Echinacea purpurea is a herbaceous flowering plant native to North America. Echinacea purpurea extract is derived from the plant's aerial parts (leaves, stems, and flowers) and is commonly used as a dietary supplement.
Echinacea purpurea extract is believed to have immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory effects. It is commonly used to boost the immune system and reduce the severity and duration of cold and flu symptoms. Some studies suggest that echinacea may also have antiviral and antioxidant properties.
Echinacea purpurea extract is generally considered safe for most people when used in recommended doses. However, people with autoimmune disorders or allergies to plants in the daisy family (such as ragweed or marigolds) should avoid using echinacea. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should also consult their healthcare provider before using echinacea.