An herb entry from the Ancient Herbs and Modern Herbs book by James K. Sayre, Copyright, 2001. All rights reserved.


Echinacea - Echinacea angustifolia (Brauneria angustifolia) - Family: Asteraceae (Compositae) (Sunflower Family) (Composite Family).

This perennial member of the Composite family sports large golden flowerheads surrounded by purple outer petals in the summer. It has lance-shaped leaves and it grows to about two feet high. Traditional North American Indian folk use of dried roots as a poultice for infections, insect stings, snakebite and toothache. Also traditional American folk use of dried roots as a remedy for kidney infections. Roots are currently used in Germany for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and vaginal yeast infections. Roots are currently used internally in North America as a remedy for allergies, chronic fatigue syndrome, colds, cuts, flu, fungal infections, genital herpes, hay fever, hearing problems, nasal congestion, pneumonia, shingles and a weakened immune system. Modern American and European folk use of roots as a remedy for Crohn's disease, inflammatory bowel disease and psoriasis. Sometimes roots also used in a gargle for hoarseness, canker sores, laryngitis, sore throats and in a poultice, a lotion or a tincture for acne, cuts and warts. At least one authority in the field suggests that Echinacea augustifolia is much stronger medicinally that any of the other members of the genus Echinacea [Hole]. Note: do not use if you are pregnant or nursing. Note: do not use if you have diabetes, leukemia, tuberculosis or multiple sclerosis. Note: do not use if you have any auto-immune disorders, such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. Note: do not use if you have a weakened immune system. Note: long-term use may lead to a suppression of the immune system. Note: some authorities suggest limiting use to a few weeks at a time. This is a pretty, daisy-like plant that is easily grown. Native to central North America. Cultivated as an ornamental in North America.



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Web page last updated on 28 May 2003.