Echinacea - Echinacea Angustifolia - Benefits, Medicinal Uses, Side Effects

Latin Name:

Echinacea Angustifolia

Family:

Asteraceae

Soil pH:

6.5 - 7.5

USDA Hardiness Zone:

3 - 9

Parts Used:

Flowers, leaves and roots

Origin:

Echinacea is native to North America.

Cultivation:

Echinacea is grown easily from seed. Wild populations of echinacea are dwindling due to loss of habitat and over harvesting. Echinacea tolerates a wide variety of soil types. It is tolerant of drought, heat, humidity, and poor soils. Echinacea grows best in full sun, but will tolerate partial shade.

Description:

Echinacea is a perennial plant growing to a height of 3 ft (1 m). Echinacea is in bloom from early to late summer, from May through June. Flowers are composite and are produced on a flowerhead. They are usually pink or purple in color. Echinacea is capable of seeding itself. Alternate names include American Cone Flower, Black Samson, Black Susans, Comb Flower, Coneflower, Indian Head, Red Sunflower, Rock-Up-Hat, Scurvy Root and Snakeroot.

Benefits:

  • Antimicrobial (helps to prevent illness)
  • Anti-viral (helps to stop virus reproduction)

Medicinal Uses:

Traditionally, echinacea was used by Native Americans to treat diseases, insect bites and rattlesnake bites. Echinacea helps to pump poison out of the body through the kidneys and liver. Echinacea is also used to fight infections and can be used as a prevention and treatment for the common cold and other upper respiratory infections. Echinacea stimulates the immune system. Echinacea is also used to treat bloodstream infections, diphtheria, gum disease, herpes simplex virus (HSV-2), streptococcus infections, malaria, syphilis, tonsillitis, typhoid, urinary tract infections (UTI) and vaginal yeast infections. Echinacea is especially beneficial against acid indigestion, rheumatism, migraines, rattlesnake bites and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.


Side Effects:

People with tuberculosis, leukemia, diabetes, connective tissue disorders, multiple sclerosis, HIV or AIDS, any autoimmune diseases, or, possibly, liver disorders should not take the herb. When taken by mouth, echinacea may cause temporary numbing and tingling on the tongue.

Caution:

Medicinal herbs could react adversely to prescription drugs. Always consult your physician before you start an herbal regiment.


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