Common Name: Purple Cone Flower
Latin Name: Echinacea angustifolia
A perennial native to North America, Echinacea has been used by Native Americans for hundreds of years for medicinal purposes and is now regaining its importance because extracts from its roots have been found to be effective in strengthening the immune system. More than 200 pharmaceutical preparations are made from Echinacea plants in W. Germany, making it one of the most popular plants on the marketplace. There are nine native species of the purple cone flower, but the most popular are Angustifolia L. Purpurea L. and Pallida L.. Coneflower in the garden is among the most beautiful of native North American plants. Its showy daisy like flowers around a prominent center or cone are easy to grow, strong and vigorous – a reflection of its immune enhancing properties. A preparation of the fresh root produces a tingling and numbing sensation on the tongue.
Parts Used: Roots, leaves and flowers
Constituents: Volitile oil, glycoside, echinaceine, phenolics
Actions: Anti-microbial, anti-viral, alterative
Medicinal Uses: The most important immune-system booster of our times, Echinacea works by increasing our T-cell activity, thereby boosting the body’s first line of defense against colds, flus, and many other illnesses. It is key in helping rid the body of both bacterial and viral infections, including boils and cold sores. Though it is potent and strong, it is safe to use on children. It should be taken frequently, in small doses in tea or tincture form, tapering off as symptoms improve. It is also helpful as a spray for sore throats or as a gargle or mouth wash for inflamed gums. Note: Echinacea loses its effectiveness if used continuously. It is best used in cycles, generally 5 days on and 2 days. There are no generally recognized side effects of Echinacea overdose.
Used In: Lip Balm