For years, Echinacea supplements have been used as a type of cure all to treat various afflictions such as blood poisoning, diphtheria, malaria, scarlet fever and syphilis. These days, the perceived Echinacea benefits include shortening the duration of the common cold and flu as well as reducing symptoms such as cough, fever and sore throat. It is also used to help boost overall immune health and fight infections in the body. Echinacea is one of the most well-known natural remedies today.
There have been studies conducted that suggest the active substances in Echinacea boost immune system activity, reduce inflammation, relieve pain and have antioxidant, antiviral and hormonal effects. Some may even use the herb to treat many other ailments including athletes foot, hay fever, sinusitis, slow-healing wounds, and infections of the ear, urinary tract and vaginal area. However, there have also been a few known Echinacea side effects.
Adverse reactions tend to be those common of allergic reactions and other disorders such as abdominal pain, arthralgia, asthma attacks, dizziness, dysuria, myalgia, nausea and thrombocytopenic purpura. It could also have adverse effects on those with various disorders such as auto-immune, connective tissue, progressive systemic and related diseases as well as interfere with anesthesia, hepatotoxic drugs and immunosuppressants. There are other conditions that may be affected with the use of Echinacea, so it should be used with the supervision of a physician.
Echinacea supplements are available in many forms but probably most known in the form of Echinacea tea. One may also find the herb in capsules, extracts, ointments, tablets and tinctures. It is also sometimes combined with other herbs, minerals and vitamins used to boost immune function. Since there is no recommended dosage of Echinacea supplements in any form, it is important to follow the instructions that come on the packaging. One also needs to be sure he or she is not taking any other substance that may interact with the herb in order to prevent any potential adverse reactions.