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Echinacea





(Echinacea Augustifolia)


Indicated for:
Any infection, especially all colds, coughs, influenza, sore throats, skin wounds, burns, insect bites, snake bites, yeast infections, eczema, psoriasis, urogenital infections, herpes, and as a boost and tonic for anyone with a weakened immune system.

Why it works:
Assists the body in fighting bacteria, viruses and fungus. During viral infection an enzyme called hyaluronidase is created, which breaks the barrier between normal healthy cells and the invader. Echinacea stops this enzyme from forming, and can actually destroy some viruses, notably influenza. It also boosts the immune system, so well in fact, that it works even with chemotherapy patients, and is recommended for this use.

How to use it:
Echinacea loses potency with drying and is best used fresh or having been freeze dried. A way to test it is that if it is still effective it will cause a prickly sensation on the tongue. Take immediately at the first sign of infection.

Infusion or Decoction:
Infuse the leaves to make a tea, or the roots to make a decoction. 1 tsp chopped herb to 1 cup boiling water. Infuse 15 minutes. Drink 4 cups a day

Capsules:
1 capsule 3 times daily.

Ointment:
This is sometimes available for skin lesions, etc.

Extract
20 to 30 drops in water or juice every 3 hours.

Culinary uses:
None.

Growing notes:
Purple flowers, daisy like. Up to two feet tall. Can take up to three years to flower from seed. Needs sun, good drainage, and an alkaline soil.

Safety:
One of the safest herbs. Safe for infants, in fact is especially effective with children. Note: May be contra-indicated for those with some allergies.

Storage:
Best used fresh, dried herb loses potency.

History:
Used by Native Americans for many centuries.

Note:
Many people are taking this fairly expensive herb as a daily supplement throughout the cold season as a "preventative". It simply doesn't work this way, and any manufacturer trying to sell you more regular supplies on this basis should be avoided. Echinacea should never be taken for more than 10 days consecutively, the body simply becomes accustomed to it, and it loses its power. Allow at least 4 days before resuming treatment.