Echinacea spp. (coneflower)
Echinacea, also known as coneflower, belongs to the Asteraceae (daisy) family and includes 10 different naturally occurring species. Species most commonly used medicinally include Echinacea purpurea and Echinacea angustifolia. Clinically, these species are considered mostly interchangeable. Echinacea root
is used therapeutically for its immunostimulation property: activating phagocytosis, enhancing white blood cell mobility, & stimulating fibroblasts. Other Echinacea properties include: anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, lymphogogue, antioxidant. Its roots are used medicinally for upper & lower respiratory tract infections, fever, gastrointestinal infections, tonsilitis, vaginal candidiasis, headache, snake bites, insect bites, wounds, burns, urinary tract infections. This plant may interfere with immunosuppressants & may be contraindicated in autoimmune diseases. Botanical names often stem from Latin or Greek origin, and Echinacea is no exception - it stems from the Greek word ἐχῖνος (ekhinos), meaning hedgehog.
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