5 Health Benefits of Echinacea Supported by Studies and Side Effects

1. Echinacea can potentially lower common cold symptoms.

In a double-blind randomized controlled trial involving 282 individuals, echinacea taken at the first sign of a common cold was found to lower symptom severity [R].

Rhinovirus is the most predominant causative agent of the common cold, and upon research, it was found that echinacea was able to prevent common cold symptoms [R].

This is likely attributed to its anti-inflammatory effects on the respiratory system, most especially the airways [R].

2. Echinacea boosts immune function.

Its immunity booster effect is attributed to its ability to lower inflammation and fight infectious diseases [R].

A 3-day study with 6 participants found that echinacea extract lowered inflammation and raised the production of IFN-alpha molecules to help against infection [R].

3. Echinacea can improve atopic dermatitis.

A 3-month echinacea treatment (double-blind randomized controlled trial) was showed to improve redness and swelling symptoms of atopic dermatitis in 49 participants [R].

4. Echinacea is a potential cancer treatment.

Echinacea was found to inhibit cancer cell growth in both the colon and pancreas [R] [R].

Additionally, when taken during chemotherapy, it stopped normal cell death and only resulted in cancer cell death [R].

5. Echinacea may help reduce anxiety.

After a week-long treatment of echinacea, 32 fairly healthy adults noted an improved with their mild anxiety [R].

Side Effects

According to different clinical trial data, taking echinacea can have side effects of rash, mild nausea, and mild stomach aches, but this is significantly rare [R] [R].

However, if you are allergic to chamomile or plants belonging to the same family, it is best to avoid echinacea [R].

Echinacea consumption is considered perfectly safe for children between ages 2 to 12 for a period of 10 days [R] [R].

Precaution

We strongly advise you to have regular check-ups with your doctor and lab tests (blood, kidney, and liver) at least once every six months if you decide to take any herbal medicine or supplements for long-term.

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