Echinacea purpurea
Uses: Medicinal Duration: Perennial (hardy in zones 3-10)
When to Sow: Spring/Late Summer/Early Fall Ease of Germination: Easy
(Coneflower) One of the first things that comes to mind when thinking of herbal medicine, as it is one of the first natural remedies you run to when you feel a cold or flu coming on. Also highly esteemed as a that has been found in medicine cabinets for centuries, and for good reason too! Primarily recognized for its immune stimulating properties. First used by the Native Americans for snakebites, wounds and bruises. Later recognized by Swiss physiotherapist, Alfred Vogel, one of the first to commercialize the healing properties of this herb, giving rise to one of the best known herbal brands “A. Vogel”. Especially useful against upper respiratory tract infections. It does this by preventing destruction of the bodies protective barriers and activating white blood cells. Has also been used as a mouthwash to treat gingivitis. Active compounds found it its flowerheads as well as roots. This is the most commonly grown variety, not as medicinally active as augustifolia variety but faster growing, easier to germinate and longer living, up to 10-20 years while vs the 10 year lifespan of the augustifolia. Unlike augustifolia, pallida does not need cold treatment to germinate. Thrives in full sun and dry to medium well drained soil and rich reddish-purple daisies appear from July to September. Drought tolerant. Height 60-150cm.
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