©DR. SARAH GLASSFORD 2019

Echinacea: An Anti-Viral Herb For Colds

Updated: Nov 23, 2018



Looking to enhance your defence against the common cold? 🙅‍♀️ The large majority of cases of the common cold are caused by viral infections. There are many herbs and nutrients to support the immune system for both the prevention and treatment of the common cold. One traditional anti-viral and immune modulating herb is Echinacea (Purple Coneflower). 🌸 There are multiple varieties of Echinacea and the components of the plant have different effects. Overall, echinacea enhances our immune surveillance and phagocytosis - the destruction of both viruses and bacteria. This herb helps prevent colds and cleans up invaders! 🙌 Echinacea research: • reduces risk of getting a cold + number of cold episodes • reduces duration of cold by ~1.5 days • prevents cold recurrence, especially if more susceptible • reduces complications of a cold (like pneumonia and ear infections) • some mixed results for treatment, more evidence for cold prevention • can work more effectively when used in synergy with other herbs and nutrients Echinacea has a good safety profile and has been shown to be safe during pregnancy, in children, and for longer term use. The dosage varies depending on the product but it can be used as a supplement, tincture, or tea either on it’s own or paired with other herbs and nutrients in a combo formula. ⚠️ Caution if you have an autoimmune condition and avoid use if you have an allergy to the daisy plant family. Consult your Naturopathic Doctor for an individualized approach before taking herbs or supplements!

Sources: Ardjomand-Woelkart, K., & Bauer, R. (2015). Review and Assessment of Medicinal Safety Data of Orally Used Echinacea Preparations. Planta Medica, 82(01/02), 17-31. Karsch-Völk M, Barrett B, Kiefer D, et al. Echinacea for preventing and treating the common cold. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014;(2) Ross, S. (2016). Echinacea purpurea: A Proprietary Extract of Echinacea purpurea Is Shown to be Safe and Effective in the Prevention of the Common Cold. Holistic Nursing Practice, 30(1), 54-57. Schapowal A, Klein P, Johnston SL. Echinacea reduces the risk of recurrent respiratory tract infections and complications: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Adv Ther. 2015;32(3)