Wednesday Wisdom - Echinacea
Echinacea – Echinacea angustifolia, E. purpurea
Common names: American Purple Coneflower, Black Sampson, Missouri Snakeroot, Kansas Snakeroot.
Habitat: Indigenous to northern USA, cultivated throughout Europe.
Part used: Roots.
Actions of Echinacea: Antiviral, antibacterial, immune-stimulant, anti-inflammatory, vulnerary.
Echinacea can be used for chronic viral and bacterial infections, and depressed immune systems. It can all be used for skin complaints and to encourage wound healing in general. Echinacea can be used internally, and externally as a poultice or compress. As a prophylactic, this herb can be used to help protect horses from infections. Use also for urinary infections such as cystitis and urethritis.
Echinacea was first used by the native American Indian tribes (Indians would suck on a piece of the root all day) and was first classified in Europe in the 1690s. However, the herb did not appear in a medical journal until 1891. Since this time, it has been the subject of over four hundred scientific articles. It has been found to be an effective immuno-stimulant, in that it stimulates the white blood cells to help fight infection and increases the power of the immune cells to better help the body fight bacteria and infected cells.