Beautiful, Medicinal, Magick echinacea has 9 different species, in this article we are discussing E. purpurea, the purple cone flower. Echinacea is an amazing herb and was once esteemed in the medical industry until man made antibiotics were introduced circa 1950. Of course, man is not able to make anything that can out do or compete with God’s medicine. Echinacea is making a strong comeback as more and more people rediscover the power and low chance of side effects and risks that come with this plant medicine. Echinacea was the most used herb of the Plains Indians and is very popular among herbalists, homeopaths and natural healers.
Today, the most commonly use of echinacea is to build the immune system and is one of the top, most important immune-building herb used by herbalists. We put echinacea in our immune boosting tea, it’s very powerful and works well with other immune-boosting herbs. It’s also able to relieve certain types of pain. Most of the solid studies are done in German and other European countries where it’s still used in the medical system.
Echinacea, which is cooling and drying, is best used before illness hits such as before cold and flu season or at first signs of illness as well to help the immune system fight off illness and control pain. Taken before illness echinacea can raise the body’s natural resistance to infection by stimulation and aiding immune function. Echinacea strengthens the body’s defense system by increasing macrophages and T-cell activity. It has other amazing actions as well, it’s anti-fungal, antibacterial, Rich in polysaccharides which protect cells from invasion from viruses and bacteria. It’s an alterative, antiseptic, antivenomous, immune stimulating, anti-inflammatory and aids the lymphatic system.
Echinacea has been historically used to treat sore throat, respiratory and bronchial infections. In Germany it’s medically approved for UTI’s, respiratory tract infections, colds, slow healing wounds and other ailments. It can decrease the chances of catching the common cold by 58% and shorten the duration by 1.5 days. That’s one hell of an immune stimulant! It’s even been shown to stop viral colds. Echinacea is a mild laxative, great for mild constipation. Being anti-inflammatory, it helps with rheumatoid arthritis and Uveitis. Echinacea is hydrating and can improve skin problems and lessen wrinkles.
Amazing, beautiful echinacea has other uses as well. I feel like a game show host saying “But wait, there’s more!!!” There is always so much more to herbs than anyone can put in one article. Other issues it’s been used for are: genital herpes, snake bites, gum disease, malaria, vaginal yeast infection, tonsillitis, gonorrhea, headaches, Blood stream, tuberculosis, whooping cough, asthma, all flus, sinusitis, diphtheria, strep throat, made in to a poultice for external use, etc. I can go on for a while. Anyone can benefit from this amazing plant medicine. It’s worth taking the time to research and learn a bit more about how this beautiful flower from Gaia helps us.
When you harvest which parts of the plant makes a difference. When wild harvesting, never take more than 1/4 of the plant, only harvest from healthy plants that can regenerate or reseed themselves. Always give thanks and an offering. It’s important we wild craft with respect and responsibility to ensure all have the medicine they need. Above the soil is where the polysaccharides are that trigger immune function. The top of the plant is harvested in the 3rd season of the plant’s life. The roots have a high concentration of volatile oils and should be harvested in the 4th year. Tinctures are typically made from the leaves, although they can be made from the roots. Be sure to read the labels.
Echinacea is also used in Magick. It’s ruled by Mars, it’s astrological sign is Scorpio and it’s Tarrot card is the Temperance. Carrying it with you in a talisman or charm helps with inner strength and confidence. To protect your home from hard financial times and increase prosperity, grow echinacea around your home or put it in a vase inside. It can increase the effectiveness of spells and is a great offering to deities.
Echinacea is safe for most people including the elderly and children and is considered generally safe. It should be avoided by anyone on immune suppressing drugs because their actions contradict. Too much can cause allergy-like reactions. Avoid if you’re allergic to echinacea or if you start to have an allergic reaction. Consult your herbal specialist if you’re unsure if echinacea is right for you.
Echinacea has earned it’s way in human wellness care and is here to stay. It has a long history or helping humans stay strong and healthy as well as some hefty science behind it. As and herbalist, it’s one of my favorite herbs, I drink echinacea tea often. The leaves have a nice flavor that blends well with lemon balm, holy basil or green tea. We carry this tea on our website and in our Etsy shop, it’s a very popular and affordable item. Share what you know and your resources. What are you experiences with Echinacea?
Resources: Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs – A Beginner’s Guide – Rosemary Gladstar p. 129-131, The Modern Herbal Dispensatory – A medicine-Making Guide – Thomas Easley, Steven Horne p. 225- 226, witchipedia.com/book-of-shadows/herblore/echinacea/, https://draxe.com/nutrition/echinacea-benefits/
I’m an herbalist, I specialize in God’s medicine. I’m not a medical doctor. I am not giving medical advice. Please contact your wellness, herbal specialist with any questions or concerns or if you don’t know if echinacea is right for you. This article is not meant to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or ailment.