ECHINACEA

Echinacea angustifolia, purpurea, pallida
Immune System Beauty

This North American perennial is the monarch of the modern-day herb garden. It has dark green leaves, big stems, large flowers with “daisy” petals, and a many-faceted cone center that is radiant in the sun. The plant has deep, medicinal roots, with three varieties that are specific for immunity.
Angustifolia: Called Black Samson Cornflower, it has eight-inch leaves, large orchid or violet flowers, and a dark cone center. It’s common in the plains states, and was known as Missouri Snakeroot by the Sioux, who used it to treat septic disorders, rabies, and snakebites. It removes toxins and fights infections.
Pallida: The Pale Purple Cornflower blooms in rosy purple, with drooping flower petals. It was a panacea herb for the plains Indians, used for all ills. It stimulates production of white “killer” cells and regulates red blood cells. It’s a lymph system cleanser, tumor-inhibitor, and it’s antiallergenic.
Purpurea: The big Purple Coneflower can grow to five feet tall and blooms with large reddish purple flowers that can reach four inches in diameter. It was used as a cure-all by the Indians, and is prized in Europe, where it is used as an immune system stimulant.

All Infections and Immunity. Echinacea tea is a standard for infections at onset to stimulate immunity and recovery—colds, flu, viruses, gland swelling, lymph congestion, boils, abscesses, inflammatory conditions, and immunity that is compromised by prolonged illness, surgery, or rounds of antibiotics. The warm water of the tea releases the properties best! A tincture with alcohol doesn’t compare.
The standard for taking echinacea is—one month maximum, one month break. If your immunity is very weak, and you take echinacea for more than a week, break after one month. Monthly breaks let your body’s own immune responses show their new strength. One cup of tea per day is a moderate and effective dose, but many herbalists recommend up to three cups of tea per day for a more potent remedy. When you take three cups of tea per day, it’s best to take a break from echinacea after one week, and if you need to resume for another week, scale down your use to one cup per day.
Virtues for Immunity. Echinacea cleans the blood, kidneys, lymph system, and liver, protects healthy cells against decay, fights invaders including bacteria, viruses, fungus, and microbes. It works on a cellular level for defense against disease. It stimulates the production of T-cells, antibodies, and interferon. It’s antiallergenic and anti-inflammatory. It has health-building nutrition, including B-complex vitamins, iron for red blood, calcium for strong bones and teeth, selenium for disease resistance, and silica for tissue repair.

Special feature: Topical Echinacea Skin Toner
Documented evidence from Italian scientists shows that polyphenols in echinacea protect the skin from oxidative damage caused by solar radiation. Sun-damaged collagen loses its ability to contract, and that shows up on your face as wrinkles and roughness, or precancerous growths. Antioxidants in echinacea prevent cellular decay and minimize the effects of sun damage.
These findings indicate what many European women have known for a long time—topical echinacea can work wonders on your skin!

How do you get a potent dose of topical echinacea right in your home? Use echinacea tea for a facial toner. It’s pure echinacea herb delivered in water, without dyes or additives! Pat it on with a cotton ball and let its healing benefits soak into your skin.
Topical Echinacea Recipe: To make topical echinacea toner from ready-made tea bags, purchase echinacea tea as a simple, without other herbs added to make a blend. Look for a tea that uses two or three echinaceas (augustifolia, purpurea, pallida) in one tea. Use two tea bags of echinacea in one cup of water, let the tea steep to a potent brew, and cool. Use a cotton ball to press the echinacea water into your skin. Refrigerate the remaining liquid for repeated use. Make fresh toner every three days. If you use dried herbs, make the toner with two teaspoons of echinacea herb per cup.
It softens hard skin, and penetrates deep to heal “wicked” skin conditions. It’s an excellent toner to use before sunbathing.

Beneficent Parts: Root and rhizome
Properties: Good Source of Vitamins and Minerals, including Vitamins A, B-Complex, B3, G, and E. Rich in Iron. Also has Calcium, Magnesium, Manganese, Potassium, Selenium, Silicon, Sodium, Essential Oil, Polyacetylenes, Polysaccharide, Glycoside, Resin, Betaine, Inulin, Sesquiterpene
Values: Immune Stimulant, Alterative, Antimicrobial, Diaphoretic, Antiallergenic, Antiviral, Antifungal, Anti-inflammatory

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