Echinacea is a popular herbal remedy used to treat colds and other illnesses. But how long does it take for echinacea to work? Most brands recommend taking echinacea with food or a large glass of water and avoiding it for more than a few weeks due to lack of long-term safety studies. Alternative medicine professionals suggest drinking echinacea tea several times a day for about a week, or taking it in tablet or tincture form. Different products use different parts of the echinacea plant, so the effectiveness may vary.
It is important to choose a high-quality supplement and use it as soon as possible during a cold, with multiple doses per day for the first few days. The combination of active ingredients is responsible for the beneficial effects of echinacea, with the aboveground part of Echinacea purpurea being the most effective. Common ways to use echinacea products to combat pain include drinking herbal tea or making a paste with the dried herb and rubbing it directly onto the affected area. Despite concerns that echinacea may be dangerous for pregnant or breastfeeding women, evidence suggests that using it during pregnancy does not increase the risk of birth defects or other health problems.
A study of 95 people with early cold and flu symptoms found that those who drank several cups of echinacea tea every day for 5 days felt better sooner than those who drank tea without echinacea. However, there is still debate about the benefits of echinacea tea and some have expressed concern about its side effects. Approximately 10% had no echinacea at all; half were mislabeled as to the type of echinacea in the product; and more than half of the standardized preparations did not contain the amount of active ingredients listed on the label. This highlights the importance of choosing a high-quality supplement when using echinacea to ensure that you are getting the full benefits from this powerful herb.
Echinacea is an effective remedy for treating colds and other illnesses, but it is important to understand how long it takes for echinacea to work in order to get the most out of this natural remedy. Taking multiple doses per day for the first few days is recommended, as well as choosing a high-quality supplement that contains the right amount of active ingredients. Additionally, pregnant and breastfeeding women should consult their doctor before taking any form of echinacea.