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Common Cold
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Echinacea (alternative medicine) for treatment of Common Cold in Adults with cold

  • Ineffective

    Bottom Line

  • Treatment with Echinacea extract (Purple coneflower). 14 studies conducted, with 2,924 adults. Does not reduce cold symptoms and does not speed up recovery. Mild side effects, including rash and upset stomach.



Do not use this treatment:

It does not seem effective in treating cold symptoms or in shortening their duration. Side effects are usually minor, but allergic reaction may vary from rash (common) to severe reaction (rare).

About Echinacea (alternative medicine)

Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)

  • Target Population:

    Adults with cold, 16 to 65 years old

  • Dosage:

    Varies with preparation. Follow the instruction that come with the product.

  • Goal:

    Treatment of Common Cold symptoms

Research Summary

  • Reasonably tested
  • 14 Clinical Studies
  • 2,924 Adults Tested
  • Ineffective
  • Benefits:

    Ineffective, does not seem to reduce Common Cold symptoms in adults. Does not seem to speed up recovery.

  • Mild risks
  • Risks:

    Common side effects include rash, upset stomach, unpleasant taste in the mouth, nausea and dizziness. Rare side effects include and severe allergic reaction (Anaphylaxis), increased asthma.

Common Cold Overview

  • Medical problem:

    Common Cold (symptoms caused by viral infection of the upper respiratory system).

  • Symptoms and signs:

    Cough, general discomfort, headache, runny nose, sneezing, sore throat, stuffy nose and weakness.

  • Complications:

    Bacterial infections: lung infection, middle ear infection, strep throat, sinus infection.

Brand Names

Echinacea extract (alternative medicine)

  • Gaia Organics - Certified Organic Echinacea Supreme
  • Herb Pharm - Super Echinacea
  • Bioforce - A.Vogel Echinaforce
  • Genestra Brands - Chimaphila Combination #1
  • Herb Pharm - Golden Echinacea
  • Herbs Etc. - Echinacea Triple Source
  • Herbs Etc. - Immune Alert
  • now - Echinacea Extract Liquid Extract
  • NUTRI-WEST(R) - #2 - CF

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Echinacea is a genus, or group of herbaceous flowering plants in the daisy family. The Echinacea genus has nine species, which are commonly called purple coneflowers. They are found only in eastern and central North America, where they are found growing in moist to dry prairies and open wooded areas. They have large, showy heads of composite flowers, blooming from early to late summer. Echinacea purpurea is used in folk medicine. Although there are multiple scientific reviews and meta-analyses published on the supposed immunological effects of echinacea, significant variability of echinacea products used among studies limited conclusions about effects and safety, consequently leading to non-approval of any health benefit or anti-disease activity. (source)
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