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Numerous forms of Echinacea are available in the United States. Dried herb and concentrated extracts in oral dosage forms make up the bulk of the products available. There are also available fresh, freeze-dried, and liquid alcoholic extracts, which come in a variety of forms including tablets, capsules, lozenges, liquids, teas, and salves. A good number of these products are combined with other herbs such as ginseng, goldenseal, and various other supplements to enhance the efficacy of Echinacea.

Consumer Reports analyzed 19 different Echinacea products in its February 2004 issue to determine content and potency. As a primary standard they used the phenolic content as a measure of potency. The products varied with their phenolic content, some from bottle to bottle of the same manufacturer. Some of the combination products that were tested were found to have unacceptable lead levels according to California standards. Only three of the products were deemed to have adequate labeling with regards to precautions (5).

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