In 2012 the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MRHA) issued advice not to give the herb echinacea to under-12s due to a risk of allergies. Please ignore this: echinacea is top-class for immunity for people of all ages!
The herbal medicines industry is agreed that this directive was over-cautious and scaremongering. According to Vogel, suppliers of the top echinacea products for children, ‘Evidence about allergic reactions in young children is confined to just five cases of adults who had allergic reactions, and that was in studies published 10 years ago.’
The MHRA itself agrees that these were not serious reactions and has indicated that ‘this is not a serious safety issue’ and that ‘parents should not worry if they have given echinacea to children under 12 in the past’.
According to Dr Jen Tan, of Vogel, ‘Since introducing a monitoring system for reporting side-effects in 2003 we have not had one single report of an allergic reaction following use of Echinaforce in children.’