Quick Facts about Echinacea:
Echinacea (also called coneflower) is a flowering plant native to North America. It was used in traditional medicine among Native Americans hundreds of years ago. Today, it is promoted as an over-the-counter herbal supplement for the common cold or flu and to help relieve pain and inflammation as a topical product. There are studies showing echinacea may slightly reduce the chances of catching a cold, but it has not been shown to shorten the length of a cold. As with all supplements, echinacea has not been FDA approved for these conditions.
Echinacea appears to be safe for most adults to take on a short-term basis. If a child gets into a bottle of echinacea, it is not expected to cause serious symptoms. With larger amounts, the most common side effects may include nausea and stomach pain. Some individuals are allergic to echinacea, and anaphylactic reactions have occurred.
If you find your child with an opened bottle of echinacea do not panic. Take the supplement way from them, wipe out the mouth with a soft, wet cloth and give them some water to drink. If problems start or you have questions, call the Missouri Poison Center right away at 1-800-222-1222. The poison center is open all day, every day for poisoning emergencies and questions.