Binomial Nomenclature: Echinacea angustifolia, E. purpurea
Date: March 10, 2013
Location Found: Europe, North America, Asia, available in most places
Parts Used: Roots
Also Know As: Purple coneflower
Forms of Preparations: For a decoction, bring 2 teaspoons of root material per cup of water to a boil, and then simmer for 15 minutes. Drink up to 3 cups a day. Taste is initially sweet then bitter. In a tincture, take 1 teaspoon up to 3 times a day. If using a store bought product, follow directions listed.
- Infection fighter: Echinacea kills a number of disease causing viruses, bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. Has been used in wound care. A German study has proven that Echinacea can help in the treatment of colds, flu, tonsillitis, bronchitis, tuberculosis, meningitis, wounds, abscesses, psoriasis, whooping cough (pertussis), and ear infections.
- Immune system: Echinacea also prevents infection by revving up the immune system. Echinacea helps create macrophages’ that destroy germs when they enter your body. It also increases the number of disease fighting T-cells (T-lymphocytes) up to 30% more than other immune-boosting drugs.
- Yeast infection: Taken along with a cream, Echinacea products have quicken the recovery time and helped prevent yeast infections from reoccurring.
- Radiation therapy: Cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy typically suffer from reduced white blood cell counts, increasing their risk for infections. Echinacea may help preserve white blood cells and thus protecting radiation patients from infection.
- Arthritis: The same chemical (HA) that helps shield tissues against germs also lubricates the joints. Joint inflammation (arthritis) breaks down HA, but Echinacea’s HA-protective action may have anti-inflammatory effects, thus lending credence to the herb’s traditional use in treating arthritis.
- Intriguing possibility: Echinacea shows promising anti-cancer activity against leukemia and a few animal tumors. Its too early to call the herb cancer treatment, but one day it might be.
Adverse effects: Echinacea often causes a tingling sensation on the tongue; this is normal and not harmful. If the use of Echinacea causes upset stomach or diarrhea, low the dosage or stop use, then call your doctor.
Habit forming: I would say no.
Up to 3 decoctions a day and up to 3 tinctures a day.
Other Notes: Echinacea should not be given to children under the age of 2. For older children and adults over 65, start with a low dosage then strengthen if needed.