As part of the Charms & Harms series in the Journal of Primary Care, Dr. Joanne Barnes, from the University of Auckland, in New Zealand distilled the evidence.


  • The results of studies of echinacea to prevent and treat upper respiratory infections are conflicting.
  • There’s insufficient evidence to recommend a particular preparation or dosage regimen.
  • The limited data indicate that echinacea preparations are well-tolerated, although allergic reactions may occur.
  • Echinacea products differ in their pharmaceutical quality
    • The implications of this for efficacy and safety should be considered.

The bottom line?

The article is a good 1-page review.

6/18/09 19:00 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.