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.