Common Names | Parts Usually Used | Plant(s) & Culture | Where Found | Medicinal Properties | Biochemical Information
Legends, Myths and Stories | Uses | Formulas or Dosages | Nutrient Content | How Sold | Warning | Resource Links | Bibliography
- Echinacea Angustifolia L.
- Echinacea Purpurea L.
- Echinacea Pallida L.
- Composite family
- Sacred Plant (by Native Americans)
- Black sampson
- Narrow-leaved purple coneflower
- Purple coneflower
- Red sunflower
- Sampson root
Roots and leaves
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A perennial, native to North America, Coneflower gets its common name from the arrangement of the florets of its showy, daisy-like flowers around a prominent center or “cone.” Sturdy branching stems
Both Angustifolia and Purpurea are equal in their effects, but the Angustifolia has long tap root,
The Purpurea has a rootstock and does not penetrate quite so deeply into the earth. Purple Coneflower (Echinacea Purpurea) is distinguished from other purple coneflowers by its oval coarsely toothed leaves, flatter (less cone-shaped) disk, and the orange-tipped bristles on the flowerheads. Flowers June-Sept. The leaves and root are used, especially in West German products, as stimulants to the immune system, for the treatment of colds, flu, and other common ailments.
Pale Purple Coneflower (Echinacea Pallida) grows from
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E. angustifolia is found in prairies. Texas, western Oklahoma, western Kansas, Nebraska, west to east Colorado, eastern Montans, North Dakota, Man. and Sask. Canada.
E. Pallida is found in the prairies and glades of Arkansas to Wisconsin, Minnesota, eastern Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska.
E. Purpurea is found in open woods, thickets; cultivated in gardens. Michigan, Ohio to Louisiana, eastern Texas, Oklahoma.
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Alterative, antibacterial, antiviral, analgesic, digestive, tonic,
antiseptic, depurative, febrifuge, sialagogue, diaphoretic
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An essential oil containing the oncolytic hydrocarbon (z) -1,
- (a heteroxylan) containing arabinose, xylose, glucose and
- (an arabinorhamnogalactic) containing rhamnose, arabinose, galactose and glucutonic acid; echinacen (an isoabutylkylamide comprising 0.01% of the dried root of
E. angustifoliaand 0.001% of the dried root of E. pallida;ecinolone (appolyacetylene compound from E. angustifolia);echinacoside (a glycoside found in E. angustifolia,at concentrations of 1% of root preparations; echinacin B;an unsaturated aliphatic sesquiterpene, betain; inulin; inuloid; fructose, sucrose; higher fatty acids; 6.9% protein in air dried roots of E. angustifolia,5.3% in E. purpurea;tannin; vitamin C;enzymes; an unidentifieglycoside; resin; acids and thirteen polyacetylene compounds. May also be used as carminitive, stimulant, vulnerary.
Echinacea has been long used by Native Americans for Medicinal purposes and is now regaining its importance because extracts from its roots, etc., have been found to be effective in strengthening the immune system. It shows promise as a source of potent drugs for use with AIDS and other afflictions. Almost 25% of the drugs we use are based on plants. All three varieties are used in a like manner, however, some consider the
A folk remedy for brown recluse spider bites.
The Native Americans, for instance, had the victim of a snake-bite chew the leaves and roots of the plant. Swallowing the juice when chewed, the pulp was made into a poultice for the wound area after the cite was lanced with a knife and venom sucked out until blood was flowing. It was thought that so doing the patient would be free of snake-bite symptoms in just
Many studies show that echinacea prevents the formation of an enzyme called hyaluronidase, which destroys a natural barrier between healthy tissue and unwanted pathogenic organisms. Therefore, echinacea helps the body maintain its line of defense against unwanted invaders, especially viruses. Echinacea is less depleting on the body than golden seal, and so is preferable for more long term usage.
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Echinacea stimulates the body’s immune system against all infectious and inflammatory conditions, counteracts pus, and stimulates digestion. It specifically strengthens the immune system against pathogenic infection by stimulating phagocytosis,
Root (chewed, or in tea) used for snakebites, spider bites, cancers, toothaches, wounds, external ulcers, bed sores, burns, boils, acne, eczema, hard-to-heal sores and wounds, flu, fever, and colds.
Blood poisoning, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), lowers blood pressure, fevers, carbuncles (boils), acne, eczema, bee stings and poisonous insects and snakes, erysipelas, AIDS, restore normal immune function in patients receiving chemotherapy, gangrene, diphtheria, tonsillitis, sores and infections, wounds (especially hard-to-heal), pustules, abscesses, lymph glands, strep throat, excellent blood cleanser, flatulence, syphilitic conditions, gonorrhea, prostatitis, vaginal yeast infection, candida, peritonitis, prevention of growth and development of pathogenic organisms, stimulation of the immune system, typhoid fever and indigestion.
There have been studies using echinacea in the food of dogs and cats with infections. The results were very positive and the conclusions were that the herb was effective in fighting infections in animals. The dosages are quite different for animals than for humans. Recommended doses are to use approximately 1.0 g of herb per 10 kg of body weight.
The Sioux Indians used fresh scraped root for rabies (hydrophobia), snakebites, and septicemia.
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Do not use the root once it has lost its odor.
Decoction: use 1 tsp. root with
Tincture: take 15 to
These vary with the condition under treatment. For instance, strep throat needs to be treated with a gargle, snakebite is treated by chewing the leaves and roots by the patient and applying to pulp to the snakebite area after the venom is sucked out and it is bleeding freely. Preparations vary, dosages vary. Commercial compounds vary. The most common compound seems to be a combination with Myrrh to make a tincture. Also capsules are available. In severe cases, two capsules four times a day or
Unable to find dosage or concentrate for teas.
There are several formulae for using Echinacea. Blood purification, skin and inflammatory conditions call for Echinacea root, golden seal, chaparral, honeysuckle flowers, forsythia blossoms, sarsaparilla root, yellow dock root, American ginseng, ginger root, cinnamon twigs. This formula should be taken
For treatment of flu, take four tablets with warm water two or three times a day. Follow a simple diet, avoiding heating, dispersing and denatured foods, drugs, stimulants, peppers, sugar (including fruit juices and fruits), alcohol and excess meat. Each formula has its own instructions and dosage.
For instance, the formula for skin and genital herpes include: Echinacea, yellow dock, gentian root, golden seal, bupleurum, poria, wild yam root, marshmallow root and myrrh gum. As the formula varies, so does the dosage.
Consult the manufacturer if commercially offered. Since no overdose or side effects have ever been noted, if the plant is used alone, dosage of tea or tisanes would not be too critical except with acute cases, after which taper off as symptoms disappear.
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Fructose, vitamins A, C, and E.
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Can be sold as fresh, freeze-dried, or an alcohol extract, liquid, tea, capsule or salve.
Capsules: take 1 capsule for up to
Extract: mix 15 to 30 drops in liquid every
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Alcohol tincture may destroy polysaccharides in Echinacea that stimulate the immune system, although other active ingredients remain intact and active. Most tinctures are 20% alcohol in order to preserve the herb, but even 10% ruins the Echinacea. The freeze-dried form is much preferred.
Some active ingredients in this herb can be destroyed during processing; freeze drying is the most effective way to preserve the herb’s healing properties. A fully potent product will create a tingling sensation on the tongue. Important compounds are missed if this sensation is not present.
No known side effects have been reported other than with high doses nausea and dizziness may occasionally occur.
Persons with anemia or vertigo should avoid using echinacea.
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American Folk Medicine, by Clarence Meyer, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, 1973
Back to Eden, by Jethro Kloss; Back to Eden Publishing Co., Loma Linda, CA 92354, Original copyright 1939, revised edition 1994
An Instant Guide to Medicinal Plants, by Pamela Forey and Ruth Lindsay, Crescent Books (January 27, 1992).
The Nature Doctor: A Manual of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, by Dr. H.C.A. Vogel; Keats Publishing, Inc., 27 Pine Street (Box 876) New Canaan, CT. 06840-0876. Copyright Verlag A. Vogel, Teufen (AR) Switzerland 1952, 1991
Eastern/Central Medicinal Plants, by Steven Foster and James A. Duke., Houghton Mifflin Company, 215 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10000
Herbal Gardening, compiled by The Robison York State Herb Garden, Cornell Plantations, Matthaei Botanical Gardens of the University of Michigan, University of California Botanical Garden, Berkeley., Pantheon Books, Knopf Publishing Group, New York, 1994, first edition
Planetary Herbology, by Michael Tierra, C.A., N.D., O.M.D., Lotus Press, PO Box 325, Twin Lakes. WI 53181., Copyright 1988, published 1992
A Useful Guide to Herbal Health Care, HCBL (Health Center for Better Living).,1414 Rosemary Lane, Naples, FL 34103., Special Sale Catalog, 1996
Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Fifth Edition: A Practical A-to-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies Using Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs & Food Supplements, by James F. Balch, M.D. and Phyllis A. Balch, C.N.C., Avery Publishing Group, Inc., Garden City Park, NY
The Complete Medicinal Herbal, by Penelope Ody, Dorling Kindersley, Inc, 232 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, First American Edition, copyright 1993
Earl Mindell’s Herb Bible, by Earl Mindell, R.Ph., Ph.D., Simon & Schuster/Fireside, Rockefeller Center 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York 10020
The Herb Book, by John Lust, Bantam Books, 666 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY. copyright 1974.
The Yoga of Herbs: An Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine, by Dr. David Frawley & Dr. Vasant Lad, Lotus Press, Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, Second edition, 1988.
Indian Herbalogy of North America, by Alma R. Hutchens, Shambala Publications, Inc., Horticultural Hall, 300 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, 1973