Winter is upon us and already areas of the country have gotten their first blanket of snow. Getting a jump start to insure a healthy season is something that you can begin right now. The herb of the month is Echinacea augustifolia (latin Gensus,species)or Echinacea purpurea, more commonly known as Echinacea, is a miraculous plant and the plant to get you started on a healthy immune system.
This American native root used by the American Indian for centuries is one of the best immune booster I know. Many American Indian tribes have used this wonderful herb for many different elements, for example; The Cheyenne used the leaves and roots for gums, sore throats and the mouth.
The Comanche used the root for sore throats, toothaches, colds, and colic. The Sioux used fresh root to aid in septic conditions and hydrophobia. The Montana Indians used it for snake bites.
Echinacea is a wonderful herb used to stimulate the immune system which helps the body overcome illnesses like the common cold or the flu. With Winter here, now is a great time to get out your Echinacea and begin to use it. There is just one very important rule to follow when using Echinacea. It is important to note that it should be taken for seven to ten days, rest for the same amount of days, then you can resume taking it. The reason for this is so that your body will get the most effectiveness from the herb. Echinacea is not the kind of herb that should be taken continuously. I would suggest that Echinacea be taken in a tea form or in a tincture form. It is very easy to make both forms and I will share the directions at the bottom of the page. Also like with most herbs please check with your doctor before using them. If you have any of the following or using medications it is really important that you check with your doctor. I would personally use Echinacea for the following tuberculosis, or HIV infection or other auto-immune disorders such as lupus and multiple-sclerosis. But I strongly recommend that you personal check with your doctor.
Echinacea is also wonderful blood purification and can be used for septic conditions.
This herb is also strong anesthetic for a local area. When applied externally to wounds and painful swellings it offers quick relief of pain. When taken in the mouth it has a numbing sensation this is what you want to look for when buying Echinacea. If your mouth does not get a numbing sensation most likely there is not enough Echinacea in the formula.
Research has shown that it is the antimicrobial action in Echinacea that helps prevent and treat colds, flu and all sorts of other viral, bacterial and fungal infections.
Success has also been seen with anti- aging properties, athletes’ foot, bladder infections, breastfeeding problems, burns, bursitis, chronic fatigue syndrome, dry mouth, earache, gingivitis, herpes virus, HIV infection, laryngitis, Lyme disease, pneumonia, sinusitis, sties, tendinitis, tonsillitis, tuberculosis, viral infection, wound, and yeast infections.
Isn’t it wonderful that a humble plant can do so much? This is why I love herbs!
Tincture of Echinacea
To make a tincture of Echinacea you will need some Organic Echinacea root. This can be from a plant you have dug up either fresh or dried or you can purchase cut Echinacea root. If you have dug your own root make sure the root is cleaned very carefully. After cleaning the root it can be chopped up and used fresh or dried for later use. Fill a canning jar about 2/3 full with the dried root. Fill the jar the rest of the way with vodka or a mixture of 50% vegetable glycerin and 50% distilled water. Cap the jar tightly and shake every day for 2 weeks. Strain the tincture and discard the herb and save the liquid. It’s best to keep some in an amber glass dropper bottle and use a dropperful at a time when needed. Treat illness at first sign of symptoms and use every hour or two.
Tea of Echinacea
To make a tea you will need organic Dried Echinacea root. Use about 1-2 tablespoons of the dried root and add to a cup. Pour your hot water and allow too steep for about 20 minutes, strain and drink. Dosage 2-5 cups a day.