Common name: Echinacea, Purple Coneflower
Part used: Root or whole plant (we use fresh root tincture)
Habitat: Native to praries and open woodland in the USA and cultivated as an ornamental plant. The purpurea variety grows well in Europe and has become more popular medicinally after overharvesting of wild angustifolia which is harder to cultivate. The leaves are serrate pointed ovals and broader than the other two varieties (pallida and angustifolia), with distinctive purple petalled flowrs which open and point back and downwards when mature.
Constituents: It is particularly easy to tell the quality of an echinacea preparation by how much it tingles in your mouth. If it makes you salivate and leaves a strong tingle for several minutes, it's a good sign. Alkamides are one of the main vonstituents which cause this sensation. Alkamdes, phenolic acids, caffeic acid esters, volatile oils, polysaccharides, polyacetylenes resin, phytosterols.
Actions: Immune system modulator, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, alterative, diaphoretic, peripheral vasodilator, vulnerary. Immunomodulatory activity based on research includes: stimulation of natural killer cell and macrophage activity, increased phagocytosis and leukocyte mobility, increase T-cell response, increase various cytokines including interferon, inhibit COX-1 and COX2 activity.
Traditional and current uses:
- Colds and flu
- Upper respiratory catarrh
- Whooping cough
- Food poisoning
- Peptic ulcers
- Urethritis and cystitis
- Autoimmune diseases (with professional guidance)
- Infections including skin infections
- Boils, abcesses and minor infected wounds (if more than minor seek first aid assistance!)
Disclaimer: The information on this website is provided for educational use only, and is not intended as a replacement for the services of a qualified medical herbalist, doctor or licensed health practitioner. The information contained herein is not diagnostic, always consult a medical health professional before embarking on a treatment programme. Urban Fringe Dispensary disclaims any liability, loss, injury or damage incurred as a consequence of the use and application of the advice given herein.