Echinacea is blooming and what a beautiful butterfly magnet it is! Echinacea is the latin name that people are familiar with, but the common name for this amazing perennial wildflower is purple coneflower. ‘Echinos’ is the Greek word for sea urchin or hedgehog, which relates to the look of the center cones that resemble the spines of hedgehogs, especially when dried.
- ‘purpurea’ is the purple variety
- ‘angustifolia’ is the narrow leaf variety
- ‘pallida’ means pale, named for the paler varieties. This variety is used less medicinally.
Do not misuse Echinacea as a long-term immune enhancer, it is not like adaptogens such as ginseng. Echinacea is a cool detoxicant that reduces infection and heat. Use it for short-term infections and acute conditions only.
***Echinacea should only be used as short-term immune stimulant. Do not use long-term and avoid overuse. Do not pick it in the wild, it is extinct and endangered. Cultivate it yourself or buy the root dried. Echinacea is also a good ingredient in gargles, washes, compresses, syrups, and used externally to treat injuries, burns, and skin disorders.
|Common Name||Echinacea/ Purple coneflower root|
|Latin Name||Echinacea spp. angustifolia/ purpurea/pallida|
|Parts Used||perennial flowers rarely used/ root harvested in late summer /fall after blooming|
|Target Organs||Blood, lymphatic, skin, stomach, urogenital, immune,|
|Common Uses||bacterial viral infections, first sign cold, flu, chills, swollen glands lymph congestion, runny stuffy nose, cough, laryngitis, food allergies, UTI, skin infections, fever, inflammation, discharge, wounds, ulcers, burns,|
|Properties||Cool, dry, calming, stimulating, restoring, dissolving, anti-microbial, antibacterial, antiallergenic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, anti-toxic, astringent, alterative, anti-catarrhal, antiviral, antineoplastic, febrifuge, depurative, detoxicant, diuretic, lymphatic, decongestant, stimulating/regulating, immune stimulant, vulnerary|
|Constituents||Essential oil, humulene, sesquiterpenes, glycoside echinoside, polysaccharides-echinacin, inulin, isobutylamides, polyines, polyenes, echinolone, betaine, tannins, resins, oleic/cerotic/ linolic/ palmatic acids, 13 polyacetylenes, enzymes, fatty acids, phytosterols, trace minerals, vitamin C|
|Cautions||Mild remedy but may cause dizziness, nausea, numb tongue, gastric upset, cankers, throat irritation due to its stimulating nature.|
|Dosage||Most effective: Tincture: 2-4ml Decoction: 6-10 g
Acute conditions like infection or onset of a cold
Take up to 2 tablespoons of decoction or 1 tsp. of tincture every two hours at acute protocols