Scientific: Echinacea angustifolia, E. purpurea, E. pallida [WikiPedia]
Appearance: Echinacea is a
tall perennial with lance-like leaves about 15cm long Purple-pink,
daisy-like flowers that smell like honey, with orange-brown centres, are
produced in summer to early autumn.
Parts Used: Roots, rhizomes and parts above the ground
Common Uses: There are nine
Echinacea species which have been discovered so far, three of which are
used for medicinal purposes: E. purpurea, E. angustifolia, and E.
pallida. Echinacea is now utilized as a preventative and treatment
remedy for influenza, the common cold, and minor upper respiratory
Echinacea is probably the most commonly used herb in
the Western World. This herb is used to prevent and treat colds,
infections and as an herbal remedy for flu. The three active
constituents are alkamides, chicoric acid and polysaccharides; however,
the action of these ingredients is still being understood. What useful
evidence there is indicates that echinacea mainly stimulates
phagocytosis, i.e it acts mainly to stimulate the immune response.
Echinacea has been used to treat prophylaxis, gingivitis, sinusitis. It
has also been utilized as a treatment of infectious illness such as
influenza, colds and related symptoms like coughs, high fever and sore
throat. It is also used for bacterial infections, above all those of a
chronic or recurrent nature. The herb is thought to be of help for
allergies, mild septicaemia, pinkeye and skin disorders such as
psoriasis. It has been used as an herbal remedy to strengthen the immune
system and to treat conditions of damaged or suppressed immunity such
as post-viral syndromes.
During the early 1900’s, Germany was the first to
used Echinacea as an herbal medicine. Echinacea has been used
traditionally for the natural treatment of bronchitis and whooping
cough. They have recently begun researching the effects of Echinacea
while advocating its ability to stimulate the human immune system and
ward off infections.
Alternatives and Adjuncts:
Topic Specific Research:
PLEASE NOTE that herbal and
other natural products can harm your animals – not all plants are safe
and gentle! Do not attempt using any of the ingredients listed, or any
other plant matter, without the guidance of a qualified herbalist.
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