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Initially Posted: 02/06/2021
Echinacea supplements reviewed by ConsumerLab.com

Alphabetical list of echinacea supplement brands compared in this review

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21st Century Echinacea Complex 250 mg

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A. Vogel Echinaforce

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BulkSupplements.com Echinacea Extract

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Gummiology Propolis & Echinacea - Raspberry Flavor

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Hawaii Pharm Echinacea

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Herb Pharm Echinacea

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Jamieson Echinacea

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Nature's Bounty Echinacea 400 mg

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Nutrilite Immunity Echinacea

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Oregon's Wild Harvest Echinacea

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Solgar Echinacea Herb Extract

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Vital Nutrients Echinacea Extract 500 mg

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Summary

  • What do Echinacea supplements do? Echinacea supplements may modestly help prevent colds when taken during cold season and/or reduce the severity of a cold if taken at the first onset of symptoms — although the evidence is mixed. Limited evidence suggests that a form of Echinacea may modestly reduce anxiety (see What It Does). Phenolic compounds in Echinacea may be responsible for some of the herb's effects (see What It Is).
  • What did CL's tests of Echinacea find? Four products did not contain the expected minimum amounts of total phenolic compounds (one had less than 2%), and two products did not even list their amounts of Echinacea (see What CL Found).
  • Which Echinacea supplements are best? Among six products Approved for Quality by ConsumerLab.com, two (an extract and a non-extract) were chosen as Top Picks.
  • Which form and dose of Echinacea is best? Echinacea comes in various forms and concentrations, but most positive clinical studies used products extracted from aerial parts (leaves, flowers, stems) of E. purpurea or the roots of E. angustifolia (see ConsumerTips).
  • Is Echinacea safe? Echinacea appears to be relatively safe for short-term use (up to 12 weeks), and side-effects tend to be mild (GI symptoms, increases urination). However, be aware that some people may have allergic reactions, such as rashes, and rarely, liver damage has been reported. Although Echinacea may affect the metabolism of a variety of drugs, the effect may be small (see Concerns and Cautions).
You must be a member to get the full test results for Echinacea supplements along with ConsumerLab.com recommendations and quality ratings. In this review, you'll get test results and quality ratings for 10 Echinacea supplements selected for testing by ConsumerLab and two others that passed testing in our voluntary Quality Certification Program. In this comprehensive review, you'll discover:
  • Which Echinacea supplements passed or failed testing
  • ConsumerLab.com's Top Picks among Echinacea supplements
  • The clinical evidence for, or against, using Echinacea for preventing colds, reducing cold symptoms, and other uses, such as anxiety
  • What to look for on labels: Echinacea species (such as E. purpurea and E. angustifolia), plant parts (such as aerial and root), forms (extracts and herb powders) and dosage
  • Cost comparisons and which products offer the best value
  • The evidence for other ingredients, like goldenseal, elderberry and zinc, which are often combined with Echinacea
  • Safety, side effects, and drug interactions with Echinacea 

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