Also known as Echinacea purpurea, Echinacea pallida, Echinacea angustifolia, Coneflower, Snakeroot, Purple Coneflower, and Blacksamson.
Introduction The most popular American medicinal plant is echinacea hundreds of millions of dollars worth of echinacea products are sold in the United States and Germany every year. While the exact chemical compounds responsible for the plant's healing efficacies are unclear, its therapeutic value is well known.
Constituents The complex sugars of the herb are its immune stimulants. Polysaccharides and Echinaceoside.
Parts Used The root, leaves, stems and flowers of Echinacea purpurea, Echinacea angustifolia, or Echinacea pallida.
Typical Preparations The above-ground parts of the plant are used to make fresh juice, infusions (warm-water teas), and tinctures. The roots are used in either cut or powdered form for capsules, fluid extracts, teas, and tinctures.
Summary Echinacea is herbal medicines first choice of treatment for colds. Stimulating the immune system, the herbs can also be used to treat chronic yeast infections in women and to prevent urinary tract infections in both sexes. Administered in times of need, this helpful ally can assist the body's immune system in treating a wide range of disorders. There has been some doubt over the ability of the body to absorb the medicinally active ingredients orally (intravenous injections being considered the only effective way to administer the plant), but recent research has demonstrated significant absorption from orally administered applications. The roots and the whole plant are considered particularly beneficial in the treatment of sores, wounds, burns etc, possessing cortisone-like and antibacterial activity. The plant was used by North American Indians as a universal application to treat the bites and stings of all types of insects. To date the Echinacea angustifolia is presumed to be more effective than the purpurea or pallida.
Precautions Use with caution if you are allergic to ragweed.
For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
This information courtesy of MOUNTAIN ROSE HERBS, with full, written permission for reuse. For further traditional information concerning Echinacea, please visit this excellent resource from Botanical.com. Used with full, written permission.