Echinacea: Benefits, Uses, and How to Take It

Published on April 30, 2021

Plants don’t just add color to our world. They are also powerful forces that can support our health and well-being. Echinacea is one of those plants.* In this article, we’ll discuss Echinacea uses and how you can incorporate it into your wellness routine.

What Is Echinacea?

Echinacea, a member of the daisy family, is a gorgeous flowering plant as well as a remarkable herb. With long green stems and pink or purple petals, this perennial can grow up to four feet tall.

It is native to North America and has been used traditionally for hundreds of years, trusted by Native Americans and Eclectic physicians. Today, Echinacea is used as an immune-supporting herb.*

Echinacea angustifolia and Echinacea purpurea, two different species of Echinacea, are both used in Gaia Herbs herbal supplements. Since they are so similar, for the purpose of this article, we’ll simply refer to Echinacea in general.

That said, let’s discuss Echinacea uses so you can understand how this beautiful plant can support your body and help you stay well.*

Echinacea for Immune Support*

Without a doubt, Echinacea is most popular for its immune-supporting properties, and research backs up the herb’s ability to help the immune system do its job to keep us well.*1

In fact, we’ve conducted our own Echinacea studies here at Gaia Herbs: We were awarded a grant by the National Institutes of Health to carry out five years of research on this herb and study the various constituents of both Echinacea species that we grow on the Gaia Farm.

We looked at where the active constituents are found in the plant (roots, seeds, stems, leaves, flowers, etc.) and their different actions. Excitingly, we made some significant discoveries about polysaccharides and alkylamides, two of the plant’s most beneficial compounds.

In the end, we found that preparations made from Echinacea stems, leaves, and flowers (where polysaccharides are highest) support overall immune health.*

That makes this sort of supplement more appropriate for maintaining a healthy immune system all year long; it is taken in a smaller serving and made for daily use.*

We also learned something about alkylamides, which are concentrated in the root. They too promote a healthy immune system, but our research shows they are the most beneficial in the short term, for more immediate support.*

Herbal supplements containing Echinacea root are typically taken more frequently and in higher amounts for a short period of time.*

Now that you know about these Echinacea uses, let’s talk about how you can incorporate Echinacea into your daily routine and during challenging immune seasons as well.

How to Take Echinacea

All Echinacea supplements are not created equally. As discussed above, the actions of an Echinacea herbal supplement depend on which part of the plant is used. But you don’t have to be an Echinacea expert to find the product that’s just right for you.

We’ve taken the guesswork out: Below is a guide to our Echinacea supplements, including when to use them.

Based directly on the research we conducted, we specially formulated two Echinacea products—one for daily immune support and one for support at onset.*

We’ll explain both of them and share our other Echinacea supplements. But first, we want to discuss the source of the Echinacea used in Gaia Herbs products.

Both of the species (Echinacea angustifolia and Echinacea purpurea) used in our supplements are grown on our Certified Organic Gaia Farm. During the growing season, Echinacea flowers bloom and buzz with the various pollinators that call our farm home.

At Gaia Herbs, we are firm believers that the quality of an herbal supplement can only be as good as the quality of the herbs that go into it. That’s why many of the herbs in our products are grown on our farm, where we can cultivate them exactly the way we want.

For plants used in our supplements that we cannot grow on our farm or in the quantity that we need, our network of organic and sustainable communities allows us to source herbs from where they grow best and where conditions are ideal to produce the highest possible level of botanical compounds.

Learn more about the source of all Gaia Herbs products at, the world’s first herb traceability platform.

You can take Echinacea in capsules, as a throat spray, or as a liquid extract in water. Let’s take a look.

Echinacea Capsules

Gaia Herbs Quick Defense

  Gaia Herbs Quick Defense with Echinacea

Gaia Herbs Quick Defense combines both Echinacea species with Elderberry and Ginger, making it a fast-acting formula to support immune response at onset.*

These Liquid Phyto-Caps® feature Echinacea root harvested in the fall and are designed to deliver the highest concentration of alkylamides.* These are, as you’ll remember, the constituents most effective at promoting a healthy immune response at onset.*

Take two capsules five times daily for two days.

Gaia Herbs Whole Body Defense

  Gaia Herbs Whole Body Defense features Echinacea

The next Echinacea capsule we will mention is a supplement designed for year-round immune support.* Gaia Herbs Whole Body Defense features Echinacea aerial parts harvested in the spring and then water-extracted.

This extraction method helps preserve beneficial polysaccharides, the constituents known for helping maintain the body’s natural defenses.*

In addition to Echinacea, this formula contains Astragalus and Maitake mushrooms to support the immune system and to help sustain overall good health so you can stay feeling well.*

To support your immune system throughout the season and all year long, take one capsule twice a day between meals.*

Echinacea Supreme

Gaia Herbs Echinacea Supreme contains concentrated plant extracts of both Echinacea species grown on our own Certified Organic farm.*

At onset, for two to four days, take two capsules every two hours, up to eight times daily.

Echinacea Throat Spray

Echinacea Goldenseal Propolis Throat Spray

  Gaia Herbs Echinacea Goldenseal Propolis Throat Spray

Gaia Herbs Echinacea Goldenseal Propolis Throat Spray is an immune-support product and one of our most popular among singing professionals and anyone experiencing throat stress.*

This herbal throat spray contains a harmonious blend of Echinacea in combination with Peppermint, Oregon Grape, Licorice, Bee Propolis extract, and Goldenseal root, a natural source of Berberine.*

Simply spray into the back of your throat three times hourly.

Echinacea Liquid Extracts

Echinacea Supreme

  Gaia Herbs Echinacea Supreme

To take Echinacea via a liquid extract, turn to Gaia Herbs Echinacea Supreme. This is a USDA Certified Organic supplement that’s great for use at home, the office, and while traveling.

If you’ve never used a liquid extract before, it’s easy. Simply use the dropper to put 40-60 drops in a small amount of water. Drink four to six times daily between meals. We recommend taking it for two to four days.

Gaia Kids Echinacea Supreme

Adults aren’t the only ones who can benefit from Echinacea! Our Gaia Kids Echinacea Supreme formula was developed by a Pediatric Naturopath to help maintain your little one’s immune defenses.*

This supplement tastes delicious, so you can easily dilute it in water or juice and give it to your child up to three times daily. Refer to the instructions on the bottle for the correct serving based on your child’s age.

Echinacea for Your Well-Being*

Echinacea is a beautiful plant with powerful active constituents that provide immune-supporting benefits.* In this article, we discussed Echinacea uses as well as how you can easily take Echinacea for your well-being with herbal supplements.*

For example, for overall immune support, turn to Gaia Herbs Whole Body Defense.* At onset, count on Gaia Herbs Quick Defense.*

Whether you choose capsules, liquid extracts, or a throat spray, your body will reap the benefits of this wonderful herb.


1. Zili Zhai et al., “Enhancement of Innate and Adaptive Immune Functions by Multiple Echinacea Species,” Journal of Medicinal Food 10, no. 3 (2007): 423-434,