Echinacea

Echinacea

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Traditionally Used for


  • Anxiety. Early research suggests that taking 40 mg of a specific echinacea extract (ExtractumPharma ZRT, Budapest, Hungary) per day for 7 days reduces anxiety. But taking less than 40 mg per day does not seem to be effective.

  • Exercise performance. Early research shows that taking echinacea (Puritan' s Pride, Oakdale, NY) four times daily for 28 days increases oxygen intake during exercise tests in healthy men. However, high doses of echinacea 8,000 mg and 16,000 mg taken daily along with other ingredients in female and male endurance athletes did not improve oxygen intake or blood measures of oxygen intake.


 

  • Gum Inflammation (gingivitis). Early research suggests that using a mouth rinse containing echinacea, gotu kola, and elderberry (HM-302, Izum Pharmaceuticals, New Yok, NY) three times daily for 14 days might prevent gum disease from worsening. Using a specific mouth patch containing the same ingredients (PerioPatch, Izun Pharmaceuticals, New York, NY) also seems to reduce some symptoms of gum disease, but it is not always effective.


 

  • Herpes simplex virus (genital herpes or cold sores). Evidence on the effect of echinacea for the treatment of herpes is unclear. Some research shows that taking a specific echinacea extract (Echinaforce, A Vogel Bioforce AG) 800 mg twice daily for 6 months does not seem to prevent or reduce the frequency or duration of recurrent genital herpes. However, other research shows that taking a combination product containing echinacea (Esberitox, Schaper & Brummer, Salzgitter-Ringelheim, Germany) 3-5 times daily reduces itchiness, tension, and pain in most people with cold sores.

  • Anal warts caused by human papilloma virus (HPV). Early research shows that taking a combination product containing echinacea, andrographis, grapefruit, papaya, pau d' arco, and cat' s claw (Immune Act, Erba Vita SpA, Reppublica San Marino, Italy) daily for one month reduces the recurrence of anal warts in people who had surgical removal of anal warts. But this study was not high quality, so results are questionable.

  • Influenza (flu). Early research shows that taking an echinacea product daily for 15 days might improve the response to the flu vaccine in people with breathing problems such as bronchitis or asthma. It is unknown if echinacea has any benefit in people who are not vaccinated. Some research shows that drinking a product containing echinacea and elderberry five times a day for 3 days then three times a day for 7 days might help improve flu symptoms similar to the prescription medication, oseltamivir (Tamiflu).

  • Low white blood cell count related to chemotherapy. Early research shows that using 50 drops of a combination product containing echinacea root extracts, thuja leaf extract, and wild indigo (Esberitox N, Schaper & Brummer, Salzgitter-Ringelheim, Germany) in between chemoradiotherapy can improve red and white blood cell counts in some women with advanced breast cancer. But this effect is not seen in all patients, and doses lower than 50 drops don' t seem to work. Also, this product does not seem to reduce the risk of infection.

  • Middle ear infection. Early research suggests that taking a specific liquid echinacea extract three times daily for 3 days at the first sign of a common cold does not prevent an ear infection in children 1-5 years-old with a history of ear infections. Ear infections actually seemed to increase.

  • Tonsil inflammation (tonsillitis). Early research shows that spraying a specific product containing sage and echinacea into the mouth every two hours up to 10 times per day for up to 5 days improves sore throat symptoms similar to commonly used drug sprays in people with tonsillitis. Other early research suggests that taking 50 drops of a product containing echinacea (Esberitox, Schaper & Brummer, Salzgitter-Ringelheim, Germany) three times daily for 2 weeks, along with an antibiotic, reduces sore throat and increases overall well-being in people with tonsillitis.

  • Eye inflammation (Uveitis). Early research suggests that taking 150 mg of an echinacea product (Iridium, SOOFT Italia SpA) twice daily, in addition to eye drops and a steroid used to treat inflammation for 4 weeks, does not improve vision any more than eye drops and steroids alone in people with eye inflammation.

  • Warts. Early research suggests that taking echinacea by mouth daily for up to 3 months does not clear warts on the skin. But taking a supplement containing echinacea, methionine, zinc, probiotics, antioxidants, and ingredients that stimulate the immune system for 6 months, in addition to using conventional treatments, seems to work better than conventional treatments alone.

  • Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

  • Bee stings.

  • Bloodstream infections.

  • Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).

  • Diphtheria.

  • Dizziness.

  • Eczema.

  • Hay fever or other allergies.

  • HIV/AIDS.

  • Indigestion.

  • Malaria.

  • Migraine headaches.

  • Pain.

  • Rattlesnake bites.

  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

  • Strep infections.

  • Swine flu.

  • Syphilis.

  • Typhoid.

  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs).

  • Yeast infections.

  • Common cold


 

Contraindications:

 

Breast feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking echinacea if you are breast feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

 

An inherited tendency toward allergies (atopy): People with this condition are more likely to develop an allergic reaction to echinacea. It's best to avoid exposure to echinacea if you have this condition.

 

"Auto-immune disorders" such as such as multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a skin disorder called pemphigus vulgaris, or others: Echinacea might have an effect on the immune system that could make these conditions worse. Don't take echinacea if you have an auto-immune disorder.

 

Moderate Interaction!


Be cautious with this combination:

 


  • Caffeine interacts with ECHINACEA
    The body breaks down caffeine to get rid of it. Echinacea might decrease how quickly the body breaks down caffeine. Taking echinacea along with caffeine might cause too much caffeine in the bloodstream and increase the risk of side effects. Common side effects include jitteriness, headache, and fast heartbeat.

  • Medications changed by the body (Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) substrates) interacts with ECHINACEA
    Some medications are changed and broken down by the body.<br /> <nb>Echinacea might change how the body breaks down some medications. Taking echinacea along with some medications might increase the effects and side effects of some medications. Before taking echinacea, talk to your healthcare provider if you are taking any medications that are changed by the body.<br /> <nb>Some medications changed by the body include lovastatin (Mevacor), clarithromycin (Biaxin), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), diltiazem (Cardizem), estrogens, indinavir (Crixivan), triazolam (Halcion), and many others.

  • Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 1A2 (CYP1A2) substrates) interacts with ECHINACEA
    Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver.<br /> <nb>Echinacea might decrease how quickly the liver breaks down some medications.<br /> <nb>Taking echinacea along with some medications might increase the effects and side effects of some medications. Before taking echinacea, talk to your healthcare provider if you are taking any medications that are changed by the liver.<br /> <nb>Some of the medications that are changed by the liver include clozapine (Clozaril), cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril), fluvoxamine (Luvox), haloperidol (Haldol), imipramine (Tofranil), mexiletine (Mexitil), olanzapine (Zyprexa), pentazocine (Talwin), propranolol (Inderal), tacrine (Cognex), theophylline, zileuton (Zyflo), zolmitriptan (Zomig), and others.

  • Medications that decrease the immune system (Immunosuppressants) interacts with ECHINACEA
    Echinacea can increase the immune system. Taking echinacea along with some medications that decrease the immune system might decrease the effectiveness of medications that decrease the immune system.<br /> <nb>Some medications that decrease the immune system include azathioprine (Imuran), basiliximab (Simulect), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), daclizumab (Zenapax), muromonab-CD3 (OKT3, Orthoclone OKT3), mycophenolate (CellCept), tacrolimus (FK506, Prograf), sirolimus (Rapamune), prednisone (Deltasone, Orasone), corticosteroids (glucocorticoids), and others.


Minor Interaction!


Be watchful with this combination

 


  • Midazolam (Versed) interacts with ECHINACEA
    Taking midazolam with echinacea increases how much midazolam the body absorbs. This might increase the effects and side effects of midazolam, but more information is needed.


For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please consult with a physician or other healthcare professional regarding any medical or health related diagnosis or treatment options.