Echinacea Information

Uses of Echinacea, Coneflower, Purple Echinacea

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Most Common Name:Echinacea
Botanical Name:Echinacea Angustifolia, Echinacea Purpurea, Brauneria Pallida
Also Known As (other names):Echinacea, Coneflower, Purple Echinacea, Black Sampson, Purple Coneflower, Rudbeckia,

This herb is extracted from the root and rhizome of the Echinacea angustifolia plant. Although limited success has been reported in the cultivation of the plant most of the commercially available herb is harvested in its native environment of the United States prairies. Unless we find a way of cultivating this plant commercially we may find that supply of this herb often referred to as "The Herb of Herbs" may dwindle.

For centuries Echinacea was revered as a sacred herb by the Sioux (a Native American tribe) who used the herb to combat infections and diseases.

Today the herb is used to boost the immune system and has been accepted as a means to combat influenza worldwide, and is also used to combat cancer, syphilis, gangrene, pleurisy, pneumonia, septicaemia and typhoid. It can also be used externally to dress wounds such as cuts, burns and boils.

In herbal terms Echinacea is both alterative and boosting, meaning that it not only boosts the immune system but alters the normal process with witch the body fights the disease to increase the rate of recovery.

It is used for, or in treatment of:

Immune system tonicInfluenzaCancer


Administered as:

PoulticeInfusionFresh Herb

What is?

A CompressA DecoctionA Herbal VinegarA Fluid Extract
An InfusionAn OintmentA PoulticeA Powder
A SalveA SyrupA TeaA Tincture


Constituents (i.e. what has been reported to be in this herb):

Isobutylamides: Part of the Alkamides group Isobutylamides are insecticidal and has a saliva flow stimulant effect on humans. Isobutalmides are toxic to many insects including flies and mosquitos

Alkamides: Formed by amines combining with unsaturated fatty acids Alkamides cause the stinging, peppery, sensation on the tongue associated with peppers and chillies. Because of the taste Alkamides are easily detected on the tongue.

Alkamides are carminative, stimulate the immune system, sialagogue, spasmolytic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, digestive and a circulatory stimulant.


Inulin: Inulin contains 35 fructose residues. Inulin is used to control blood sugar in hypoglycaemia, immune system tonic and is a diuretic.

Fructans: Fructans are polymers of fructose used by plants as a means of storing reserves instead of starches. Fructans are water soluble. Fructans frequently contain glucose molecules.
Fructans are made up of fructosyl-fructose links, branched fructans occur mostly in grasses and lilies while linear fructans are found in Asteracea.
Recent studies show indication that fructans are digested in the large intestine and are a diuretic and stabilises blood sugar. Some evidence also suggests that fructans may have a stimulating effect on the immune system.


Resins: Brittle, often transparent substances secreted by plants in response to damage to the plant.  Insoluble in water but soluble in alcohol and non volatile oils, Resins are used in incense because of the high amount of smoke accompanied when burning them. Unless the resin is broken up further into various constituents it is difficult to asses the value or properties of a particular resin.


Triterpenes: Phytosterols. Essential components of the cell membrane, Phytosterols have a beneficial influence in the inhibition of tumour growth and help regulate cholesterol in the blood by stimulating thyroid function.




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