Native to the eastern part of the US, echinacea was once known as “Missouri snakeroot” and was traditionally used by Native Americans for fevers and poorly healing wounds. It was introduced into Europe in the 19th century and has been extensively researched since, largely as an antibiotic remedy for treating a broad range of infections. The herb is an immune stimulant that increases overall resistance to disease. Useful in treating the early phases of bacterial and viral infection, echinacea speeds resolution of colds, flu and all kinds of upper respiratory infections. The herb makes an anti-inflammatory treatment for infected wounds and the bites of reptiles and insects. Echinacea is also a potent sialagogue (promotes salivation).
Drink 1 cup (1–2 tsp fresh leaves per cup of boiling water) 3 times daily for common colds, chills, or influenza.
Take 2 tsp of a decoction (1–2 tsp root per cup boiling water) every 2–4 hours for acute stages of infections. Combines well with hemp agrimony.
Use 1 cup of above root decoction or 2 tsp of tincture in a cup of warm water 2–3 times daily for sore throats, mouth ulcers, and tonsillitis.
Take 1 tsp of tincture 3 times daily for urinary infections; combine with an equal amount of cleavers tincture for enlarged lymphatic nodes or glandular fever. For colds and influenza, take 2 tsp of tincture as symptoms occur and repeat up to 4 times daily for 48 hours.
Use on infected cuts, boils, acne, and skin sores.
Prefers fertile, moist, well-drained soil in full sun. Sow seeds in containers in spring and pot; when well established, plant in permanent positions. Alternatively, divide established plants in autumn or spring or take root cuttings in late autumn or early winter.
The leaves can be gathered throughout the growing season, and the roots of four-year-old plants are lifted in autumn after flowering is over. The seed harvested at maturity and dried.
- Echinacea purpurea
- Root, leaves, seed
- Abscesses, Acne, Blemishes, Bladdar Irritation, Boils, Bowel Infections, Bronchitis, Bronchial Health, Cysts, Fever, Flu, Immune Deficiency Disease, Acquired, Immunity, Interferon Production, Lymph Glands, Health, Radiation Recuperation, Recuperation from Illness, Skin Health, Skin Softener, Viruses, AIDS, Blemishes, Cancer, Chemotherapy Recuperation, Colds, Tumors