Echinacea is an herb with a variety of species and numerous medicinal benefits. The root, the leaves, and the flowers of the plant is used for healing purposes. But using it more than the recommended dosage can be detrimental for you.
Top 10 Echinacea Side Effects
Want to know how this herb can take a toll on your health? Read on to know about the top 10 side effects of Echinacea:
1. Damages Liver
If you have gone through a liver transplant and consume echinacea for as long as 8 to 10 weeks, you can end up damaging your liver to a large extent. High doses of the herb increase the functions of liver enzymes significantly, which makes the transplant patient vulnerable to various liver disorders and eventually damages the organ. It can also cause liver inflammation in people who are taking anabolic steroids, methotrexate, amiodarone, and other similar drugs regularly.
2. Auto-Immune Disorder
Excessive consumption of echinacea can take a toll on your immune system. As a result, you may develop severe auto-immune disorders like systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), pemphigus vulgaris, type-1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis (MS), rheumatoid arthritis, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, certain types of cancer, and so on. Taking the herb while using an immunosuppressant can also reduce your immunity power.
3. Causes Blood Disorder
According to scientists, overconsumption of echinacea can lead to a certain blood disorder called thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP), which can lead to numerous small and large blood clots within the blood vessels all through the body. It decreases the numbers of platelets as well as white blood corpuscles (WBCs) in the bloodstream and restricts the flow of pure, oxygen-rich blood to brain, heart and kidneys. This severe side effect of echinacea can lead to a number of health issues.
4. Upsets The Stomach
Like many other herbs, eating too much Eechinacea can also leave us with an upset stomach. Different symptoms that you may have to face are stomach pain, abdominal cramps, bloating, belching, diarrhea, etc. Make sure that you take it as per the recommendation of your doctor to avoid such situations.
People, who already have respiratory issues like asthma, atopy, etc., should stay away from echinacea as it might worsen their conditions. Conversely, those who have no such problems may also develop fresh symptoms like allergic asthma, hay fever, shortness of breath, chest tightness, lung spasm, wheezing, and so on.
6. Causes Nausea / Vertigo
It has been reported that the long-term use of echinacea causes nausea and dizziness, especially in those who are already prone to these problems. You may also find yourself suffering from vertigo, vomiting, dry mouth, loss of sensation throughout the tongue, disorientation, sore throat, insomnia, etc. during this period.
7. Causes Abnormal Heartbeat
Even though there is no evidence to suggest that this herb can cause fatal cardiovascular problems, but it is a known fact that overconsumption of echinacea can result in irregular heartbeat. It basically causes atrial fibrillation or abnormal heart rhythm, which is accompanied by mild chest pain, fainting, trembles, etc.
8. Increases Bleeding
Echinacea is known to have anti-coagulant properties, which make the clotting of blood difficult, increasing the risk of bleeding. So, if you are planning to go through a surgery, make sure that you stop taking this herb. Or else, you might have to face severe complications due to extreme blood loss.
9. Causes Allergic Reactions
Allergic reactions are also pretty common in people taking Echinacea frequently. Those who have sensitivity to ragweed, marigolds, daisies, and similar other plants, are known to be more vulnerable to allergies caused by echinacea, such as rashes, redness, facial swelling, inflammation, itchiness, hives, and sometimes even anaphylactic shock.
[ Read: Treatments For Dry Skin Allergies ]
Though rare, echinacea can also cause high fever in children and in some adults. It is usually accompanied by difficulty in swallowing. However, it is advised that you consult your doctor if ever such a situation arises.
So, keep these things in mind and limit your echinacea doses accordingly. Just because something is good for our health does not mean we should forgo all caution and binge on it! Be aware of how much of echinacea is suitable for your health and never step over the recommended dosage—if you follow the directions, you’ll be able to reap the benefits of this herb without worrying about its side effects.
Did you know about these echinacea side effects? Do you know of any other? Do share with us in the comments section below.
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