CAM InteractionsEchinacea

Lack of drug interactions with echinacea

Researchers from Georgetown University in Washington, DC report that when taken short term, Echinacea purpurea products (roots and/or aerial parts) do not appear to be a risk to consumers.

First, the details.

  • 8 studies of drug interactions with echinacea, including Echinacea angustifolia, E. pallida, and E. purpurea were reviewed.

And, the results.

  • There were no verifiable reports of drug-herb interactions with any echinacea product.
  • Herbal remedies made from E. purpurea appear to have a low potential for cytochrome P450 (CYP 450) drug-herb interactions, including CYP1A2 and CYP3A4.
    • CYP 450 is a family of enzymes, primarily in the liver, that are responsible for the metabolism of various chemicals.

The bottom line?
The authors conclude, “Further pharmacokinetic testing is necessary before conclusive statements can be made about echinacea drug-herb interactions.

The number of echinacea doses consumed each year is greater than 10 million, and the number of side effects is less than 100.

11/29/08 20:55 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.