Echinacea - Natures first aid kit

One of the most popular medicinal plants.

What is Echinacea good for and how can it be used?

The leaves, flowers and roots of the Echinacea plant can be ingested in the form of tea or capsules for a variety of health benefits. It is thought to be an herbal remedy for anything from the common cold to a cut or burn. Its also a very low maintenance flower that has a unique look that says “look at me I grow my own medicine”.

The seeds also attract Finches and other wild birds.

 Varieties:

Echinacea has several species, but the variations are largely visual. It comes in several colors including purple, pink, white, red, orange and yellow.

próba makra 2007-07-17 15-50-27

Echinacea pallida

Potential uses:

  • Immune Boosting – Thought to aid in the recovery from a cold or flu, it is even occasionally used to speed recovery from chemotherapy. It is thought that it does this by stimulating white blood cells. If this is true it could help with nearly any infection.
  • Reduce the effect of environmental toxins.
  • Decrease inflammation.
  • Applied directly to the skin Echinacea has been said to help with Boils, Wounds, Abscesses,  Burns, Ulcers, Eczema, Psoriasis, Sunburn, Bee Stings, Herpes, and Hemorrhoids.

 

echinacea_angustifolia

Echinacea Angustifolia

Specifications:

Sun: Full sun to partial shade

Height: 2 to 5

Soil: Not very picky

Water use: Low

Bloom time: June to August

Attracts birds and butterflies

Drought Tolerant

Non Toxic to Humans and Animals

How to use Echinacea:

The leaves, flowers and roots can be cut up into small pieces and used either in tea bags or in a tea ball.

The roots are said the be the most potent, but if you don’t want to dig up your plants you can just as easily use the leaves and flowers. You can either use the plant fresh or dry it out and use it within a year.

Echinacea tea doesn’t taste that great on its own, but its often blended with other teas for the health benefits.

Some things you can try mixing it with:

  • Spearmint (Or any mint)
  • Lemon Grass (or Lemon Balm or just Lemon)
  • Stevia Leaves
  • Rose hips
  • Hibiscus
  • Licorice
  • Chamomile
  • Eucalyptus
  • Cinnabar
  • Ginger

It can alternatively be taken in a dissolving capsule.

Tinctures:

TinctureThere is a third method of using it that involves putting the chopped plant into a canning jar with vodka for 4 to 6 months then removing the bits of plant to make a instant cold defense tincture.

This process preserves it pretty much indefinitely and you can take a teaspoon of your own alcohol immune boost whenever you feel the need.

 

 

 

 

 

Want this plant in your own Garden?

Typical purple:
Amazon.com – 1000 Purple Coneflower (Echinacea Purpurea) Seeds ~$4

White:
Amazon.com – 35 “White Swan” (Echinacea purpurea) Seeds ~$5

Red:
Amazon.com – 25 “Ruby Star” (Echinacea purpurea) Seeds ~$6

Mixed Colors:
Amazon.com – 20 “Rainbow Mixture” (Echinacea x hybrida) Seeds ~$5