Botanical Name: Echinacea purpurea
- Also, known as: Purple Coneflower, Black Sampson, Niggerhead, Rudbeckia, Cock Up Hat, Comb Flower, Indian comb, Indian Head, Kansas Snakeroot, Kansas Coneflower, Red Sunflower, Scurvy root, Snakeroot,
Part used: Root
The Echinacea is a group of plant species that belongs to the same family as dandelion, sunflower, and daisy. These flowering shrubs are best known as ornamental plants in gardens. Also, they are widely recognized as medicinal herbs in alternative medicine. One of the most popular herbs in the United States marketplace is the native American medicinal plant Echinacea.
The term refers to several plants in the genus Echinacea, derived from the above ground parts and roots of Echinacea angustifolia (Narrow-leafed Purple Coneflower), Echinacea pallida (Pale Purple Coneflower), and Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower).
Echinacea Angustifolia is an herbaceous perennial plant grows up to a height of twelve to twenty-eight inches. Linear lanceolate leaves are thick, rough, hairy, broadly landscaped, 2 to 8-inch-long, narrowed at the end and strongly three nerved, its flowers are like cone shaped disks that are pink and purple in color. The plant usually has one or more stems. The taproot that produces seeds is harvested three to four times a year. 2 to 4 feet tall, with single, stout, bristly, hairy stems. The stems and leaves are moderately to densely hairy. The plant produces flower heads one per side branch, each at the end of a long peduncle. Each head contains 8-21 pink or purple ray florets plus 200-300 purple disc florets.
Almost all its parts are of medicinal value. But most importantly, it is the root of the Echinacea Angustifolia that has most of the beneficial medicinal properties. It can be easily found in the Rocky Mountains of North America and the midwestern states.
The various Echinacea species contain numerous chemical constituents. There is still no consensus on exactly which of these is the most active immunomodulator. Some experts believe that the Echinacea augustifolia is the best, and others say Echinacea purpurea is the best. Echinacea pallida seems to be caught somewhere in the middle.
How to use:
There are different ways to use powdered herb.
Food Preparation: You can add powdered herbs to any super food, herbal smoothie, sauces, spreads and even cookies. Also for children, you can mix powdered herbs with honey or glycerin to make a paste. The thicker the paste, the more potent and herbal in taste. The sweet taste of honey and glycerin will help the medicine go down. This method is also known as "Electuaries".
Capsules: Encapsulating your own powdered herb at home, give you assurance that the contents of the capsules are pure herb and no filler or any other products. These capsules can be taken with liquid.
Poultice: Poultice can be made with an herbal powder and liquid (mostly water) to form a paste which is then applied to the skin. This method is very helpful for skin conditions.
Herbal shot: Powdered herb can be mixed with water, fruit juice or other liquid to make herbal shot.
You should consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using any herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.
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This information has not been evaluated by Health Canada.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.