Echinacea is a popular herbal supplement that has been used for centuries to support the immune system. Echinacea extract is derived from the roots, leaves, and flowers of the echinacea plant, and it is available in various forms, including capsules, tablets, and tinctures.
While echinacea extract has been widely used as a natural remedy for colds, flu, and other respiratory infections, there is still some debate about its effectiveness. Some studies have shown that echinacea extracts polyphenol & cichoric acid can help reduce the severity and duration of colds and flu, while others have found no significant benefits.
So, who can benefit from taking echinacea extract? The answer is not straightforward, as there are several factors to consider.
Firstly, it is important to note that echinacea extract is not recommended for children under the age of 12. This is because there is limited research on its safety and effectiveness in this age group.
Secondly, people with autoimmune disorders, such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, should avoid taking echinacea extract. This is because echinacea can stimulate the immune system, which may worsen the symptoms of autoimmune disorders.
Thirdly, people with allergies to plants in the daisy family (such as ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, and daisies) should also avoid taking echinacea extract. This is because echinacea extract may cause an allergic reaction in people with these allergies.
For healthy adults, echinacea extract may be helpful in supporting the immune system during cold and flu season. However, it is important to note that echinacea extract should not be used as a substitute for medical treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms of a cold or flu, it is important to consult with your healthcare provider to determine the best course of treatment.