Scientific Name:Echinacea pallida
About this Herb:Echinacea is a genus of herbaceous flowering plants in the daisy family, Asteraceae. The nine species it contains are commonly called purple coneflowers. A drought-tolerant perennial, Echinacea grows up to 140 cm in height. They have erect stems that in most species are un-branched. Both the basal and cauline leaves are arranged alternately. The leaves are normally hairy with a rough texture.
Like all Asteraceae, the flowering structure is a composite inflorescence, with purple (rarely yellow or white) florets arranged in a prominent, somewhat cone-shaped head – "cone-shaped" because the petals of the outer ray florets tend to point downward (are reflexed) once the flower head opens, thus forming a cone. Plants are generally long lived, with distinctive flowers. The common name "cone flower" comes from the characteristic center “cone” at the center of the flower.
Common Names:Purple Coneflower, Coneflower, American Coneflower, Comb Flower, Hedgehog, Indian Head, Scurvy Root
Uses:The components of Echinacea that give it its immune-enhancing effects are polysaccharides, alkylamides and cichoric acid. These elements not only enhance the activity of the immune system, but are said to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and have hormonal, antiviral, and antioxidant effects. For this reason, professional herbalists may recommend Echinacea to treat urinary tract infections, vaginal yeast (candida) infections, ear infections (also known as otitis media), athlete's foot, sinusitis, hay fever (also called allergic rhinitis), as well as slow-healing wounds. One study even suggests that Echinacea extract exerted an antiviral action on the development of recurrent cold sores triggered by the herpes simplex virus (HSVI) when supplied prior to infection.
Applications:Tea: A minimum of three cups per day.
Capsule: Follow label instructions.
Powder: 900 mg. twice times a day.
Extracts: 3 to 4 ml. three times a day.