Archive for July 6th, 2011

Echinacea – Echinacea purpurea

Echinacea - Purple Coneflower
Echinacea – Purple Coneflower

Purple Coneflower carries the genus name that means hedgehog in Greek, Echinacea, which is often used as its common name. This perky flower is native to eastern North America and can be found growing at the sides of roads, in fields, and forest edges. It is Endangered in Florida and probably Extirpated (locally extinct) in Michigan. Archeological research has shown that Native Americans have used Echinacea for over 400 years.


Gvnege tsunvsta (Cherokee) was used in combination with dogwood bark and yarrow for the treatment of headache and toothache due to infection and inflammation by the Cherokee people. In fact it stimulates the body’s own defense system to treat infections. It is commonly used at the first sign of a cold or flu, if not to shorten the duration, then to lessen the effects of the infection!


Purple Coneflower was used as a treatment for pain, indigestion, tumors, malaria, arthritis, and hemorrhoids. It has been used as a treatment for skin diseases such as eczema and psoriasis, boils and wounds, burns, cold sores and genital herpes!


Nutritionally the leaves are of value as they contain iron, iodine, copper, potassium, sulphur, and Vitamins A, E and C.


The Horticulture online site has offered the following recipe… (the exact same recipe is also found in Growing and Using Echinacea by Kathleen Brown.)


Virus Fighter Tea

The herbs in this formula all have active antiviral properties and are effective against herpes, shingles, flu, warts, and other viral infections. Ginger is very warming and increases circulation. This tea can be taken internally or applied externally.

1 part echinacea root
1 part ginger root
1 part osha root
1 part boneset leaf
1 part chaparral leaf
1 part St. John’s Wort leaf and flower
1 part usnea lichen
Honey and Lemon (optional)

Decoct the roots. Remove from heat and add the remaining herbs. Stir well, cover, and steep another 10 to 20 minutes. Strain, and add honey and lemon if desired.