Introduction of Echinacea:Purple Coneflower or American Coneflower.

Popular Herbs. ✵The article gives records of the herb Echinacea, its English name, Latin name, common names, property and flavor, its botanical source two plant species, ①.Echinacea purpurea Moench., ②.Echinacea angustifolia DC., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of these two plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of these two plant species, the features of the herb Echinacea, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Echinacea(Purple Coneflower).

Echinacea:herb photo English Name: Echinacea.
 Latin Name: Echinacea angustifolia DC, as well as the closely related Echinacea purpurea Moench and Echinacea pallida(Nutt.)Britton.
 Common Names: American coneflower, Black Sampson, black susan, comb flower, Kansa snakeroot, narrow-leaved purple coneflower, niggerhead, Purple Coneflower, Red sunflower, Sampson root, Rudbeckia, scurvy root.
 Property and flavor: The taste is slightly sweet then bitter leaving a tingling sensation on the tongue. The odor is faintly aromatic.

 Brief introduction: Echinacea purpurea is a member of the daisy family, native to the American midwest, there are nine species of Echinacea that grow in North America.

 Botanical source: Common herbal classics defined the herb Echinacea as the rootstock of the species (1).Echinacea purpurea Moench,(2).Echinacea angustifolia DC. They are plant species of the Echinacea genus, the Asteraceae family (composite, daisy family). The herbs and roots are used medicinally. These commonly used species are introduced:

(1).Echinacea purpurea Moench.

 Echinacea purpurea Moench:flowering plant Botanical description: Echinacea purpurea is a herbaceous perennial plant, it grows up to 45 cm tall, or 50 to 120 cm tall, whole plant is covered with coarse hair, stems are upright; Basal leaves are ovate or triangular, cauline leaves are ovate-lanceolate, leaves are large, solitary, smooth-margined, they are 7 to 20 cm long and have a rough surface, the leaves are entire margined and are on slender petioles, and the petiole base slightly embraces the stem; A transverse section of the rhizome shows a thin bark and a yellowish, porous wood, which is flecked with black.

 The flower heads are solitary at the top of branches, or clustered in several groups, flower heads are large with a diameter of 10 cm, the bracts are in a number of rows, the bracts are leafy, rigid, thorny tipped, and longer than the conical upright disc florets, the reddish or occasionally white florets are conspicuous, the lingual florets are usually sterile and 3 cm long, the pappus is small or absent, tongue-shaped flowers are purple or pinkish-purple, tubular flowers are orange. Many cultivars are available in varied sizes and colors.

 Echinacea purpurea Moench:flowering plants Ecological environment: Echinacea purpurea is native to North America, it grows in the middle and eastern USA (the United States of America), and is cultivated all over the world. It is slightly cold-resistant, likes to grow in warm sunny places, and likes fertile, deep, and organic soil. Its flowering period is from June to July, maturing in early summer through mid-fall.

 Growth characteristics: Echinacea purpurea likes the warm and sunny environment, is resistant to barren land, cold, hot and humid, and does not choose soil, it prefers well-drained soil, suitable in sandy soil, loamy soil, and clay soils, suitable for mildly acid, neutral and basic soils, it cannot grow in the shade, it prefers a deep rich loam with plenty of leafmolds and a sunny position; The suitable growth temperature is 15~26 °C (Celsius, or 59~78.8 degrees Fahrenheit); Several pollinators are attracted to the flower, especially butterflies. Leave some flower heads on to produce seeds for the birds.

(2).Echinacea angustifolia DC.

 Echinacea angustifolia DC:flowering plants Botanical description: Echinacea angustifolia is native meadow perennial, it has daisy-like blossoms in early summer. It bears copper-orange central cones surrounded by short, arching, ray petals in pink or purple-pink, lavender, orange, and occasionally white.

 The flower is hot pink, salmon, purple, or sometimes white disk flowers with a purple-brown cone of disk flowers in the center. The pollen color is yellow.

 Ecological environment: Echinacea purpurea is native to North America, it grows in the middle and eastern USA, and is cultivated all over the world.

 Growth characteristics: Echinacea angustifolia grows well in deep, well-drained soil in full sun. It has a clumping habit, divide clumps in spring every 3~4 years. Root cuttings can be made in autumn. It is tolerant of drought, heat, humidity, and poor soils. Deadheading prolongs flowering, and cutting back stems will promote more flowering.

 Characters of herbs: Echinacea purpurea herb is the fresh, above-ground parts, harvested at flowering time. The root is the fresh or dried underground part, gathered in autumn. Echinacea angustifolia herb and root is the fresh or dried roots, or above-ground parts collected at the time of flowering. The taste is slightly sweet then bitter leaving a tingling sensation on the tongue. The odor is faintly aromatic.

 Pharmacological actions:  ①.inhibit certain viruses; ②.stimulate the immune system; ③.wound healing; ④.antibacterial effect; ⑤.anti-inflammatory effect; ⑥.collagen-protecting effect; ⑦.cytokine stimulation effect; etc.

 Echinacea can inhibit certain viruses, including influenza and herpes, it can stimulate the immune system to fight certain invading organisms, it boosts the immune system by promoting the potency of infection-fighting cells such as macrophages, natural killer cells, and T-lymphocytes, increase the mobility of infection-fighting leukocytes and stimulate phagocytosis, it also stimulates the production of other important immune system components, including tumor necrosis factor and interferon. The herb echinacea has wound-healing properties and its component polysaccharide echinacin is identified as responsible for it. Related studies about it stimulating the immune system proposed it has anticancer activity, the herb has an antibacterial effect, anti-inflammatory effect, collagen-protecting effect, cytokine stimulation effect, etc.

 Medicinal efficacy: Echinacea herb was used by Native Americans for insect bites, skin wounds, and snakebites, particularly rattlesnake bites, to calm toothaches and sore gums, and as a tea for colds, mumps, arthritis, etc. It was used as a blood purifier in venereal disease remedy in late the 19th century, and for migraine headache, rheumatism, pain, indigestion, sore eyes, tumors, rattlesnake bite, malaria, and hemorrhoids. Today it is recommended by herbalists as an immune-system stimulant to boost resistance to colds and flu, yeast and bladder infections, and other infectious conditions. Externally for healing wounds and boils, cuts, burns, psoriasis, eczema, cold sores, and genital herpes sores. In Europe, the Echinacea pupurea herb is approved for common cold, cough and bronchitis, fevers and colds, infections of the urinary tract, inflammation of the mouth and pharynx, the tendency to infection, wounds, and burns. In folk medicine, echinacea purpurea root is used for acute and chronic respiratory tract infections of viral and bacterial origin, increased susceptibility to infection due to temporarily lowered resistance, treatment of leukopenia following radio, and cytostatic therapy, and in support of anti-infectious chemotherapy.

 Cosmetic and Beauty Uses of Echinacea: Echinacea has been used by Native Americans to trigger the body's natural ability to heal itself. It is effective in boosting the body's immunity against viral, fungal and bacterial infections. There are several types of Echinacea plants, but only Echinacea purpurea and Echinacea pallida have been shown to have effectiveness. These may have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties on the skin. It can also be helpful for skin and fungal conditions.

 Echinacea combined with yarrow and elderberry is effective for anti-fever and anti-viral purposes. Echinacea is one of the specific anti-viral and antibacterial herbs. Yarrow has been added to provide the diaphoretic property, thus allowing the body to effectively combat fever. Elderberry and Elder flower have been shown to have anti-viral properties, but also contain vitamin C which is a potent anti-oxidant.

 Administration of Echinacea (Purple Coneflower): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Echinacea (Purple Coneflower)
Herbal classic books: A decoction is made with 2 teaspoons of root per cup of water, which is taken three times daily. One or two droppersful of tincture or concentrated drops are taken, two or three of 455 mg root capsules are taken two to three times a day, and two 125 mg root extract capsules containing 3.2 to 4.8% echinacoside are taken two to three times a day. After taking echinacea for six to eight weeks, a break of one to four weeks is recommended, to rest the immune system.
 Contraindications, Precautions and Adverse Reactions:The FDA placed echinacea on its formerly maintained list of Herbs of Undefined Safety. No significant side effects have been reported with the use of echinacea, although its toxicity has yet to be carefully examined in long-term clinical trials. Echinacea is recommended not taken internally or externally for more than eight weeks, should not be taken if you suffer from severe systemic illnesses such as multiple sclerosis, tuberculosis, AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, transmissible disease of the immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus), collagen vascular diseases, or other autoimmune diseases. Echinacea may cause allergic reactions in those allergic to other members of the daisy family, some people feel a strange tingling sensation on their tongue, but this is harmless.

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