Alternative

Echinacea

search

Echinacea

  • Epidemiology
  1. Use is popular in Germany
  • Indications (Purported benefits)
  1. Systemic use
    1. Immunostimulant for preventing and treating infection
  2. Topical use
    1. Stings and bites
    2. Wounds including Burn Injury
    3. Inflammation
  • Efficacy
  1. Recent studies suggest no benefit in Common Cold
    1. Barrett (2002) Ann Intern Med 137:939-46 [PubMed]
    2. Yale (2004) Arch Intern Med 164:1237-41 [PubMed]
  2. Previously thought to be effective in Common Cold
    1. Decreases Common Cold symptom duration
    2. May have slight benefit in preventing the Common Cold
  • Mechanism
  1. Increases Phagocytosis
  2. Increases lymphocytic activity
  3. Increases activity against tumor cells
  4. No known bactericidal or bacteriostatic properties
  • Dosing
  1. Echinacea 800 mg per day
  • Contraindications
  1. Daisy Allergy
  2. Progressive autoimmune or systemic disease
    1. Acquired Immune Deficiency (AIDS)
    2. Tuberculosis
    3. Rheumatoid Arthritis
    4. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)
    5. Multiple Sclerosis
  • Precautions
  1. Some recommend limiting to under 8 successive weeks
  • Adverse Effects
  1. Immunosuppression may occur with prolonged use
    1. Opportunistic infections
    2. Impaired Wound Healing
  2. Hepatotoxicity risk with prolonged use
  • Drug Interactions
  1. CYP1A2 and CYP3A4
    1. May affect drug levels of these P450 metabolized agents, even with shortterm Echinacea use