Echinacea Unveiled: Boosting Immunity and Fighting Infections Naturally

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Along with providing information on whether Echinacea supplements might be right for you, this article also links to Fullscript where you can buy Echinacea supplements online through Fullscript’s secure healthcare formulary and get free shipping and 20% off the retail price of professional-grade supplements.

Echinacea purpurea, a native North American plant, has long been a go-to remedy in traditional medicine. People often turn to its supplements to strengthen their immune system, especially during cold and flu season. This article dives into the science behind Echinacea purpurea’s health benefits, shedding light on how it works and why it has gained so much attention in natural wellness circles.

What Is Echinacea?

Echinacea is a flowering plant that belongs to the daisy family. Native to North America, it comes in different species, with Echinacea purpurea being the most commonly used for health supplements. The plant’s leaves, flowers, and roots find use in various forms, including capsules, teas, and tinctures. Known for its vibrant purple petals and central cone, Echinacea has been a staple in traditional medicine for centuries. Today, it remains a popular choice for people looking to enhance their wellness, particularly their immune health.

What Are the Benefits of Echinacea?

  • Boosts Immune System: Echinacea purpurea is widely recognized for its immune-enhancing effects. It stimulates the production and activity of white blood cells, especially T-cells and macrophages, which are crucial in the body’s defense against pathogens. This herb also stimulates the production of cytokines, proteins that help regulate immune responses.
    • Reduces Cold Symptoms: Studies have shown that taking Echinacea purpurea at the onset of cold symptoms can reduce the duration and severity of the illness. It may help alleviate common symptoms like a sore throat, cough, and fever. However, it is most effective when used at the first sign of a cold.
    • Antimicrobial Activity: Echinacea purpurea exhibits antimicrobial properties, making it potentially effective against a variety of bacteria and viruses. This supports the body’s ability to resist and fight infections. The herb’s ability to stimulate the immune system also plays a role in its antimicrobial efficacy.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Properties: The active compounds in Echinacea purpurea, such as polysaccharides and glycoproteins, have anti-inflammatory effects. These can help in reducing inflammation in various conditions, including respiratory issues and skin irritation. Its anti-inflammatory action also contributes to its immune-boosting properties.
  • Antioxidant Effects: Echinacea purpurea is rich in antioxidants, which protect the body from oxidative stress caused by free radicals. These antioxidants, like flavonoids, cichoric acid, and rosmarinic acid, contribute to cell protection and overall health. This antioxidant capacity can also help in preventing chronic diseases.
  • Skin Health: Applied topically, Echinacea purpurea can improve skin health. It promotes hydration, reduces the appearance of wrinkles, and may aid in faster wound healing due to its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Its antioxidants also protect skin cells from damage and premature aging.
    • Acne: Echinacea containing preparations have been found to kill Propionibacterium acnes and reduce inflammation. [PMID: 20830697]
  • Mental Health Support: Recent research suggests that Echinacea purpurea might have anxiolytic properties, helping to reduce anxiety and improve mood. This is attributed to certain compounds in the herb that may influence brain chemistry related to mood regulation. However, more research is needed to fully understand its effects on mental health. [PMID: 34217960]

Is Echinacea Safe?

When it comes to safety, Echinacea has a good track record. Most people can take it without experiencing any serious side effects. Commonly reported mild side effects include temporary digestive upset or skin rashes, but these tend to go away on their own. It’s also generally considered safe to use Echinacea for short periods, making it a convenient option for those looking to enhance their wellness. However, it’s always best to consult a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement, especially if you’re pregnant, nursing, or taking other medications.

Medication Interactions with Echinacea

  • Immunosuppressants: Echinacea purpurea can stimulate the immune system, potentially counteracting the effects of medications used to prevent organ transplant rejection or treat autoimmune diseases.
  • Corticosteroids: Echinacea’s immune-boosting properties might diminish the effectiveness of these drugs, which are used to reduce inflammation.
  • Caffeine and Certain Drugs Metabolized by the Liver: Echinacea may slow the breakdown of caffeine and other drugs processed by the liver, leading to increased effects or side effects.
  • Antifungal Medications: The interaction with Echinacea could alter how the body processes these medications, potentially affecting their efficacy.
  • Chemotherapy Drugs: Echinacea can stimulate the immune system, possibly interfering with the intended immunosuppressive effect of certain chemotherapy drugs.
  • Antiviral Medications: The immune-stimulating effects of Echinacea could potentially interfere with antiviral drugs, especially those used in the treatment of HIV/AIDS.
  • Antibiotics: Echinacea may alter the effectiveness of antibiotics by influencing the immune system’s response, necessitating further research for a clearer understanding.

Supplement Interactions with Echinacea

  • Other Immune-Boosting Supplements (like Astragalus or Elderberry): Combining Echinacea purpurea with other supplements known to boost the immune system could lead to an overstimulation of the immune response. This might increase the risk of side effects such as inflammation or autoimmune reactions.
  • Caffeine-containing Supplements: Echinacea can slow the breakdown of caffeine in the body. Using it alongside supplements that contain caffeine might lead to increased caffeine effects and side effects.
  • Bitter Orange (Synephrine): Since Echinacea may affect liver metabolism, combining it with bitter orange, which also affects liver metabolism, could enhance or prolong the effects and side effects of synephrine in bitter orange.
  • St. John’s Wort: Echinacea could interact with St. John’s Wort, potentially altering the way the body processes certain compounds. This could lead to unexpected effects or reduced efficacy of either supplement.
  • Sedative Herbs (like Valerian, Kava, and others): When combined with Echinacea, these herbs might have altered effects, particularly if Echinacea affects the liver enzymes that break down these sedative compounds.
  • Ginkgo Biloba: Echinacea might interfere with the way the body processes Ginkgo biloba, affecting its blood-thinning properties and potentially leading to increased bleeding risk.
  • Goldenseal: Both Goldenseal and Echinacea are often used for immune support. However, combining them might lead to excessive immune stimulation or other unexpected interactions due to their combined impact on liver metabolism.

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Why Professionals Choose the Fullscript Formulary

Your health is on the line. Health professionals know that many other online and retail options set a very low bar for quality–sometimes amazingly low. The Fullscript formulary is the most secure online source for the highest quality brands securely sourced to assure freshness and purity. Here’s what makes Fullscript the best:

  • Meticulous vetting of brand quality. Health professionals trust Fullscript to continuously monitor the quality of each item on the platform. Other retailers operate with profit as their highest or only motive when choosing brands. Fullscript cares only about quality and reliability. Unlike discount stores, large online marketplaces, and other retailers you won’t find ingredients sourced from China or other questionable locations or companies.
  • Always 20% Discount off the manufacturer’s retail price. When you follow any link from Supplement-Sciences.com, you will automatically get 20% off the retail price.
  • Free shipping over $50.
  • Freshness. Fullscript prioritizes freshness over bulk buying even if it means an increased risk of briefly being out of stock.
  • Top quality phone and online support. When you call, knowledgeable humans at Fullscript answer your questions.
  • How It Works:
    • Easy Sign-up & No Spam Email: Click the “View Product” button below to be taken to Fullscript’s login page where you can quickly create your secure account with just your name, email, and phone number. Then you will be taken directly to the product page.
    • Wide variety of supplement options: Once you sign in to your account, you are not limited to the products listed below. You will see similar items listed at the bottom of each product page on Fullscript.
    • Search For What You Want: Once inside Fullscript, you can search for the exact brands and products you want from their wide selection of quality brands.

Order Echinacea Supplements

Why Professionals Choose the Fullscript Formulary

Your health is on the line. Health professionals know that many other online and retail options set a very low bar for quality–sometimes amazingly low. The Fullscript formulary is the most secure online source for the highest quality brands securely sourced to assure freshness and purity. Here’s what makes Fullscript the best:

  • Meticulous vetting of brand quality. Health professionals trust Fullscript to continuously monitor the quality of each item on the platform. Other retailers operate with profit as their highest or only motive when choosing brands. Fullscript cares only about quality and reliability. Unlike discount stores, large online marketplaces, and other retailers you won’t find ingredients sourced from China or other questionable locations or companies.
  • Always 20% Discount off the manufacturer’s retail price. When you follow any link from Supplement-Sciences.com, you will automatically get 20% off the retail price.
  • Free shipping over $50.
  • Freshness. Fullscript prioritizes freshness over bulk buying even if it means an increased risk of briefly being out of stock.
  • Top quality phone and online support. When you call, knowledgeable humans at Fullscript answer your questions.
  • How It Works:
    • Easy Sign-up & No Spam Email: Click the “View Product” button below to be taken to Fullscript’s login page where you can quickly create your secure account with just your name, email, and phone number. Then you will be taken directly to the product page.
    • Wide variety of supplement options: Once you sign in to your account, you are not limited to the products listed below. You will see similar items listed at the bottom of each product page on Fullscript.
    • Search For What You Want: Once inside Fullscript, you can search for the exact brands and products you want from their wide selection of quality brands.

Echinacea Root 400mg by NOW Foods

  • Purpurea Root

Echinacea (purple coneflower) was once widely used by Native Americans and is now used by millions of consumers worldwide. This product utilizes the whole Echinacea root, which has all of its natural components in the amounts found in nature.

Natural color variation may occur in this product.
Take 2 capsules 1 to 4 times daily as needed. Continuous high level consumption of this product for more than 2 weeks of each month is not recommended.

Amount Per 2 Veg Capsules Serving
Echinacea Root … 800mg (Echinacea purpurea)

AnxioCalm by EuroMedica

AnxioCalm® is used to significantly relieve occasional anxiety and stress without daytime drowsiness.*

Suggested Use:
Adults: 1 or 2 tablets twice daily. May take at bedtime to support restful sleep.
Children (ages 4-12): 1 tablet twice daily. May increase as directed by your healthcare practitioner.

Amount Per 2 Tablets Serving
Narrow-leaved Coneflower … 40 mg
(Echinacea angustifolia) Root Extract (EP107™) standardized for a unique, proprietary alkamide profile [PMID: 34217960]


To Sum It Up

Echinacea purpurea supplements offer a range of health benefits. They are known for boosting the immune system and reducing cold symptoms, thanks to their ability to enhance white blood cell function. Their anti-inflammatory properties help in managing various conditions, while the antioxidants they contain protect cells from oxidative stress. Echinacea purpurea also supports skin health, potentially reducing wrinkles and aiding in wound healing. Additionally, its anxiolytic effects suggest a role in mental health support. Lastly, its antimicrobial activity contributes to its ability to resist infections.


This Article is Not a Substitute for Medical Advice

Dietary supplements are not designed to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The Supplement Sciences website seeks to provide comprehensive access to the most relevant supplement information along with convenient online ordering. We do not provide medical advice and cannot guarantee that every product suggested is completely without risk. Since each person is unique in their health history and medication use, it is important to discuss supplements with your personal physician. Specifically, pregnant women and individuals being treated for cancer or liver or kidney problems must consult their physician about every nutritional supplement they plan to take. People taking medications for the treatment of HIV or with a history of organ transplant must not take supplements without consulting with their physician.


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Supplement Sciences

Staff Authors at Nutriscape have been working on this article and it is still a work in progress. Please feel free to login and comment on what you see so far.

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