On my walk I discovered the native North American Purple Cone Flower otherwise known as Echinachea spp. It’s also known by many other names such as Black Sampson, Black Susan, Hedgehog, Indian head, Rock-up-hat to name a few. I love seeing it grow in the wild as it looks beautiful amongst the other local wildflowers, it’s also a food source for butterflies. This gorgeous flower with the protruding disk center is well known in the herbal and folk medicine world. The name Echinachea is derived from the Greek word ἐχῖνος (ekhinos), meaning sea urchin because of its central disk resembling a sea urchin.
This amazing perennial from the Asteraceae ( sunflower) family is often used in ornamental gardens for its beautiful blossoms, and drought resistant qualities. Its mainly known and used in Natural medicine. Native Americans (often the Plains Indians) would use Echinachea for easing symptoms of the common cold, as an antiseptic for sore throats, as a pain reliever or for treatment of snake bites. According to the journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases who performed a meta-analysis of 14 unique studies found that Echinachea reduces cold time by one-and-a-half days and reduces the chance of getting a cold by 58% thus making it a powerful natural cold remedy.
It’s also a good immune system strengthener. It’s also found to be useful in reducing anxiety symptoms, bladder infections, urinary tract infections, yeast infections, strep throat, ear infections, and has cancer fighting potential.
For medicinal purposes, use any one of these types Angustifolia, Purpurea or Pallida. All parts of the herb can be used. Use in a tea, as an extract, tincture or juice.
(up to 3x a day)
- Echinacea ( 1/2 cup fresh) or ( 1/4 dried)
- honey (if desired)
In a small pot boil a cup of water (8 oz). Turn heat off then add in the fresh echinacea (flowers,leaves or roots) and steep for 10-15 minutes. Strain out plant material, add honey or sweetener ( if desired). Enjoy your tea.
Disclaimer: As always, when using herbs as a natural medicine caution should be taken. Consult with your doctor to make sure Echinachea is right for you. Avoid if you have allergies to ragweed or marigolds or sensitivity to Asteraceae family. Restrict your use to no more than 7-10 days as the body becomes used to it which makes it lose its effectiveness. Stop use for about a week then resume use.
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Date: Aug 5, 2019