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Echinacea is an herbaceous, drought-tolerant, perennial plant of the Asteraceae family. Same family as Dandelion, Calendula, Yarrow and Sunflower.
Echinacea angustifolia, also known as Narrowed Leaf Purple Coneflower, Cone Flower or Black Sampson, is the smallest (16-28 inches tall) of the other Echinacea species as they can grow up to 4 feet tall. The name Echinacea came from Greek echinos, meaning sea urchin or hedgehog because the daisy like flowers have spiky centers. Its disk florets are pink or purple with drooping narrow petals growing on stiff, hairy, green stems which are rising above a mound of leaves.
This plant is native to North America growing in prairies, rocky dry soil, open meadows or woodlands. Literature says that it has been used since 1600 by native Americans for a wide variety of conditions. The tribes used it to soothe stings and for insects and snakebites. A piece of fresh root was chewed to alleviate toothache, soothe sore gums, mouth and throat. It was believed that bathing the skin with the juice of echinacea roots helped heal burns and wounds. In folk medicine Echinacea was indicated in bacterial and viral infections and also used as an alternative for detoxifying the blood. Traditionally used for coughs, flu & colds, blood poisoning, hemorrhoids, abscesses, nasal infections and more.
The taste and energetics of Echinacea is bitter and pungent with cooling, drying and stimulating qualities. Echinacea has affinity to the lymphatic system, immune system, upper respiratory system, urinary tract, blood and skin. For immune system support use Echinacea combined with Astragalus, Elderberry or Rosehips. For upper respiratory tea combine with Elderflowers, Peppermint or Yarrow. For oral health concerns combine with Sage, Thyme, Ginger or Clove.
How to use:
1 teaspoon of Echinacea Powder to 1 cup of boiling water, steep for 15 minutes, strain and drink up to three cups a day.
The powder can be used as a poultice combined with Bentonite clay, Goldenseal, Myrrh and Marshmallow powder blended with water or oil to make a paste. Apply to the affected area, cover and let sit overnight.
It is also popular to use tincture “drops” if you decide that tea is not enough.
Cautions & contraindications:
Anyone with an autoimmune condition should avoid immune boosting herbs like Echinacea. Persons with allergies to Asteraceae (daisy) family (such as Feverfew, Chamomile, or Calendula) should exercise caution with Echinacea, as allergic cross-reactivity to Asteraceae plants is common. Because Echinacea might increase the effects and side effects of some medications, please speak to your practitioner if Echinacea is suitable for you.
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or illness. Please consult your healthcare provider prior to the use of this product if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medications or have a medical condition. Individual results may vary.