Echinacea is a widely used herbal supplement that is believed to help strengthen the immune system and treat colds and other illnesses. While it is generally considered safe, there are some potential side effects that you should be aware of. The most common side effects of echinacea are digestive tract symptoms, such as nausea or stomach pain. Some people may experience an allergic reaction to echinacea, which can be serious.
In a clinical trial involving children, skin rashes were observed, which may have been caused by an allergic reaction. Taking echinacea with caffeinated products can increase the side effects of caffeine, such as headache, increased heart rate, and nervousness. Minor side effects usually include an upset stomach, nausea, and dizziness. Serious side effects include worsening asthma symptoms and allergic reactions, such as rash, swelling, and difficulty breathing.
If you experience any of these side effects while taking echinacea, it is important to talk to your doctor right away. It is also important to avoid coffee, tea, cola, energy drinks, or other products that contain caffeine while taking echinacea.