13 August 2008

Echinacea purpurea
  • Sometimes called coneflower, is a wildflower that flourishes in meadows or wet valleys in the Midwestern United States.
  • Echinacea is most famous for its medicinal properties, but it is also common in gardens since it has striking purple blossoms.
Health Benefits of Echinacea
  • This species of Echinacea is a well-established immune-system stimulator by stimulating white blood cells.
  • It is used to treat flu, coughs and colds, bronchitis, urinary tract infections, wound and burns, and inflammation of the mouth and pharynx.
  • Echinacea can also be used externally to treat skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. Some people use it to shield their skin from sun damage.
  • It can also be an ingredient in hemorrhoid treatments or to sooth inset bites.
Dosage and Administration
  • To make a tea out of Echinacea, use 1-2 teaspoons of Echinacea in a cup of unheated water. Slowly heat the mixture until it is boiling and let simmer for 10-12 minutes. The tea can be taken three times daily.
  • If you are taking it in tincture form, take 1-4 milliliters three times daily.
Warning
  • It shoud not be used in patients who have autoimmune disorders such as multiple sclerosis, collagen disease, AIDS, or tuberculosis.
  • The herb is also contraindicated in patients who have diabetes and in pregnant or breast feeding women.
  • Echinacea should not be used with the following: anticancer agents, antiorgan rejection drugs, corticosteroids, or immunosupressants.

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