Latin name: Echinacea purpurea, Echinacea angustifolia
Common names: Purple coneflower
Echinacea, also called “purple cone flower” or “coneflower” has multiple purposes that could help out therapeutically. Most commonly known to strengthen a person’s immune system, it is a herb that people may take everyday for prevention. There are 9 different kinds of echinacea but the most commonly used is the Echinacea purpurea.
While other herbs could only use their leaves and roots, this herb could be used entirely to make into teas, tonics and juices.
Way back in history, natives would use this herb for many different purposes including the treatment of poisonous snake bites and also bites from insects. In the 1800’s this herb was used in parts of the United States for various medical purposes such as antibiotics. This herb comes in different forms, capsules, tablets, juices, teas, extracts and tinctures. Topical creams, lotions, ointments, skin washes and toothpastes are also available at herbal stores.
What it is used for:
- Could be used to prevent colds and flus since it is said that this herb strengthens the immune system
- Treatment for acne, boils and psoriasis
- When used as a gargle could be beneficial in sore throats
- Treatment for wounds and ulcers
- Could be helpful get rid of microbial infections
- Helpful in treating cystitis when combined with Yarrow and Bearberry
- Reported to be effective for infections in the respiratory and urinary system
How it is used:
The roots and the parts of this plant that is above the ground is dried to make topical creams, liquid extracts, teas, fresh squeezed juice and other external preparations.
Side effects and caution:
- Take caution in using this plant if you have the following conditions: multiple sclerosis, collagen disorders, white blood cell ailments, HIV/AIDS, autoimmune disorders or pulmonary tuberculosis
- Heed caution if you have plant allergies or other herbal treatments to prevent mild to fatal allergic reactions
- Don’t use herb if pregnant, breast feeding or younger than 7 years old
- Stay away from this herb when taking steroidal medications or other immunosuppressant medications
- Side effects include: gastrointestinal ailments, nausea and vomiting, heartburn, dizziness, dry mouth, muscle and joint pain, insomnia
Traditionally, echinacea has been known to treat common colds, flu and other infections. It has been said to help stimulate our immune systems and fight off all types of infections because of its anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. You may wish to try this herb if you notice that you are prone to catching infections easily since it could improve the immune system.