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Green Medicine > Medicinal Plants > Echinacea


Photo of Echinacea
Photo Copyright 2000
(Echinacea spp.)

Also known as purple coneflower, this genus has 9 species, 3 of which have been commercially cultivated (E. angustifolia, E. pallida, and E. purpurea). Prairie natives, they are drought-tolerant, with long taproots.

E. tennesseensis and E. laevigata are protected under the Endangered Species Act, and their use is prohibited. Sometimes, the other less common species such as E. atrorubens and E. paradoxa are harvested and sold as E. angustifolia. Approximately 95 percent of the E. purpurea used for commercial purposes comes from cultivated sources. Roots, stems, and leaves of echinacea are used in formulas to help build the immune system.

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Last Updated: 4/4/02