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Echinacea: A Common Medicinal for a Variety of Ailments

| 9/7/2016 9:51:00 AM


Herbs are useful for more than just flavoring food. They can add nutrients to your diet including vitamins and minerals, help alleviate symptoms of a cold/flu, improve your immune system, and even reduce inflammation, stop bleeding, and heal minor burns/bee stings. Wildcrafting is a good way of gathering herbs that you may need. But a way to secure your herbal medicine cabinet is to learn to grow your own.

My last blog post was about mullein, which is something that grows prolifically in the wild and is great for making an oil to soothe ear aches/infections and also helping relieve chest congestion. Today, I’m going to cover another great herb that can be cultivated in your garden: Echinacea purpurea, or Purple Coneflower.

Echinacea as Medicinal Plant

A member of the Asteraceae family, this easy-to-grow plant is a native of North America. Its stalk will grow from 2-5 feet topped by a lovely lavender flower with brownish centers. Though it prefers moist soil it can also be found in dry prairies, and, once established, can do well even in drought conditions (which is great for gardeners!).

When planting this flower, choose a sunny spot — it does not do well in shade. The flower blooms in the summer and reseeds itself in the fall. This year I left the Echinacea in my garden alone to allow them to reseed for next year hoping to at least double my crop.

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