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


Echinacea - Echinacea pallida - Family: Asteraceae (Compositae) (Sunflower Family) (Composite Family).

This is a perennial plant that grows to about three feet high. It has toothed oval-shaped leaves and in the spring and summer it sports large purple flowerheads surrounded by pale purple outer petals. 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, colds, flu, hay fever, shingles and a weakened immune system. Modern American folk use of roots as a remedy for Crohn's disease and inflammatory bowel disease. Sometimes roots also used in a gargle for canker sores and in a poultice or a lotion for acne. 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 eight 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.