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Echinacea, more commonly known as Coneflower, is a member of the Asteraceae or aster/daisy family. It has a long history of indigenous use for treating sore throats, coughs, headaches and infection. It is considered antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral as well as thought to stimulate the immune system. The three types of Echinacea most commonly used for medicine are Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower), Echinacea angustifolia (Narrowleaf Coneflower) and Echinacea pallid (Pale Purple Coneflower). A fourth – Echinacea tennensiensis (Tennessee Coneflower), is considered an endangered plant and should never be used. Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) is the one most often found in gardens as it tends to be less demanding to grow.
Most of what I read about Echinacea indicated that although the seeds, flowers and leaves have some medicinal value, the plant’s roots contain more potent medicine. Purple Coneflower has small roots whereas Narrowleaf Coneflower and Pale Purple Coneflower have long taproots making them better suited when using roots for preparing medicine.
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Thanks for viewing. 2013©Sonali T. Gangane
June 27th, 2013
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