The Benefits of Echinacea

The Benefits of Echinacea

Echinacea is a vibrant and hardy flowering plant renowned for its numerous health benefits. For centuries, various indigenous cultures have utilized echinacea to support the immune system and more, and it continues to be a popular herbal ally in modern times. 

Whether incorporated into echinacea tea, supplements, or topical applications, echinacea is a natural powerhouse that not only adds a burst of color to gardens but also offers a holistic approach to overall health and vitality.

In this article:

What Is Echinacea? Characteristics of the Plant

The echinacea plant, commonly known as purple coneflower, is a resilient perennial herb native to North America. Named after the Greek word for hedgehog, echinos, it has a spiky cone-shaped center and distinctive pink or purple petals.1

Long recognized for a myriad of benefits, Native American tribes traditionally used echinacea to bolster healthy immune function and to support the body's natural defense against microorganisms.2

In Ayurveda, echinacea is appreciated for its ability to balance and fortify the body's defenses.

There are several different species of echinacea, which are typically found in prairie or meadow environments. The plants can grow up to four feet tall, shooting up lovely pink or purple flowers in the summertime that are a favorite of butterflies, bees, and other pollinators.3

Echinacea purpurea is the most widely used and studied species of echinacea within the herbal realm, and one of the easiest varieties to cultivate. All parts of the plant can be used for health-supporting purposes, including the seed, leaf, flower, and root.

Echinacea angustifolia, also known as narrow leaf echinacea, is another commonly used species and offers similar immune-supporting benefits to Echinacea purpurea. Banyan uses both species as ingredients in our product line.

Echinacea Benefits and Uses

With its myriad health benefits and long history of use, echinacea is a renowned staple within the world of herbalism. So what does echinacea do, exactly?

At Banyan, we primarily tap into echinacea's affinity for bolstering healthy immune function, supporting the upper respiratory tract, and fortifying the body's natural defenses. 

But keep in mind that the uses of echinacea extend well beyond the immune system: many herbalists recognize echinacea benefits for skin, calming feelings of anxiousness, and more.4

Immune System Support

Echinacea is best known for its capacity to fortify the immune system, making it a foundational herbal companion for winter care as well as for ongoing year-round support. 

Traditionally used as a natural first line of defense for immune support, echinacea helps keep the body's protective mechanisms working well, in turn warding off microorganisms and other external threats.5

Respiratory Health

Along with supporting overall immune health, echinacea has been traditionally valued for its positive influence on respiratory well-being. By promoting a healthy respiratory system and upper respiratory tract function, it aids in maintaining clear and comfortable breathing.6

Overall Vitality

By supporting the body's natural defenses and healthy immunity, echinacea plays a role in promoting and maintaining overall vitality. Its beneficial qualities contribute to the health of the whole system and support the body's resilience in the face of daily stressors.


banyan botanicals throat soother

How to Incorporate Echinacea into Your Routine

Now that we've covered some of echinacea's main benefits, let's explore how to use echinacea to support your daily or seasonal wellness routine. Echinacea teas and supplements are generally easy to find, and Banyan offers several carefully crafted herbal immune support formulas that feature echinacea as a star ingredient.

Tulsi Echinacea Tea

Banyan's Tulsi Echinacea tea benefits overall health and well-being with a soothing and uplifting blend of immune-supporting herbs, including ginger and turmeric alongside star players tulsi and echinacea. 

Brewing a pot of this herbal tea is a delightful way to sip in echinacea's benefits at any time throughout the day. 

Immune Strong

If you prefer taking a quick and convenient echinacea supplement  or echinacea tablets to support your health, our Immune Strong tablets and Immune Strong liquid extract combine echinacea with other Ayurvedic powerhouse herbs for immune health. These include turmeric, kalmegh, licorice, ashwagandha, and more.

This robust blend of herbs supports the body's natural defenses and offers fast-acting support when it's needed most.

Throat Soother Spray

If you're looking for a product that specifically targets the throat and upper respiratory tract, our herbal echinacea throat spray blends echinacea with soothing licorice and slippery elm in a non-alcoholic honey base. 

This tasty herbal spray is an effective way to soothe minor throat irritation and promote throat comfort, and is a favorite of singers, teachers, and public speakers. 

Research Studies on Echinacea 

Thanks to echinacea's long-standing popularity and abundant use in supporting vitality, several scientific studies and reviews have been performed in recent years to more fully understand its benefits and botanical makeup. Here are some examples:

  • Phytochemical Characterization of Purple Coneflower Roots and Their Extracts 2023. PubMed Abstract.7
  • Echinacea purpurea: Biological and Pharmacological Properties. A Review 2022. PubMed Abstract.8
  • Echinacea purpurea: Chemical Characterization and Bioactivity of Its Extracts and Fractions 2020. PubMed Abstract.9
  • Natural Ingredients to Improve Immunity 2023. PubMed Abstract.10
  • Randomised, Double Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial of Echinacea Supplementation in Air Travellers 2012. PubMed Abstract.11

Is Echinacea Safe?

Echinacea is good for most people and generally considered safe in most situations. That said, it's always important to approach the use of herbs with care.


As with most herbs, using echinacea when pregnant is only advised after approval from your primary healthcare provider. Additionally, anyone with known allergies to plants in the asteraceae family should exercise caution.12

Additionally, those with autoimmune disorders or those taking immunosuppressant medications should not take echinacea.13 If in doubt, it is always recommended to consult your healthcare provider for guidance.


bee on echinacea flower

Growing and Harvesting of Banyan's Echinacea

Of all the echinacea species, Echinacea purpurea is the easiest to grow as it is a hardy and fairly tolerant perennial species. It prefers full sun but can tolerate some partial sun, especially in hotter and drier climates. 

The root, which is the plant part used in most Banyan formulations, is harvested after at least two years of growth. The plant can be harvested in both spring or fall, although fall is usually preferable as the moisture content is lower and more conducive to the drying of the roots.

Echinacea angustifolia is a more challenging crop to grow and generally has a lower yield than Echinacea purpurea. The plant has a smaller stature overall, but produces more of a taproot, one of its identifying features when compared to Echinacea purpurea

When in full bloom, the inner core of the flower cone can be enjoyed as a snack while harvesting—it gives a tingling sensation in the mouth, which comes from the alkylamides produced by the plant. These biochemical constituents are often attributed to echinacea's immune-supporting functions.

Honey produced from hives tended near echinacea fields is also divine! 

Sustainability of Echinacea

Our organic echinacea is sustainably sourced and fairly traded. While some species of echinacea present drastic sustainability concerns due to overharvesting in the wild, all of Banyan's echinacea comes from cultivated sources.

As a part of a larger conversation regarding sustainable sourcing, we believe in supporting the well-being of both humans and the planet. This means taking an active role in relationship to our supply chain, each ingredient we work with, and the many important choices that go into creating a product.

We use an ingredient-by-ingredient approach to ensure we are truly supporting the health of the plants, communities, and ecosystems we source from. In turn, we can confidently pass that health along to you through trustworthy, planet-friendly products.


1Boeckmann, Catherine. “Coneflowers.”, December 4, 2023. 

2HS;, Maruo VM;Bernardi MM;Spinosa. “Toxicological Evaluations of Long-Term Consumption of Solanum Lycocarpum St. Hill Fruits in Male and Female Adult Rats.” Phytomedicine : international journal of phytotherapy and phytopharmacology, January 2003. 

3Shadow, Alan. “Eastern Purple Coneflower.” USDA, July 2017. 

4Raman, Ryan. “Echinacea: Benefits, Uses, Side Effects, and Dosage.” Healthline, March 8, 2023. 

5HS;, Maruo VM;Bernardi MM;Spinosa. 

6Petrova, Ani, Manol Ognyanov, Nadezhda Petkova, and Petko Denev. “Phytochemical Characterization of Purple Coneflower Roots (Echinacea Purpurea (L.) Moench.) and Their Extracts.” National Library of Medicine, May 2023. 


8Borlou-Nagy, Cristina, Florin Banica, and Tunde Jurca. “Echinacea Purpurea (L.) Moench: Biological and Pharmacological Properties. A Review.” National Library of Medicine, May 2022. 

9Coelho, Joanna, Lillian Barros, and Maria Inez Dias. “Echinacea Purpurea (L.) Moench: Chemical Characterization and Bioactivity of Its Extracts and Fractions.” National Library of Medicine, June 2020. 

10Gasmi, Amin, Mariia Shanaida, and Oleksandra Oleshchuk. “Natural Ingredients to Improve Immunity.” National Library of Medicine, April 2023. 

11Tiralongo, E, R A Lea, and S S Wee. “Randomised, Double Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial of Echinacea Supplementation in Air Travellers.” Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM, December 2011. 

12“Echinacea.” Mount Sinai Health System, n.d. 

13Raman, Ryan.