Benefits of Echinacea
As a plant, echinacea contains many different compounds. The different species of this plant may vary slightly in the composition of such compounds. At this time, it is not clear which compounds (or combination of compounds) might be responsible for the medicinal actions of the herb.
Some studies suggest that echinacea might work by stimulating the immune system in several different ways, although one study demonstrated that echinacea did not stimulate the immune system of healthy individuals. It is also thought that the herbal supplement might work for the common cold or the flu due to its anti-inflammatory effects.
A few different compounds in echinacea might have antifungal activity, which may be why the herb may help with yeast infections.
Some studies have suggested that short-term use of echinacea is probably safe for children. However, you should not give your child echinacea supplements without the approval of your child's healthcare provider. Children can be more sensitive to the toxicities and side effects of medications and supplements.