If you’re looking for the best echinacea supplements to buy this year, then you’ve come to the right place.
You can also get more info by jumping to our Echinacea Supplements Guide.
Top 10 Echinacea Supplements
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|#1||Nature’s Way Echinacea||More Info|
|#2||Solaray Organic Echinacea Root||More Info|
|#3||Gaia Herbs Echinacea Supreme||More Info|
|#4||NOW Foods Echinacea||More Info|
|#5||Sundown Naturals Echinacea||More Info|
|#6||Oregon’s Wild Harvest Echinacea||More Info|
|#7||Pure Mountain Botanicals Echinacea||More Info|
|#8||Nature’s Bounty Echinacea||More Info|
|#9||Nature Made Echinacea||More Info|
|#10||Mediherb Echinacea Premium||More Info|
Echinacea is a very commonly used herb which people typically use to help lessen the effects of the common cold. However, echinacea supplements are used for a surprisingly large number of reasons, some of which you may not be familiar with.
Of course, like all herbal supplements there are also some potential side effects and allergy signs you should be aware of before you consider adding an echinacea supplement to your health regime.
Let’s explore what echinacea is, how it’s used and things you should be on the look out for, so you can make the best educated and informed decision for you.
What is Echinacea?
Echinacea is a plant in the daisy family that people have used medicinally for centuries, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center website. People refer to it as an herb, but actually it’s a coneflower plant. The leaves, blooms, and roots are all used.
According to an article on the University of Pittsburg website, echinacea became known to the settlers of the United States by the 1700s. In the late 1800s, knowledge of the herb moved to Europe, where it was championed by doctors in Germany.
Incidentally, echinacea is related to the rudbeckia hirta aka the Black-eyed Susan, which also has medicinal qualities.
It is an herb native to the United States, Canada and Europe. Echinacea supplements are derived from all parts of the plant, including its leaves, flowers, and roots. It is a perennial plant, which means it typically continues to grow for many years. It grows to approximately 1-2 feet (30-60 centimeters) tall when fully mature and has slightly spiky, large purple or pink flowers.
The flower color will differ based on the specific species of echinacea. This herb was initially used by the Great Plains Indian tribes and settlers who saw the Indians using it for medicinal purposes. Echinacea was listed in the US National Formulary from 1916-1950.
Echinacea usage decreased significantly in popularity after the invention of antibiotics, but has since seen a major resurgence, due to antibiotics lack of efficacy in killing certain bacteria and peoples desire for more natural options.
People call echinacea by other names, including the “purple coneflower,” the “hedge coneflower,” and “purple echinacea,” according to the San Francisco Gate. It earned its name to because the spines of the flower resemble a hedgehog: Its name is derived from the Greek word “echinos,” which means hedgehog.
For more details on echinacea, please click here.
Where Does Echinacea Come From?
Echinacea is most commonly found in moist to dry prairies and open wooded areas of the Rocky Mountain regions of the United States. However, it can also be found in areas of Canada and Europe as well as in the western United States.
Things To Know About Echinacea
Echinacea comes in both tablet and liquid form and can be highly sensitive to light, so all echinacea supplements should be stored in a cool, dark place. Despite being a naturally occurring herb, it is possible to be allergic to echinacea. This is more common among those with ragweed, marigold, mum, or daisy allergies. Other names for echinacea include:
- Brauneria Purpurea
- Red Sunflower
- Echinacea Intermedia
- Rudbeckia Purpurea
- Purple Coneflower Herb
Proposed Uses Of Echinacea
Today echinacea is commonly used to help fight infection and symptoms of the common cold or flu. There is insufficient proof of efficacy, however people also use echinacea to help with anxiety, gingivitis, Herpes simplex virus, tonsillitis, warts, bee stings, eczema, indigestion and migraine headaches, among others.
There has also been a study done to further examine the efficacy of utilizing echinacea to reduce the symptoms of the common cold. You can explore the details and results of this study by clicking here.
As with any herb, being natural doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe. There are many naturally occurring plants that are poisonous.
There are some side effects from echinacea. Echinacea also doesn’t mix well with other herbs, some medications, or vitamin and mineral supplements.
Minor side effects are said to be:
- Upset stomach
- Dry eyes
- Temporary tingling and numbing of tongue
Additionally, people with the following illnesses should avoid echinacea:
- Autoimmune disease
- MS (multiple sclerosis)
- HIV/ AIDS
Further, echinacea can cause some allergic reactions in some people. Allergic reactions to echinacea can include:
- Throat tightening
- Shortness of breath
People who are sensitive to or allergic to the daisy plant should avoid it as it is a member of the daisy family.
In rare instances, echinacea has also been reported to cause liver inflammation.
Finally, people who take medications to suppress the immune system may find that echinacea counteracts the effects of the drugs they’re taking. In general, people who take prescription medications should chat with their doctors about echinacea and possible drug interactions.
You can learn more about potential side effects from echinacea supplements by clicking here.
Always speak with a medical professional or doctor before taking any supplements. Always read the product label for instructions and directions.
Echinacea comes in many forms, including capsules, tablets, teas, tinctures, and ointments.
What to Look for in a Good Echinacea Supplement
Echinacea can be bought in the following forms:
The University of Maryland Medical Center tells consumers that they should only buy products from reputable sources. These companies should be known as reputable, knowledgeable, and trustworthy. The labels on the bottles should reveal how the supplement was made. That is to say that the label should reveal what parts of the plant were used to make the remedy. The label should also say if there is a mixture of different kinds of echinacea plants. (There are actually nine species of echinacea.) If this information isn’t on the bottle, then it is best that consumers look at another brand.
Fortunately, Dr. Oz show has taken some of the guesswork out of finding a good echinacea supplement. The Dr. Oz Show recommends the following brands of echinacea:
- Swanson Superior Herbs Elderberry Echinacea Goldenseal Immune Complex
- Gaia Herbs Echinacea Supreme Liquid
- A. Vogel Echinaforce
Of these, echinacea supplements made by Gaia and Swanson were checked out by ConsumerLabs.com. These were tested for heavy metals, pesticides, and other harmful materials.
For those looking for a tincture, the blend should be in a dark bottle to avoid the breakdown of the supplant in tincture form: Exposure to light will break it down. If the tincture makes the tongue tingle, that’s actually a good sign.
If you’re considering picking up an echinacea supplement, luckily you shouldn’t have too much difficulty finding it. Echinacea can be purchased over the counter (OTC) at many pharmacies, health shops, and supermarkets. You can find it sold as teas, liquid extracts, in dried herb form, and also as capsules or tablets. It is typically a very affordable supplement, as well.