Superfood Spotlight: Echinacea

Hello My Name Is: Echinacea

Tell us About Yourself: Echinacea is a purple coneflower and is the best known herb for stimulating the immune system. Echinacea was used
frequently by Native American tribes for a wide variety of conditions. At least 14 tribes used echinacea for ailments such as coughs, colds,
sore throats and infections. It was even used by the Dakotas as a veterinary medicine for their horses. In 1887, echinacea was introduced into US medical practice, and has since grown in popularity globally.

What Do You Bring To The Plate: Thousands of Europeans and Americans use echinacea against colds, flu, minor infections and other major and minor ailments. It has been used to treat some of the following:

  • Colds, coughs and flu and other upper respiratory conditions
  • Enlarged lymph glands, sore throat
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Other minor infections
  • May help combat herpes and candida
  • Wounds, skin regeneration and skin infections (external use)
  • Psoriasis, eczema and inflammatory skin conditions

Let’s Get Together: Echinacea is available in capsules containing a powder of the dried plant or root, and also as a tincture (an alcohol-based preparation). In some cases, people drink pressed juice from fresh plants. For treating skin conditions, special preparations containing pressed juice are used.

Soothing Nighttime/Immune Boosting Beverage

  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon dried echinacea fresh edible flower (or roots)
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 lemon, juice of, freshly squeezed
  • 1 teaspoon honey (or more to taste)
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