Echinacea purpurea

Echinacea purpurea

A perennial herb growing to 1.8m in height. The stems are covered in short soft hairs. Leaves rising from the base of the stem are 15x10cm with coarsely, irregularly toothed margins. Flower heads are up to 15cm in diameter, with the central disc-florets orange, whilst the outer florets are red/purple with green tips. The fruit is an achene (small, thin walled, dry fruit).

Habit and cultivation: Propagated by seed or division and prefers rocky, open woodlands and prairies, although sometimes also found in wetter soils alongside rivers and streams. Flowers from January to May. Self-sows in frosty areas, may flower in the first year.

Family: Asteraceae

Which probiotic is it in?: Echinacea purpurea is a key herb in Immunity and Kids

Habit and cultivation:

Actions (known for): Immune enhancing, anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumour, laxative, stimulate bile secretion, wound healing, lymphatic. Topically: antiseptic.


The fresh juice of the arial parts have been approved in Germany for use in restoring damaged tissue and for assisting the body in fighting infection. Was cultivated for 200 years as an ornamental flower.

Parts used:

Whole plant in flower.

Constituents (bio available chemicals):

Alkylamides as above. Caffeic acid esters: (not echinacoside). Chicoric acid. Caftarc acid, chlorogenic and isochlorogenic acids. Flavonoids, essential oil; polysaccarides.

Nutritional constituents:

Vitamins: A, C, D, E. Minerals: iron, iodine, copper, potassium, sulphur.


Colds and flu, respiratory infections, urinary tract infections, immune enhancing. Topically: promotes wound healing, and treatment of inflammatory skin conditions.


Liquid extract (1:2): 20-40ml per week. Decoction/infusion of dried herb: 0.5-1g 3 x daily.

British Herbal Pharmacopoeia

Cautions for therapeutic doses

Those with sensitivities to Asteraceae family.

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