What is echinacea for and how to use

Echinacea is a medicinal plant, also known as Cone Flower, Purple or Rudbéquia, widely used as a home remedy in the treatment of colds and flu, relieving runny nose and cough, mainly because of its anti-inflammatory and antiallergic property .

The scientific name of this plant isEchinacea spp.and the best known species areEchinacea purpureaand Echinacea angustifolia, which have a pink flower shape and are sold in various forms such as the root, dried leaves and even in capsules, which can be found to buy in handling pharmacies, health food stores, street markets and in some supermarkets, in the form of sachets.

What is it for

Echinacea is a plant that has many benefits and is popularly used to relieve cold and flu symptoms and to help treat respiratory infections, urinary tract infection, candidiasis, toothache and gum, rheumatoid arthritis and viral or bacterial diseases, due to its properties:

  • Anti-inflammatory;
  • Antioxidant;
  • Antimicrobial;
  • Detoxifying;
  • Laxative;
  • Immunostimulant;
  • Antiallergic.

In addition, it can also be used to heal injuries and as a disinfectant for abscesses, boils, superficial wounds, burns and intoxications such as snake bites.

However, in these cases it is recommended to first seek the assistance of a general practitioner to find out the causes of these symptoms and indicate the most appropriate conventional treatment and only afterwards to start the complementary treatment with echinacea.

How to use echinacea

The used parts of Echinacea are the root, leaves and flowers, which can be taken in various ways, such as:

1. Echinacea Tea

Echinacea tea is a great solution to take in cases of flu and colds, as it relieves symptoms such as cough and runny nose.


  • 1 teaspoon of echinacea root or leaves;
  • 1 cup of boiling water.

Preparation mode

Place 1 teaspoon of the echinacea root or leaves in a cup of boiling water. Let stand for 15 minutes, strain and drink 2 times a day. Learn more about other natural options for flu and cold.

2. Echinacea compresses

Echinacea can also be used on the skin by applying a paste based on echinacea roots and leaves.


  • Echinacea leaves and roots;
  • Cloth moistened with hot water.

Preparation mode

Knead the echinacea leaves and roots with the help of a pestle until a paste is formed. Then, apply to the affected area with the help of a cloth moistened with hot water.

3. Pills or capsules

Echinacea can also be found in the form of capsules and tablets, in pharmacies or health food stores, such as Enax or Imunax, for example.

The usual dose is 300 mg to 500 mg, 3 times a day, but a doctor or herbalist should be consulted so that the correct dose is given, as it can change from one person to another. See more about the indications of echinacea in capsules.

Who should not use

Despite presenting many benefits, echinacea is contraindicated in case of allergy to family plantsAsteraceae, as well as for patients with HIV, tuberculosis, collagenosis and multiple sclerosis.

In addition, the adverse effects of echinacea can be transient fever, nausea, vomiting and an unpleasant taste in the mouth after use. Various allergic reactions can also occur, such as itching and worsening asthmatic attacks.