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


Echinacea, Purple - Echinacea purpurea (Rudbeckia purpurea) - Family: Asteraceae (Compositae) (Sunflower Family) (Composite Family).

This is a perennial plant that usually grows to about five feet high. It has rough tapered leaves and in the summer and early autumn it produces large flowers with brownish centers and purple outer petals. Traditional Native American folk use of dried roots as a remedy for rabies, syphilis, snake bites and skin disorders. Traditional Native American folk use of dried roots in a poultice as a remedy for insect bites, snakebites and wounds. Roots are currently used in modern Germany for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and vaginal yeast infections. Roots are currently used internally in Europe and North America as a remedy for allergies, colds, flu, fungal infections, hay fever, pneumonia, shingles and a weakened immune system. Approved by the German Commission E as a remedy for burns, bronchitis, colds, coughs, immune system support, sore throats, urinary tract infections and wounds. 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, laryngitis and sore throats 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. It is easily cultivated in sunny locations. Native to eastern and central North America. Cultivated as an ornamental in North America, with several



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Web page last updated on 28 May 2003.