Welcome to our E-Herbal Column!
Let’s take a look today at a powerful, as well as beautiful plant: Echinacea.
Without a doubt: One of my 3 or 4 most favorite plants!
- A plant Native to this Continent of ours, going back to at least 17th
- Used with great therapeutic results by the early Native Americans!
- Europeans arriving to these lands used the knowledge of the Native peoples to cure themselves from many kinds of conditions.
Main Therapeutic Echinacea Properties:
- Relieves pain.
- Prevents/cures infections of the Upper Respiratory. (i.e.laryngitis, tonsillitis, catarrhs, and chest colds).
- Fights inflammation (i.e. redness, swelling etc. leg ulcers, skin wounds, and mild internal inflammatory situations (colds etc.).
- Anti-viral (eg. Herpes).
- Anti-fungal (eg. Yeast infections).
We could actually think of Echinacea as an antibiotic drug, EXCEPT that antibiotics (as the name indicates= anti-life) fight invasive forms of life inside us, while often harming our own life force in the process.
Plants on the other hand are life affirming: they contain natural ingredients and chemicals that are actually assisting our immune system to fight off dangerous conditions.
Echinacea can be used with other herbs, depending on the condition: Eg.
- With Golden Seal (one of my favorite combinations!) against colds, all sorts of infections—internal AND external, like cuts, wounds, skin rashes, etc.
- With Yarrow or Bearberry for cystitis.
Cultivation & parts used:
- Though the entire Echinacea plant can be used, from its flower petals to its leaves, to its roots, it is the ROOT of Echinacea that contains most of the beneficial aspects.
- I dig my Echinacea roots in the fall, divide them, replant half the root, and use the other half for my needs.
- With the roots I can make teas by cutting them up in small pieces and simmering them for at least half an hour, straining the fluid, then drinking the tea hot!
- I also dry the roots and make alcohol tinctures – a process to be discussed in another article! Tinctures are much stronger and more effective, and can last for a long time stored in a dark closet.
For any wellness questions, email Charoula at: Charoula@e-wellnesssolutions.com