FROM: Phytomedicine 1996; 3(1): 95–102
A review is presented of the data on the safety of the squeezed
sap of Echinacea purpurea used as an oral
All articles in which the presence or absence of adverse events
of the extract of the flowering coneflower or its constituents
was reported were considered, provided that the dose and route of
administration as well as the patient population were defined.
Case reports and reports of practical experience with the extract
of E. purpurea were not considered in detail.
All reported adverse events and unexpected findings were
considered, together with the possible relation to
While parenteral administration of the squeezed sap of E.
purpurea (Echinacin ) may be associated with symptoms of
immunostimulation (shivering, fever, muscle weakness), these are
not generally observed on oral administration. Adverse events on
oral administration for up to 12 weeks are infrequent and consist
mainly of unpleasant taste. In healthy adults, Echinacin has
little or no effect on lymphocyte responses, but has been
reported to cause transient lymphopenia in some patients with
infections of various etiologies. This effect is probably due to
redistribution of activated T cells.
It is concluded that the squeezed sap of E. purpurea, widely used
in self-medication, is well-tolerated on long-term oral