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What can be treated with echinacea and goldenseal?

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Quick Answer

Echinacea may be effective to treat infections such as the common cold and vaginal yeast infections, while no scientific evidence is available for the efficacy of goldenseal for treating any condition, WebMD states. Evidence is lacking for echinacea's efficacy against conditions including leukopenia, tonsillitis, influenza, gingivitis, urinary tract infections and allergies. Despite claims that goldenseal can conceal illegal substances in urine tests, evidence does not support this.

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Full Answer

Despite inconclusive or lacking scientific evidence, echinacea is used to treat various infections, skin damage, and conditions such as attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder and rattlesnake bites, WebMD notes. There is limited evidence suggesting that echinacea may be effective for treating conditions such as tonsillitis, uveitis, leukopenia, influenza, urinary tract infections, chronic fatigue syndrome, genital herpes and gingivitis. Echinacea may stimulate specific chemicals that reduce inflammation, and it may be able to raise immune system performance.

Although there is no evidence for the effectiveness of goldenseal for any treatment, some people use it for conditions including digestive disorders, upper respiratory tract infections, and urinary tract infections, WebMD states. Goldenseal is ineffective at hiding substances in urine including cocaine, opiates, amphetamines, phencyclidine, barbiturates, benzodiazepines and tetrahydrocannabinol. Goldenseal contains the chemical berberine, which is documented to have some favorable properties, but berberine absorption through goldenseal consumption is very low.

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