Echinacea is one of the top selling herbs in the US for its immune enhancing properties. Research shows that taking echinacea at the first sign of a cold or flu can decrease the duration and and intensity of symptoms. The herb Echinacea, also commonly known as the purple coneflower, is a native to North America. A member of the daisy family, it is well known to gardeners and wildflower enthusiasts around the world.
Purple Coneflower stems are long 2 to 3 feet high, slender but stout, rough and bristly. The leaves are also bristly, dark green, lanceolate, alternate, and long petioled at the base, more sessile near the top of the stem. The roots are tapering, cylindrical, slightly spiral, and fibrous with as aromatic smell.
The echinacea herb is very important to grow in your herb garden for use in herbal medicine. By adding the echinacea to your herb garden not only will you be able to use it in your herbal medicine regime but you also gain a beautiful flowering herb.
In the later part of the 1990’s there were scads of studies that showed the usefulness of the echinacea herb for colds and flu. But there have also been studies that claim it as worthless. You will have to try it to see how it affects you.
As herbal medicine, the echinacea herb is useful in all its parts. For centuries it has been used to treat various ailments such as poisonous insect and snake bites, toothaches, mumps, small pox, blood purifier, measles and as a general immune system enhancer.
Many people are familiar with its use in alternative medicine to support the immune system, and to purify the blood, especially during season changes and during the cold and flu season. Unlike antibiotics, which directly kill bacteria, Echinacea makes our own immune cells more efficient in attacking bacteria, viruses and abnormal cells, including cancer cells.
The root now confirmed by modern science as an anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, depurative, diaphoretic, digestive, treatment. The roots and the whole plant are considered particularly beneficial in the external treatment of psoriasis, eczema and inflammatory skin conditions, sores, wounds, burns, and sore throat, possessing cortisone-like and antibacterial activity as well as showing skin regenerating properties.