What are Echinacea tablets?
Echinacea tablets are made from a type of plant that’s sometimes called purple coneflowers. They’re native to North America and are part of the daisy family of plants. They’ve been used in natural supplements for centuries.
People often use echinacea tablets to treat viral illnesses like the common cold, or to reduce your chances of catching it. You’ll often take it after catching a cold or when you’re worried you’re at risk of getting one. You might also take it during the winter months when you know viral illnesses are common.
Do Echinacea tablets work?
In short: maybe. More research needs to be done, but there are some studies which suggest echinacea can both reduce your chances of getting colds and help you get better quicker. There’s also generally no harm in taking echinacea tablets if you’re otherwise healthy, so if you’re eating and sleeping well, you might want to try them for a boost.
Some studies have found echinacea tablets aren’t very effective at treating or preventing colds.These studies may be limited as they tend to use different parts of the plant and in different doses. One review of six clinical trials showed that echinacea tablets were effective in both treating and preventing recurrent respiratory tract infections, like colds. They also prevented the development of complications like lung infections and sinus infections.
How do Echinacea tablets work?
We’re still not entirely sure how echinacea tablets work. Echinacea plants contain a few different active chemicals that might have an effect on your immune function. We do know that the flowering part of the echinacea plant contains a high level of polysaccharides. This is a substance that has anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties as well as regulating your immune function. So this might play some role in how echinacea tablets work.