is a genus consisting of nine species of flowering plants in the Family
Asteraceae, all native to eastern North America, and often known as the
herbaceous, drought-tolerant perennial plants growing to 1 or 2 m in height.
Asteraceae, the flowers are a composite inflorescence, with purple (rarely
yellow or white) florets arranged in a prominent, somewhat cone-shaped head.
contains alkylamides, caffeic acid derivatives, polysaccharides, essential
oils, and other constituents, including polyacetylene flavonoids and
Growth and Cultivation
is quite tolerant of drought, though grows better
in cultivation with adequate watering, and can tolerate fairly diverse
Echinacea is generally indigenous
to soils with a pH of 6.0-7.0. Selection of good sites will be important
for this crop since it is a root crop and a deep well drained loam to
sandy loam soil will be best for growing and harvesting.
Echinacea species usually grow on relatively poor soil without fertilizer.
- Echinacea products are widely used to treat
colds and flus.
- Echinacea works to increase the activity of
the immune system by stimulating white blood cells, which attack the
viruses and bacteria that lead to illness or infection.
- In some parts of Europe, Echinacea is taken
in an IV as supplemental treatment for some forms of cancer. Some European
medical professionals also inject Echinacea to remedy infections of the
- Echinacea can also be used externally to
treat skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. It can also be an
ingredient in hemorrhoid treatments or to sooth inset bites.
Roots and plant material are
generally marketed to herbalists, manufacturers, distributors, and
pharmaceutical companies. Echinacea is sold in various forms, including
teas, ointments, pills, tinctures, creams and powders.
U.S consumers spent over $12
billion on natural supplements and sales are increasing by more than 10
percent yearly. After multiherb and others, echinacea had the
largest market share at 9 percent.
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