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Echinacea angustifolia

Echinacea angustifolia (Compositae)

CONEFLOWER, PURPLE CONEFLOWER, KANSAS SNAKEROOT

 

The roots and rhizome are being studied as a possible treatment for AIDS. Coneflower is also used by herbalists as an antiviral remedy for infections ranging from tonsillitis to blood poisoning.

 

For over 100 years, coneflower has been known to increase resistance to infections; both North American Indians and the early settlers used it to clean and heal wounds, against infectious disease, and even to cure snakebites. Scientific research has now confirmed its stimulatory effects on the white blood cells that fight infection, and it is being studied in California as a possible treatment for AIDS. A native of central and southwestern United States and widely grown in gardens across the world, it is a perennial with coarse hairy stems and leaves. Flowers comprising a central, raised, daisylike cone and an outer ring of purple florets appear in late summer.

 

PARTS USED

Root, rhizome.

 

ACTIVE INGREDIENTS

Phenylcarbonic acid glycosides, including echinacoside and echinacin; volatile oil containing humulene and caryophyllene; flavonoids; polysaccharides; polyacetylenes.

 

ACTIONS

Antiseptic; antiviral; stimulates the immune system; stimulates nutrition and elimination processes to greater efficiency.

 

MEDICINAL USE

Prescribed as an aid for wound healing, particularly for boils and carbuncles, and to treat septicaemia (blood poisoning) and upper respiratory tract infections, including influenza, tonsillitis and pharyngitis.

 

PREPARATIONS

Decoction, tincture.   

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