Echinacea pallida
Echinacea angustifolia
[ek-in-AY-shee-uh an-gus-tee-FOH-lee-uh] Family: Compositae
Names: E. purpurea: purple coneflower, black
Sampson, rudbeckia, Missouri coneflower,
Echninacée pourpre

E. purpurea: Stately plant with a
striking flower with a height of 3 feet and a width
of 2.5 feet, sometimes la rger. The flowers are a few
on each stalk, bright pink-purple, petals of 3 inches
long, around a raised center disk or orange. Heads
are up to 6 inches wide. The leaves are sparse,
narrow, pointed, and very 6 inches long. The fruit is
brown, papery seeds. The root is long, spindly,
grouped together in older plants with a fleshy white
inside covered by a dark skin. It blooms from July Echinacea purpurea
Cultivation: E. purpurea: A perennial to Zone 3.
It germinates 10-20 days, best if stratified 4 weeks
in the refrigerator. Plant shallow, needs sunlight to
germinate. Space 1.5 to 2feet. Prefers soil
temperature of 70-75F. Soil should be well drained, studies show that extracts improve white blood cell fairly poor, can be fairly dry with a pH of 6-8. count and create other immune responses. Prefers full sun or light shade in very hot climates. Echinacin, found in Echinacea, stops bacteria from Plant from seed or divide the crown on 2 year or forming the hyaluronidase enzyme, which helps older plants. It will bloom the first year from seed make cells more susceptible to infection. It is a if started early. Root division is not suggested too mild natural antibiotic, 6 milligrams of one often but young plants can be removed from the glycoside equals 1 unit of penicillin, that is main rootstock and replanted. It takes 3-4 years to effective against strep and staph infections. A study develop roots large enough for a substantial harvest. done with over 200 children found that the group who took echinacea, along with two other herbs, History: Botanists named the plant after the
had fewer colds and, when they did get sick, had hedgehog (Echinus) to describe its prickly, conelike fewer days of fever. Similar results were observed center. The Plains Indians used various species for in studies with upper respiratory tract infections and treatment of sore throats, toothaches, infections, viral infections. It is obvious to researchers that wounds, snakebites, and skin problems as well as mumps, measles, smallpox, and cancer. When stimulating constituents, although the mechanism is these illnesses occurred, they would suck on the not fully understood. Some components are better root. They also applied root poultices to all manner extracted into water, others into alcohol. Small of wounds, used Echinacea mouthwash for painful amounts taken a few times daily work better than teeth and gums and drank the tea to treat ailments. larger doses. Echinacea is also more stimulating to Samples of Echinacea were uncovered in campsites immunity when taken in an on-off regime, say 2 from the 1600s, but its use probably goes back much further. Since the 1930s, over 300 scientific The same chemical (HA) that helps shield articles have been written about it. It was included tissues against germs also lubricates the joints. in King’s American Dispensatory after the eclectic Arthritis breaks down HA, but echinacea’s HA- doctor, John King, test the herb and successfully protective action may have an anti-inflammatory used it to treat ee stings, chronic nasal congestion, effect, lending credence to the herb’s traditional use in treating arthritis. German researchers have successfully treated rheumatoid arthritis with Constituents: E. purpurea: Essential oil includes
echinacea preparations. The herb is a helpful remedy for treating allergies, such as asthma polyacetylenes, isobutylalkamines with olefinic and acetylenic bonds, glycoside, polysaccharide, resistance in several ways. At the blood level, it betaine, inulin, caffeic acid esters (mainly accelerates phagocytosis, the means by which macrophages and other antibodies attack and remove bacteria. At the cellular levels, Echinacea Constituents: E. angustifolia: alkamides (mostly
helps to reduce the production of an enzyme that isobutylamides with olefinic and acetylenic bonds); breaks down hyaluronic acid, the compound that caffeic acid esters (mainly echinacoside and occurs between cells to bind them together. cynarin); polysaccharides; volatile oil (humulene); Because of its multidirectional means of immune system support, its primary usefulness, depends on a healthy immune system. Without a healthy Properties:
population of unencumbered antibodies to work detoxifying, increases sweating, heals wounds, with, echinacea’s capacity to fight infection is limited to its simple, and less-than-impressive, antiseptic actions. This means that timing is critical Character: cool, dry, mainly pungent, bitter
to echinacea’s effectiveness—this herb should be Meridians/Organs affected: lungs, stomach, liver
taken at the first onset of infectious symptoms, otherwise its activity will amount to a losing battle Medicinal Uses: Echinacea root is a popular
against microbial opponents that have already medicinal herb because it activates the body’s immune system, increasing the chance of fighting Echinacea tincture can be added to juice off almost any disease. It is very nontoxic. Clinical three times a day and taken along with other herbal approaches for athlete’s foot. It is also used to treat mastitis and nipple fissures in nursing women. marshmallow roots in a saucepan and simmer for Solvent: The acid constituents in Echinacea are about 5 minutes. Turn off heat and add remaining poorly water soluble and require a strong alcohol ingredients. Steep for 15 minutes, then strain out base to extract them into a tincture form, but the herbs. For a 50-lb child give 1-2 cups daily. plant’s polysaccharide constituents are easily extracted into water and largely destroyed by Homeopathy: Tincture of the whole fresh plant for alcohol. That is why a 50% alcohol menstrum is an appendicitis, bites of rabid animals, blood excellent extraction method allowing the acids to be poisoning, carbuncles, dphtheria, enteric fever, dissolved in the alcohol half and the polysacchrides gangrene, poisoned wounds, pyoemia, rhus to be soluble in the half that’s water. poisoning, scarlatina, snake bites, syphilis, typhoid, Tincture of root: For chronic infections, take ½ tsp Decoction of root: To treat throat infections, gargle Flower Essence: For those feeling shattered by
with 50 ml 3 times a day. Take 2-5 ml doses every severe trauma or abuse which has destroyed one’s 2-3 hours for influenza, chills, and urinary tract sense of Self or those threatened by physical or infections, during the first couple of days of acute emotional disintegration. Echinacea flower essence symptoms. For more chronic conditions, use stimulates and awakens the true inner Self. This is standard doses and combine with other suitable a fundamental remedy for many soul and physical herbs such as buchu and couchgrass for kidney illnesses, especially when the individual has infections, or cleavers for glandular fever. May be experienced shattering and destructive forces. used in 10 ml doses for food poisoning or Echinacea restores the soul’s true self-identity and essential dignity, in relationship to the Earth and to Wash: Use the decoction or diluted tincture for infected wounds. Bathe the affected area Recipes:
Powder: Use for infected skin conditions such as Echinacea and Sheep Sorrel Dressing
boils (combine with marshmallow) or weeping, 3 Tbsp each powdered echinacea root and sheep Combinations: With yarrow or bearberry for Winter Shield Protective Tincture 3 parts Echinacea root (fresh preferred) 2 parts blue elderberries, fresh or dried sealed jar. This is a tangy immune stimulant. (An References:
Combine herbs and fruits in a glass jar with The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants, Andrew a tight fitting lid. Cover with brandy. Let sit in a Chevallier, Dorling Kindersley, 1996; ISBN: 0-7894- dark place for 2 weeks, shaking each day. Strain off the plant material and bottle in dark bottles. Flower Essence Repertory, Patricia Kaminski and Richard Katz, Flower Essence Society, 1996; ISBN: 0- Allergy Tea
An Herbal Feast, Risa Mornis, Keats, 1998; ISBN: 0- ½ tsp each echinacea root and marshmallow root Herbs for Pets, Mary Wulff-Tilford and Gregory Tilford, The Illustrated Herb Encyclopedia, Kathi Keville, Mallard Press, 1991; ISBN: 0-7924-5307-7
Companion Plants, 7247 No Coolville Ridge Rd.,
Athens, OH 45701; 740-592-4643; plants, seed
Crimson Sage, PO Box 337, Colton, OR 97017;
Plants The Rosemary House, 120 S Market St., Mechanicsburg, PA 17055; 717-697-5111; tincture HERBALPEDIA™ is brought to you by The Herb Growing & Marketing Network, PO Box 245, Silver Spring, PA 17575-0245; 717-393-3295; FAX: 717-393-9261; email: [email protected] URL: and Editor: Maureen Rogers. Copyright 2001. All rights reserved. Subscription fee: $48/yr. Material herein is derived from journals, textbooks, etc. THGMN cannot be held responsible for the validity of the information contained in any reference noted herein, for the misuse of information or any adverse effects by use of any stated material presented.


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