Additional notes (click to expand)


Echinacea preparations are widely advertised as an ‘immune booster’. A substantial body of laboratory work has shown that extracts from the plant can induce ‘activation’ changes in cells of the immune system, although the relevance of these is not clear. In Germany Echinacea extracts are licensed to prevent and treat colds but a review of the many clinical trials in this area by the independent Cochrane team was inconclusive. One of the larger clinical trials of Echinacea was widely reported in the popular press in 2012 as showing benefits, but a close analysis of the data suggests that the trial was flawed with numerous methodological errors precluding a robust assessment of the effects of the plant extracts – reviewed on GRF December 2018
Karsch-Völk M et al. Echinacea for preventing and treating the common cold. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014 Feb 20;(2):CD000530. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD000530.pub3.

Geographical distribution

  • Northern America

Echinacea angustifolia DC.

Genus: Echinacea
Species: angustifolia DC.
Distribution summary: Northern America
Habit: Perennial
Garden status: Not currently grown
Reason for growing: Medicinal

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