettrige Kegelblumenwurzel, Schmallblaettriger Sonnenhut, Scurvy Root, Snakeroot, Sonnenhutwurzel.

What is Echinacea?

Echinacea is an herb. Several species of the echinacea plant are used to make medicine from its leaves, flower, and root.

Is Echinacea effective?

There is some scientific evidence that echinacea can reduce the symptoms of cold or flu if started when the symptoms are first noticed and continued for 7-10 days. Echinacea does not prevent colds or flu.

Echinacea also seems to help prevent vaginal yeast infections when used with some medicated creams.

There is some evidence that echinacea applied to the skin can help wounds and ulcers heal.

There isn't enough information to know if echinacea works for the other conditions people use it for, including: urinary tract infections, migraines, eczema, bee stings, and many others.

Possibly Effective for...

  • Treating a common cold. Many scientific studies say that taking echinacea when cold symptoms are first noticed can modestly reduce symptoms of the common cold in adults. But some scientific studies show no benefit. The problem is that scientific studies have used different types of echinacea plants and different methods of preparation. Since the studies have not been consistent, it is not surprising that different studies show different results.
    If it helps for treating a cold, the benefit will likely be modest at best.
    Keep in mind that TREATING a common cold is different than PREVENTING a common cold. Taking echinacea does not seem to PREVENT a cold from starting.
  • Preventing vaginal yeast infections when used with a medicated cream called econazole (Spectazole).

Possibly Ineffective for...

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs), migraine headaches, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), eczema, hayfever, allergies, bee stings, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), influenza (flu), and other conditions.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

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