About This Article
13 brands analyzed for rankings. 22 hours spent in research. 45+ references used for information.

Usage of alternative medicine is becoming widely popular of late and echinacea is one such popular alternative medicine used all around the world.

Echinacea, which is also known as coneflower, is known for its ability to combat infections, common cold, inflammation, migraines, and various other ailments. It is popularly called “folk medicine”.

Echinacea is native to North America and is available in nine species, however, only three of them are known to be biologically useful – Echinacea purpurea, Echinacea pallida, and Echinacea Angustifolia.

The entire plant is used in the preparation of various medicines.

Both oral and topical administration of Echinacea are said to be beneficial, and it is available in various dosage forms like tablets, capsules, extract, and tincture.

Pharmacology of Echinacea: How it Works

Echinacea has a complex chemical composition, which contributes to its diverse functions and thereby offers multiple health benefits.

The key active ingredients of this plant include ketoalkenes, alkamides, caffeic acid derivatives, glycoproteins, and polysaccharides. [1]

These phytonutrients are responsible for the synergistic pharmacological properties of echinacea namely, immunomodulation/immunostimulation, [2] anti-inflammatory effects,[3] antioxidant abilities, psychoactive and anxiolytic properties, antibacterial & antifungal activities and antiviral activities. [4]

Reviews of the Best Echinacea Supplements

Here are reviews of the best Echinacea supplement brands available in the market today –

ProductCapsulesDosage (mg)Price

Nature's Way Echinacea

Nature's Way Echinacea - Goldenseal; 450 mg Echinacea 7 herb blend per serving; Non-GMO Project Verified; 180 Vegetarian Capsules (Packaging May Vary)

Best Overall

180 450 mg

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Nature's Way Goldenseal Herb

Nature's Way Premium Herbal Goldenseal Herb 400 mg, 180 Vcaps (Packaging May Vary)

Runners Up

180 400 mg

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Best Naturals Echinacea Goldenseal

Best Naturals Echinacea Goldenseal 450 mg 250 Caps

250 450 mg

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Herbal Secrets Echinacea

Herbal Secrets Echinacea & Goldenseal Root - 450 Mg 500 Caps with Echinacea Purpurea, Goldenseal, Burdock Root & Cayenne Pepper

500 450 mg

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Nature's Way Echinacea Herb

Nature's Way Echinacea Herb, 180 Capsules, 400 mg

180 400 mg

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Solaray Echinacea Root with Goldenseal

Solaray Echinacea Root with Goldenseal Root Capsules, 500 mg, 100 Count

100 500 mg

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Herbal Secrets Echinacea & Goldenseal Root

Herbal Secrets Echinacea & Goldenseal Root 450 Mg Capsules (Non-GMO) -Supports Immune and Respiratory Response* Supports Mucous Membranes, Immune Functions During Times of Seasonal* (250 Count)

250 450 mg

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Nature’s Way 450mg Goldenseal Echinacea Veggie Capsules

Nature's Way Echinacea - Goldenseal; 450 mg Echinacea 7 herb blend per serving; Non-GMO Project Verified; 180 Vegetarian Capsules (Packaging May Vary)

Nature’s Way is a top supplement brand that was launched by Tom Murdoch in 1969.

The Canadian company is a partner of the non-GMO project and ensures that their ingredients are lab-tested for potency and quality.

Nature’s Way Goldenseal echinacea is a powerful blend of several herbs that help boost immune health and relieve cold and respiratory infections.

Each vegetarian capsule delivers 450mg of 100% pure echinacea with no gluten, sugar, wheat, GMOs, fillers, dairy or other allergens.

Obtained from purple cornflower and other herbs, this popular supplement is rich in valuable compounds such as Echinacoside, Cichoric acid, Caffeic acid, etc. A bottle comprises of 180 capsules.

Key constituents of the supplements –

Nature's Way Echinacea - Goldenseal; 450 mg Echinacea 7 herb Blend per Serving; Non-GMO Project Verified; 180 Vegetarian Capsules

Pros and Cons

  • No artificial ingredients
  • Easy to swallow
  • Good price
  • Prevents cold
  • Suitable for vegetarians
  • Nasty taste
  • Some users claimed to develop stomach issues after taking the capsule

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Nature’s Way 400mg Goldenseal Echinacea Capsules

Nature's Way Premium Herbal Goldenseal Herb 400 mg, 180 Vcaps (Packaging May Vary)

This is another Echinacea pill from Nature’s Way. In this case, each capsule offers a lesser dose of Echinacea (400mg).

Popular for its immune-boosting ability, Echinacea also provides cold relief and prevents the infections of the upper respiratory tracts.

It is non-GMO, vegetarian-friendly and free of sugar, soy, gluten, preservatives, additives or fillers. One bottle contains 180 capsules of the supplement.

Key constituents of the supplements – Nature's Way Goldenseal Herb, 400mg, 180-Capsules

Pros and Cons

  • Has no gluten, sugar or preservatives
  • Easy to swallow
  • Good for vegetarians
  • Great price
  • Not so good taste
  • May cause stomach upset

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Best Naturals 450mg Goldenseal Echinacea Capsules

Best Naturals Echinacea Goldenseal 450 mg 250 Caps

Based in New Jersey, USA, Best Naturals is committed to producing a wide range of high-quality, food-based nutritional supplements, including essential oils, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, etc.

This formula is a synergistic blend of goldenseal root, echinacea, cayenne pepper, and burdock root.

One serving gives you 450mg of the supplement known to promote healthy respiratory response and support the immune system.

It is vegetarian-friendly and very pure, containing no GMOs, gluten, egg, yeast, preservatives, artificial colors or flavors. A container houses about 250 veggie capsules.

Key constituents of the supplements –

Best Naturals Echinacea Goldenseal 450 mg 250 Caps

Pros and Cons

  • Easy to swallow
  • Suits vegetarians
  • It is an all-natural product
  • Reasonably priced
  • It may cause stomach issues for some people

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Herbal Secrets 450mg Echinacea Goldenseal 250 capsules

Herbal Secrets Echinacea & Goldenseal Root - 450 Mg 500 Caps with Echinacea Purpurea, Goldenseal, Burdock Root & Cayenne Pepper

Herbal secrets is all you want in a nutritional supplement brand.

They offer high-quality natural products such as maca, grapeseed extract, etc. at affordable prices while providing excellent customer service.

Herbal Secrets Echinacea Goldenseal supplement is a potent combination of several traditional herbs namely cayenne pepper, goldenseal root, echinacea purpurea, and burdock root.

It helps strengthen the immune system, eases colds, and alleviates respiratory infections and inflammation.

Each of these veggie capsules delivers 450mg of the pure formula, containing no GMOs, gluten, soy, egg, preservatives, or artificial colors.

The bottle has 250 pills, enough for a 125-day supply.

Key constituents of the supplements – Herbal Secrets Echinacea & Goldenseal Root - 450 Mg 500 Caps with Echinacea Purpurea, Goldenseal, Burdock Root & Cayenne Pepper

Pros and Cons

  • Good for vegetarians
  • It is 100-percent organic
  • Easy to take (well-sized)
  • Not expensive
  • Some people developed stomach issues after taking the capsules

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Nature’s Way 400mg Echinacea Purpurea 180 Capsules

Nature's Way Echinacea Herb, 180 Capsules, 400 mg

Also produced by Nature’s way, this echinacea capsule supplies the body with 400mg of a powerful blend of several traditional herbs in a serving.

It includes goldenseal, echinacea root, and other health-promoting herbs. The supplement helps relieve colds, supports immune health, and treats upper respiratory tract infections.

Free of gluten, GMOs, or common allergens, this formula is certified organic and suitable for vegetarians.

Key constituents of the supplements – Nature's Way Echinacea Herb, 180 Capsules, 400 mg

Pros and Cons

  • No gluten, GMOs or additives
  • Easy to swallow
  • Can be used by vegetarians
  • Good price
  • One needs to take several capsules to get the right dose
  • Not effective for some people

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Solaray Echinacea 500mg Goldenseal Capsules

Solaray Echinacea Root with Goldenseal Root Capsules, 500 mg, 100 Count

Set up by Jim Beck in 1974, Solaray has come a long way in the dietary supplement world.

The nutrition company is committed to manufacturing top-quality natural products, including vitamins, minerals, and the like.

This blend of goldenseal and Echinacea roots helps build up the body’s natural defense and relieves symptoms of cold and flu.

Each vegetarian capsule provides 500mg of the supplement, which is enough to elicit the desired effects.

These pills are devoid of GMOs and potential allergens, such as gluten, egg, soy, wheat, preservatives, or artificial colors.

Key constituents of the supplements – Solaray Echinacea Root with Goldenseal Root Capsules, 500 mg, 100 Count

Pros and Cons

  • No artificial ingredients
  • Vegetarian-friendly
  • Great price
  • Easy to take
  • May cause bloating or gas

Check Reviews & Offers on Amazon

Herbal Secrets 450mg Echinacea Goldenseal 500 Capsules

Herbal Secrets Echinacea & Goldenseal Root 450 Mg Capsules (Non-GMO) -Supports Immune and Respiratory Response* Supports Mucous Membranes, Immune Functions During Times of Seasonal* (250 Count)

This supplement is a mixture of health-promoting herbs, including burdock root, Echinacea purpurea, goldenseal root, and cayenne pepper.

A single capsule offers 450mg of the synergistic blend that helps strengthen natural immunity and fight off colds and respiratory infections.

It contains no artificial or animal-based ingredients such as gluten, egg, soy or GMOs, hence suitable for vegetarians.

A bottle comprises of 500 capsules, which can last for up to 250days.

Key constituents of the supplements –

Herbal Secrets Echinacea & Goldenseal Root - 450 Mg 250 Capsules (Non-GMO) with Echinacea Purpurea, Goldenseal, Burdock Root & Cayenne Pepper Supports Healthy Immune Function and Overall Well-Being

Pros and Cons

  • It is 100-percent organic (no extra ingredients)
  • Easy to take
  • Inexpensive
  • Good for vegetarians
  • Some users claimed that they had stomach issues after taking the pills

Check Reviews & Offers on Amazon

Health Benefits of Echinacea

Health Benefits1. Echinacea Supplementation Improves the Immune Health

Due to its potent immunostimulatory effects, [5] [6] echinacea supplementation aids in the treatment of infectious diseases like upper/lower respiratory tract infections, chronic pelvic infections and wound infections.

Echinacea is reported to work by activating the immune cells like macrophages, neutrophils, and natural killer cells. [7]

Confidence Level: High

In 1994, a meta-analysis was conducted based on 26 controlled clinical trials which involved the three major species of echinacea.

These trials have shown that echinacea can act as an effective immunomodulator. [8]

In 1997, an evaluation was done on the ability of Panax ginseng and Echinacea purpurea to stimulate immune functions in healthy individuals, individuals with chronic fatigue syndrome and patients with AIDS.

It was reported that the extracts of these plants could enhance Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells’(PBMC) cellular immune functions in both groups. [9]

2. Echinacea Helps In Reducing The Frequency And Length Of Sickness

Studies have shown that oral echinacea can relieve symptoms of cold and sore throat and subside their severity at a faster rate.

Confidence Level: High

In a placebo-controlled, randomized, double-blind clinical trial (2001) that involved 80 adult patients, it was observed that echinacea was more clinically effective and well tolerated in subsiding the symptoms of common cold when compared to the placebo.[10]

A meta-analytical study conducted in 2007 has shown that as a daily supplement, echinacea could reduce the cold occurrence by 58% and the length of cold episodes by 1.4 days. [11]

A randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled trial that went on for 4 months in 2012 concluded that prophylactic intake of 2400mg/day of echinacea can reduce the number of cold episodes.

This treatment had many significant therapeutic benefits too. [12]

3. Echinacea Helps In Reducing The Severity Of Upper Respiratory Tract Infections

Viruses are one of the major causes of respiratory tract infections; of all viruses, the influenza virus is largely spoken about due to its ability to integrate its own DNA with the human DNA post infection.

Scientific studies have shown that echinacea supplementation helps in subsiding viral diseases like influenza, URTI, etc. [13] [14] [15] [16]

Confidence Level: High

A 2008 study reported that Echinacea purpurea contained a potent water-soluble antiviral component, which is effective against bi-membraned viruses like influenza virus and herpes simplex type 1. [17]

In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial (2011) which involved 175 adult subjects, it was observed that supplementation of echinacea root extract before traveling could prevent the development of respiratory tract problems when the travel involves long-haul flights.[18]

4. Echinacea Helps In The Treatment Of Inflammatory Disorders

A good number of studies have already reported on echinacea’s anti-inflammatory properties [19] [20] and it has been proved that echinacea can reverse the inflammation triggered by certain bacterial strains.

Studies show that the anti-inflammatory properties of echinacea come from multiple phytonutrients that work synergistically towards activating the macrophages. [21]

Confidence Level: Moderate

In a study, rhinovirus-infected human bronchial and lung epithelial cells were used to study the effects of Echinacea purpurea’s anti-inflammatory activity.

It was observed that various preparations of the said species were partly or completely reverse the stimulation of pro-inflammatory response.

E.purpurea’s preparation was able to suppress the levels of IL-6 and IL-8, which are the major biomarkers of inflammation. [22]

In 2017, a study reported that 30-day echinacea supplementation in osteoarthritis patients remarkably helped in alleviating the inflammation, pain, and edema. [23]

5. Echinacea may be Helpful in Addressing Anxiety

According to scientific studies, phytonutrients namely alkamides, caffeic acid derivatives, and rosmarinic acid are responsible for the anxiolytic properties of echinacea.

Confidence Level: Moderate

In 2012, a study found out that under in vitro conditions, echinacea extract could suppress the excitatory synaptic transmission in the hippocampus, which is associated with anxiety and the anxiety-related behaviours. [24]

In a 2013-study that involved animals and healthy individuals, it was found that Echinacea angustifolia supplementation in rats and humans reduced the anxiety issues remarkably.[25]

6. Echinacea Supplementation Increases The Erythropoietin Production

Studies have shown that oral echinacea can enhance the production of erythropoietin, [26] a molecule which triggers the synthesis of Red Blood Cells (RBCs).

Confidence Level: Moderate

A study conducted in 2012 has reported that consuming 8g of echinacea for 28 days positively impacted erythropoietin production and also showed enhanced exercise performance. [27]

7. Echinacea Has Anti-Cancer Properties

The anti-cancer ability of echinacea comes from its cytotoxic properties. Its immunostimulant properties are also said to have an impact on tumor growth.

Confidence Level: Moderate

In a 1989-study, one of the polysaccharide present in Echinacea purpurea – acidic arabinogalactan was found to be efficacious in triggering cytotoxicity against tumor cells via macrophage activation.

This phytonutrient also stimulated the production of interleukin-1, interferon beta-2, and TNF-alpha, which are responsible for the immune response against the tumors. [28]

In an in vitro study conducted in 2012, it was reported that extracts of Echinacea purpurea flower have a growth-inhibiting effect on the human colon cancer cells. [29]

8. Echinacea Promotes Wound Healing

Wound healing is an inflammatory response with three key stages namely, inflammation, cell proliferation,  and tissue regeneration. Echinacea’s immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory properties have a significant role in its wound healing abilities.

Caffeic acid derivates of echinacea (E. angustifolia) are assumed to be responsible for the herb’s wound healing properties.

Confidence Level: Low

A study conducted in 2009 has shown that alcohol extract of E.pallida can reverse stress-delayed wound healing in mice. [30]

9. Echinacea Promotes Skin Health

Topical usage of echinacea is studied to improve the skin texture by addressing acne breakouts – a common problem in teenagers.

Due to its wound healing properties, echinacea is found to be helpful in addressing various skin problems like psoriasis, skin wounds, skin burns, etc.

Confidence Level: Low

Echinacea purpurea is reported to kill P.acnes, which causes acne breakouts. [31] [32]

Topical Echinacea purpurea helps in improving skin hydration and reducing the appearance of wrinkles.[33]

Recommended Usage For Echinacea

For dried powdered extract: 300-500mg of Echinacea purpurea 3 times a day

For Liquid extract tinctures: 2.5ml, three times daily (up to 10 ml)

For pills (tablets/capsules – 500mg each): 3 pills of Echinacea purpurea 3 times a day

There is no evidence for the dosage recommended due to variable scientific findings on the medicinal properties of echinacea.

Precaution

PrecautionAdverse Effects

Echinacea species are well-tolerated when used for short-term as per the recommended dosage. However, the following adverse effects have been observed:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Dyspnea
  • Nausea
  • Pruritus
  • Rashes
  • Erythema
  • Urticaria

Safety during Pregnancy, Lactation, and Childhood

Children

Studies show that echinacea supplements are safe to use in children who are 2-11 years old.

Pregnant Women

Oral supplementation of echinacea is found to be safe and non-teratogenic in pregnant women according to research experiments conducted in 2006 & 2016. [34] [35]

Nursing Mothers

There are no quality human studies done on echinacea usage during lactation. Thus, it is better for nursing mothers to avoid using echinacea supplements.

Known Health Conditions

Since echinacea supplements are known to stimulate the immune system, these are contraindicated in patients suffering from autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, multiple sclerosis, etc., and in those who are on immunosuppressants.

For safety reasons, individuals with known medical conditions are requested to consult a healthcare professional before using echinacea supplements.

Drug Interactions

Caffeine

Echinacea supplements contain caffeine derivatives. Consuming caffeine along with these supplements will make it difficult for the body to metabolize it and this leads to excess caffeine in the bloodstream.

Midazolam

Midazolam interaction with echinacea enhances the bioavailability of the former, and therefore these should not be taken together.

Echinacea impacts the breakdown of various drugs that take place in the stomach and liver.

Thus, it is always better to talk to a healthcare professional and inform him/her about the medications that are being consumed currently, before using echinacea supplements.

Overdosage

There are no extensive studies conducted on the overdose effects of echinacea in humans. Upset stomach, nausea, and diarrhea are reported in a few cases.

However, it is strictly advised that individuals shall not consume more than the recommended dosage.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Echinacea Safe To Take Daily?

According to scientific studies, short-term usage of echinacea supplements is considered safe. But, there are no studies conducted on the long-term usage effects of echinacea. It is always better to discuss with a healthcare professional before opting for long term usage of echinacea supplements.

Which Is The Best Form Of Echinacea?

Echinacea is available in powder, pills and liquid extract forms. All are found to have similar effects on the body. In order to avoid stomach discomfort, echinacea supplements can be consumed with food.

Can Echinacea Help My Dog?

Echinacea is generally regarded as safe in dogs. Echinacea can help dogs suffering from infectious diseases like kennel cough, URTI, and urinary tract infections. However, it should not be given to dogs with an active immune system or dogs with an over-active immune system.

Final Words

Echinacea is known to have several proven benefits and many which are still under investigation. If due precautions are taken, this can be of benefit to you.

It is important to choose the right supplement while buying Echinacea. Here is the list of best Echinacea supplement available in the market again for you. Check out the specs, reviews, prices and offers on Amazon –

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