Echinacea Purpurea herb (Echinaceae purpureae herba)

Published March 2, 1989.
List of German Commission E Monographs (Phytotherapy)


Name of Drug

Echinaceae purpureae herba, purple coneflower herb.

Composition of Drug

Purple coneflower herb consists of fresh, above-ground parts, harvested at flowering time, of Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench [Fam. Asteraceae], as well as its preparations in effective dosage.



Supportive therapy for colds and chronic infections of the respiratory tract and lower urinary tract. External use:

Poorly healing wounds and chronic ulcerations. Contraindications External:

None known. Internal:

Progressive systemic diseases, such as tuberculosis, leucosis, collagenosis, multiple sclerosis. No parenteral administration in case of tendencies to allergies, especially allergies to members of the composite family (Asteraceae), as well as in pregnancy.

Warning: The metabolic condition in diabetics can decline upon parenteral application.

Side Effects

Internal and external application:

None known. Parenteral application:

Depending upon dosage, short-term fever reactions, nausea and vomiting can occur. In individual cases, allergic reactions of the immediate type are possible.

Interactions with Other Drugs

None known.


Unless otherwise prescribed:

Daily dosage:

6 - 9 ml expressed juice; equivalent preparations. Parenteral:

Depends on individual kind and seriousness of condition as well as specific nature of the preparation. Parenteral application requires a gradation of dosage, especially for children; the manufacturer is required to show this information for the particular preparation. External:

Semi-solid preparations containing at least 15 percent pressed juice. Mode of Administration Pressed juice and galenical preparations for internal and external use.

Duration of Administration

Preparations for parenteral use:

Not longer than 3 weeks. Preparations for internal and external use:

Not longer than 8 weeks. Actions In human and/or animal experiments, Echinacea preparations given internally or parenterally have produced immune effects. Among others, the number of white blood cells and spleen cells is increased, the capacity for phagocytosis by human granulocytes is activated, and the body temperature is elevated.