Echinacea: "Missouri Snakeroot" "Coneflower"
Echinacea angustifolia, purpurea, pallida
Description: Echinacea is a perennial with dark green leaves, long stems, large flowers, daisy-like petals, multi-faceted cone center, and deep roots.
Origin: North America
History: Native American Sioux used angustifolia to treat septic disorders, rabies, and snakebites.
Nutritional Values: Vitamins A, B-complex, B3, C, E, iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, selenium, silicon, sodium, essential oil, polysaccharide, glycoside, resin, betamine, insulin, sesquiterpene.
Medicinal Values: Echinacea is an Immune stimulant, alterative, antimicrobial, diaphoretic, anti-allergenic, antiviral, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory. These three varieties are used to treat: colds, flu, viruses, swollen glands, lymph congestion, boils, abscesses, inflammatory conditions, immune system, skin tone, sun damage. It cleans the liver, kidneys, blood, and protects against cell decay.
Beneficial Part: Root and rhizome
Steep and serve as hot tea for colds, flu, and internal ailments. You can add lemon for flavor. Take 1-3 cups per day. It is argued that if take it regularly you should take a one month break after every month of use in order to allow your immune system to work without it.
Steep and cool for skin applications. Use clean cloth or cotton to apply. (can be saved in the refrigerator for 3 days)
Echinacea isn't recommended for people with immune disorders. There have been reports of it worsening symptoms and progressing immune disorders. Some people in the immune disorder community disagree and say it has helped them. There definitely needs to be more research about this.
It has been suggested but not proven that echinacea may also negatively influence the effectiveness of birth control pills. Please don't risk unwanted pregnancy, either use a back-up method for the cycle you are on while taking echinacea, be abstinent, or avoid the herb.
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