Which echinacea supplements are best?
Herbs have been used as medicine for thousands of years, and even today, they can still play a part alongside conventional medicine. Echinacea is said to be beneficial for immune function and is often taken for colds and other similar winter viruses.
It can be tough to decide which echinacea supplement to buy, especially when it’s your first time buying. If you’re looking for a quality echinacea supplement, Gaia Herbs Echinacea Goldenseal is the top choice.
What to know before you buy an echinacea supplement
Echinacea supplements can come in a range of types of formulations. Capsules are by far the most common type, followed by tablets, liquids and gummies.
- Capsules: Since the herb is contained inside a capsule, there’s no taste, though people who don’t like to swallow medication can struggle.
- Tablets: Echinacea tablets are affordable but not always as easily absorbed into the bloodstream as liquid or capsules.
- Liquids: Echinacea supplements in liquid form are often called tinctures or liquid extracts. They’re great for people who don’t like swallowing capsules and may be absorbed into the bloodstream quicker and more effectively. Although they often contain sweeteners and flavorings, some people can’t abide the taste.
- Gummies: Although uncommon, you can find gummy echinacea supplements. These usually have lower concentrations of echinacea in them, but they’re aimed at kids who may need a lower dose anyway.
The concentration of echinacea is given in milligrams or mg. According to the National Library of Medicine, the recommended daily dosage for adults is 900-1,500 milligrams per day, but this may be taken in up to three doses throughout the day — especially when you’re fighting a cold. Tinctures don’t always have a listed concentration in milligrams, but you should take roughly 2.5 mg three times a day. Check the concentration of any echinacea supplement you’re buying to see how much you’ll need to take.
Doses per pack
When buying echinacea capsules, you can quickly see how many capsules you get in a pack, but this isn’t necessarily the number of doses in a pack. Sometimes, you’ll need to take more than one capsule per dose. For instance, if a pack contains 180 capsules, but each dose is three capsules, then you only get 60 doses in a package, when you might assume it has 180 doses at first glance. Once you get your head around this, it’s easy to find supplements that offer good value for the money.
What to look for in a quality echinacea supplement
Non-GMO and organic
If you like to avoid genetically modified organisms in your diet, look for a non-GMO echinacea supplement. Organic echinacea supplements are less common, but you can find some certified organic options.
Most echinacea supplements are free from common allergens, such as gluten and dairy, but it’s always worth checking before you commit to buying.
Echinacea capsules and echinacea gummies can contain animal-derived gelatin, but you can find gelatin-free options. Not only are gelatin-free supplements suitable for vegans and vegetarians, but they can also be taken by people who avoid certain animal products for religious reasons, such as people who follow kosher or halal dietary standards.
How much you can expect to spend on echinacea supplements
You can spend anywhere between $5-$25 on echinacea supplements, depending on factors such as quality, concentration and formulation.
Echinacea supplement FAQ
Does echinacea really work?
A. Echinacea is commonly taken to prevent or reduce the symptoms of colds and other cold-like viruses and infections. Many studies have been done on echinacea over time, and the results are varied.
It seems as if echinacea might reduce the chances of catching colds, but it’s unlikely to reduce the duration of a cold. Still, echinacea is a natural herbal medicine and generally well-tolerated (though it’s possible to be allergic to it), so taking it when you have a cold or to prevent colds in the winter months is unlikely to have any detrimental effects.
Can you take echinacea and vitamin C together?
A. Yes, it’s safe to take echinacea supplements and vitamin C supplements at the same time, so if you’re hoping to fight off colds and other winter viruses, don’t worry about loading up on both. However, there are some drug interactions with echinacea. For instance, it could decrease the effectiveness of immunosuppressant medications. If you’re on any long-term medication, it’s a good idea to consult your doctor before you start taking echinacea supplements.
What are the best echinacea supplements to buy?
Top echinacea supplement
Gaia Herbs Echinacea Goldenseal
What you need to know: Containing liquid inside a vegan capsule, this supplement is easily absorbed.
What you’ll love: It contains a blend of echinacea and goldenseal that’s great for supporting the immune system. You get a 10-day supply, which is perfect for fighting off an average cold.
What you should consider: They’re on the pricey side.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top echinacea supplement for the money
Nutricost Echinacea and Goldenseal Root Capsules
What you need to know: The combination of echinacea and goldenseal root provides a hefty immune boost.
What you’ll love: These capsules are non-GMO, gluten-free and gelatin-free. You get 240 capsules in a pack, and one capsule equals one serving, so they go a long way.
What you should consider: They’re not of the highest dosage, but you can safely take more that the recommended dose.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
Herb Pharm Certified Organic Echinacea Root Liquid Extract
What you need to know: A liquid echinacea supplement for anyone who’d prefer to avoid capsules.
What you’ll love: It’s certified organic, vegan and free from all common allergens. You can choose between options containing alcohol or are alcohol-free and are made using echinacea grown in Oregon.
What you should consider: The daily value hasn’t been established, so you can’t tell what dosage you’re receiving.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews.
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2023 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.