ECHINACEA (Echinacea angustifolia, Echinacea purpurea, Echinacea pallid)
Other names: Coneflower, Rudbeckia, Black Sampson
The Echinacea plant is named after the Greek word for ‘hedgehog’, ‘Echinos’, in reference to the shape of the sharp-pointed leaves.
Echinacea is used for infectious disease recurrence due to a decrease in body defences and makes for an excellent immune system booster.
Echinacea was highly valued as a medicinal herb by Native Americans and early settlers in America, who used it for healing weeping wounds, boils and abscesses, and to treat snakebite. They also used it as a mouthwash, to make poultices and as a health promoting tea. In the Middle Ages, Echinacea was used as an aphrodisiac.
Today it has an extensively researched and confirmed reputation for enhancing immune function and is used as a preventative for colds and influenza. Echinacea is also considered to be useful in the treatment of upper respiratory tract infections.
Echinacea is anti-toxic, stimulates and detoxifies the kidneys and live, is a magnificent herbal anti-biotic and bloody purifier and is known as a potent immune system enhancer. Echinacea is commonly used for skin and blood conditions such as acne, boils, eczema and circulatory conditions. Echinacea is also used for post-viral syndrome, glandular fever, stress and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Echinacea is a major blood purifying herb, particularly good for eczema, acne, boils, septicaemia, liver conditions and rheumatism. Echinacea has a tonic effect on the lymphatic system and glands as it promotes the production of anti-bodies.
Medicinally, the rootstock of the Echinacea plant is the most potent, although all parts of the plant can be used. Extract of Echinacea contains an interferon-like action which destroys invading viruses and bacteria, and increases the number of white blood cells.
Echinacea is available as a decoction, tincture, extract, tablet, infusion and capsule. It may also be applied topically as a cream, ointment or poultice.
Echinacea can be easily grown as a garden or container plant.
Echinacea is not recommended for those who have diabetes mellitus or diseases of the immune system such as AIDS and MS.