Medicinal Uses For The Beautiful Echinacea Plant

Medicinal uses of echinacea, the purple coneflower. Part of the aster family, it is beautiful in the garden; however it is also useful in the prevention of treating colds and flu.

Echinacea, known as the purple coneflower, is native to the prairies of the Western United States. But currently 2 of the 3 species has become more scarce in the wild and now are cultivated for the most part. Echinacea is from the aster family and the roots and above ground parts are harvested while the plant is in flower.

Native Americans used echinacea for more medicinal purposes that any other plant, treating everything from colds to cancer. Echinacea entered into formal medicine around the later 1800's and was very much in use and was well prescibed during the late 1920's. Later antibiotics were prescibed in the United States and became less popular. But it continues to be a popular herb used in Europe today. The plant was considered by herbal experts to be a blood purifier and an aid in fighting infections.

Today consumers use echinacea mainly for preventing and treating colds and to help in the healing of infections. It gives the white blood cells and immune system cells that little extra boost they need in helping to fight off colds and flu viruses. In addition to stimulating the immune system it helps accelerate healing of infections that already exist.

The best preparation of dosage of the echinacea is made from the fresh expressed juice of E. Purpurea. No single chemical component has been indentified as causing echinacea's medicinal action. But it may involve certain flavonoids, oils, polysaccharides, caffeic acid, alkylamides and some other compounds.

Prepartion of the plant is often found in tablets, capsules, as a tea, and extracts. But most of the research has been done by expressing the juice from the flowering plant. Dosages of 60 drops of E. Purpurea root tincture 3 times a day or 1 gram of dried root three times a day are equivalent. And is used on the onset of cold symptoms and or early stages of infections. Taken for about 2 weeks with 1 week break in between.


If you are allergic to pollen or members of the aster family, such as ragweed, you may want to avoid echinacea. And it is recommended that people with nonspecific immune response/diseases of the immune system should not be using echinacea: this includes tuberculosis, multiple sclerosis and HIV infection.

On a personal note:

I have taken echinacea in a tea type form for relief of cold symtoms and it has definitely helped in my recovery. Soothing to the throat and relaxing as well.

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