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Echinacea

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Echinacea - Echinacea Purpurea

Echinacea is effective against both bacterial and viral organisms that cause infection. It is most often used in the relief of the common cold. Excellent for the immune system, lymphatic system and glandular swelling related to infection.

Echinacea is a wide-spectrum immunomodulator that modulates both innate and adaptive immune responses, helping support the body’s natural ability to ward off infection and elicit free radicals.

In North America, Indians considered echinacea to be nothing less than a panacea. The Sioux applied a freshly scraped echinacea root as a poultice to treat the bites of rabid animals; the Cheyenne used echinacea to heal mouth ulcers; Choctaws took echinacea when they came down with a bad cough; and Delaware Indians used echinacea to treat venereal diseases.

“Echinacea was used more than any other plant by Indians in the Plains states,” says anthropologist Melvin Gilmore.

Today scientists know why the Indians relied on this common wildflower. In the last 30 years, more than 500 scientific studies have been conducted to determine the herb's safety and efficacy.

The most consistently proven effect of echinacea is in stimulating a process called phagocytosis, which encourages white blood cells and lymphocytes to attack invading organisms. Among other scientifically proven actions, echinacea:

  • Increases the number and activity of immune system cells, including anti-tumor cells.
  • Promotes T-cell activation.
  • Stimulates new tissue growth for wound healing.
  • Reduces Inflammation in arthritis and inflammatory skin conditions.
  • Induces mild antibiotic action against bacteria, viruses, fungi and other germs.
  • Inhibits the enzyme hyaluronidase, to help prevent bacterial access to healthy cells.
  • Slows the spread of infection to surrounding tissues and helps to flush toxins from infected areas.

Echinacea is a genus of herbaceous flowering plants in the daisy family, Asteraceae. The nine species it contains are commonly called purple coneflowers. They are endemic to eastern and central North America, where they are found growing in moist to dry prairies and open wooded areas. They have large, showy heads of composite flowers, blooming from early to late summer. The generic name is derived from the Greek word ἐχῖνος (echino), meaning "spiny," due to the spiny central disk. Some species are used in herbal medicines and some are cultivated in gardens for their showy flowers. A few species are of conservation concern.

Use with caution if you are allergic to ragweed.
This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.