Scientific name: Echinacea angustifolia, Echinacea purpurea (purple cone flower), Echinacea pallida (pale coneflower root)  Wild Quinine (Parthenium integrifolium) has sometimes used to adulterate Echinacea

Common names: Sampson Root, Red Sunflower, Narrow-Leaved Coneflower Fruit

Ayurvedic names:

Chinese names: dan zi song guo ju

Bangladesh names:

Arabic names:    حشيشة القنفذ (hasheeshat alqunfudh)

Rain Forest names:

Family: Compositae (Daisy)

Approximate number of species known:

Common parts used: Whole plant, root

Collection: Spring

Annual/Perennial: Perennial

Height: 2 to 5 feet

Actions:  Antiinflammatory, immunomodulator, lympathic, vulnerary

Known Constituents:  root: Alkylamides including isobutylamides (these are what are believed to cause the well known tingling in the mouth.)  The E. pallida is believed to contain less of these alkylamides.7 caffeic acid ester,s echinacoside (not present in E purpurea), chicoric acid (mainly in E purpurea only)   Usually >.5% of echinacoside C35, H46, O20) Echinacea Purperea only: (usually leaf minimum .1%, root minimum .5% cichoric acid C22, H18, O12) and caftaric acid (C13, H12, O9)

Constituents Explained:


Most species of the root when reduced to a powder is usally greyish-brown where as when Echinacea Purpera root is reduced to a powder it is normally yellow to a pinkish-light brown.  When the leaf is reduced to a powder it is normally green. The stem is normally a shade of green to red. The roots are sometimes few, and are 15mm in diameter. The outer surface of the root is yellowish brown to light brown.  Echinacea Purperea is a perrenial and usually grows in height 60-150cm, although sometimes in rare cases as high as 180cm. Th eleaves are dark green with prominent vains.  

Traditional Use:

Originall the Native Americans taught the early settlers the use of this herb.  Well known for its use in combatting colds, flus and enhancing the action of the immune system.  Used against viruses and bacteria.

  Echinacea was given the name snake oil or snake root because of salesmen that would sell it in the 19th century as a ‘cure-all,’ who would let snakes bite them, then apparently use echinacea to prevent any negative reactions to the bite.

It’s also believed that the Native Americans used it as a remedy for snake bite.  Sometimes thought of as a blood cleanser, it’s also used as a gargle for the throat.1

Clinical Studies:

A study identified whether a standardised Echinacea formulation is effective in the prevention of respiratory and other symptoms associated with long-haul flights. 

175 adults participated in a randomised, double-blind placebo-controlled trial travelling back from Australia to America, Europe, or Africa for a period of 1-5 weeks on commercial flights via economy class.

Participants took Echinacea (root extract, standardised to 4.4 mg alkylamides) or placebo tablets. Participants were surveyed before, immediately after travel, and at 4 weeks after travel regarding upper respiratory symptoms and travel-related quality of life. 

Respiratory symptoms for both groups increased significantly during travel. However, the Echinacea group had borderline significantly lower respiratory symptom scores compared to placebo.

It was concluded that supplementation with standardised Echinacea tablets, if taken before and during travel, may have preventive effects against the development of respiratory symptoms during travel involving long-haul flights.

Among pediatric population the recurrent upper respiratory tract infections are very common. Several phytotherapies are been proposed as support therapies and, in particular, the efficacy of Echinacea angustifolia is controversial. 

A study presented an evaluation of a new herbal compound in the treatment of recurrent upper respiratory tract infections in a pediatric cohort. 

An immunostimulant herbal compound of Echinacea angustifolia, Arabinogalactan, Acerola (Vitamin C), Beta- Glucan e Zinc (Imoviral® Junior) was given to 37 children affected by recurrent pharyngotonsillitis or otitis media.

The mean number of inflammatory episodes (i.e. tonsillitis or otitis media) during 6 months before treatment was 3±2.19, during the 6 months following treatment initiation it was 1±0.93. 

After the complete treatment, 77% of children reported an improvement of chronic inflammatory in frequency of acute episodes. The total score of a questionnaire about life quality is improved. Finally, none collateral effects was occurred.

The herbal compound of echinacea, beta-glucan, vitamin c, arabinoglactan and zinc (Imoviral® Junior) can improve the quality of life in pediatric patients affected by recurrent pharyngotonsillitis and otitis media without contralateral effects.


Tiralongo E, Lea RA, Wee SS, Hanna MM, Griffiths LR. “Randomised, Double Blind, Placebo – Controlled Trial Of Echinacea Supplementation In Air Travellers.” 2012

Minetti AM, Forti S, Tassone G, Torretta S, Pignataro L. “Efficacy Of Complex Herbal Compound Of Echinacea Angustifolia (Imoviral Junior) In Recurrent Upper Respiratory Tract Infections During Pediatric Age: Preliminary Results.” 2011 June


Herb Name: Echinacea

Others names: Indian head, Black Sampson, Hedgehog, Scurvy root, Black Susans, Pale purple cone flower, and Purple cone flower

Latin name: Echinacea angustifolia, Echinacea pallida, Echinacea purpurea

Family: Asteraceae

Common part used: Roots, Rhizomes, Above-ground Parts

Description: Echinacea is an herb with a tall stem, rather large lance-like leaves, and pink to purple daisy-like flowers with dark-orange or brown centers. The flowers smell like honey.

Properties: Echinacea is a bitter and aromatic herb that is used in herbal medicine to boost immunity, to assist with chronic infections, and to help with HIV/AIDS (through boosting the immune system). It is healing, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, and anti-inflammatory.

Contents: It contains polysaccharides, lipophillic polyacetylenes, caffeic acid, and alkylamides (echinaceine).

Internal use: Internally, Echinacea is commonly used for treating chronic infections and for boosting immunity. It can be used for skin disorders, fungal infections, slow-healing wounds, septicemia, and chronic fatigue syndrome. Echinacea is also used for the early stages of colds and coughs, and venereal diseases. It is most efficient for urinary system and respiratory system infections. Studies show that Echinacea effectively boosts the immunity, and inhibits the viruses and bacteria that enter the body. This herb also can help the HIV/AIDS patients through bolstering their immune system.

External use: Externally, Echinacea is used to treat acne, psoriasis, infected injuries, and herpes. A gargle with Echinacea is helpful for sore throats. This herb is extremely effective in treating slow healing wounds, skin ulcers, as well as any other skin inflammations. It is also useful for improving the skin tone, for preventing skin blemishes (e.g., after acne), and for improving the state of dry and cracked skin.

Essential oil and aromatherapy use: Not noted.

Safety precautions: This herb may counteract immunosuppressants.