Traditionally used for a range of infections and malignancies, the roots and herb of echinacea species have attracted scientific interest due to their purported immune stimulant properties. Oral preparations of echinacea are popular in Europe and the United States for the prevention and treatment of upper respiratory tract infections or the common cold.
The MHRA recommendation resulted from the conclusions of the European Herbal Medicinal Products Committee (HMPC) and from the UK Herbal Medicines Advisory Committee (HMAC). These committees reported that the risk of allergic reaction to echinacea is higher in younger children. The MHRA stated that echinacea is still safe for children over 12 and adults.
The products Echinaforce Junior Cold & Flu Tablets and Echinaforce Chewable Cold & Flu Tablets will be relabeled to reflect this recommendation. The MHRA is working to relabel other echinacea products on the market.
For more information about echinacea, please visit Natural Standard's Foods, Herbs and Supplements database.