I purposely generalise by writing 'a viral infection', instead of asking only about only colds or flus. I itemise the verbs in decreasing order of effect on the virus. Does echinacea (eg tea) help:
and/or mitigate, relieve a viral infection?

At least, does it allay or soothe the symptoms?

mayoclinic.org by Brent A. Bauer, M.D. and http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/cold-guide/echinacea-common-cold vacillate.

  • 1
    The question seems on-topic for me, so I'm not sure why to close it.
    – kenorb
    Apr 18, 2015 at 11:09
  • 2
    @kenorb +1. Thank you for your support.
    – user14
    Apr 18, 2015 at 14:50

1 Answer 1


Some species are used to treat and prevent common cold, flu, and other infections.

One study from 2002 didn't find any significant differences between the echinacea and placebo groups for any measured outcomes. Another study from 2003 confirmed that Echinacea purpurea was not effective in treating URI (upper respiratory tract infections) symptoms in children and its use was usually associated with an increased risk of rash. The more recent one from 2014 didn't provide enough benefits for treating colds by using Echinacea products, although there could be a weak benefit, but potential effects are of questionable clinical relevance.

So two NCCIH-funded studies didn't find any benefits from using it. Others found that it may be beneficial, so the results are mixed and it's not clear whether it can prevent or effectively treat URIs (such as common cold) and NCCIH is continuing to support the study of echinacea as well as potential effects on the immune systemNCCIH.

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