Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea)
Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea)
Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea)
Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea)
Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea)
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Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea)

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Both a beautiful plant and a medicinal powerhouse for the garden.  Echinacea is a must have for any garden.  It brings gifts of immune support, skin healing, cut flower and pollinator attractor.  

Why We Love It

Here are some of the reasons why we love Echinacea...

1) IMMUNE SYSTEM SUPPORT - Taken short-term to boost the immune system at the first signs of cold, cough and / or flu symptoms. Echinacea also has an affinity for the respiratory tract, its anti-inflammatory attributes can aid in healing respiratory concerns. 

2) TOPICAL SOOTHING AND PAIN RELIEF - Making an infused oil of the aerial parts of Echinacea can be used as a skin soother. A balm or salve can be made for skin concerns, sunburn, eczema, and wounds. It's anti-bacterial qualities aid in the prevention of infection. Echinacea can also be used fresh topically as a poultice for all the same healing benefits.

3) CUT FLOWER AND POLLINATOR PLANT - The large purple flowers of echinacea are always buzzing with bees and butterflies. It's a lovely addition to a cottage flower garden with blooms lasting throughout summer into autumn. Disease- resistant.

How to Grow It

Here's how to grow Echinacea:

SUN FULL SUN
MOISTURE REGULAR, WELL DRAINING SOIL
GROWING ZONES USDA  3-9(Not sure? Find your growing zone here)
SIZE 3-5 FEET TALL & 1-3 FEET WIDE
PRO TIP Echinacea evolved as a meadow plant and can take up a lot of space, give it room to spread and it will. Harvest flower heads to encourage new blooms throughout the season.

 

How to Harvest & Use It

All parts of echinacea purpurea are medicinal. To establish, plant in rich soil, water regularly and encourage plant to root. In second year they will begin to send up flower heads. Regularly harvest open flower heads to dry for tea or tincture. Flowers will last on the plant for up to three weeks. Deadhead old flowers to encourage continual growth. In spring, cut back foliage to encourage new growth. 

Roots are also great medicine, although more effort to harvest than aerial parts. Roots are best harvested in Fall when cutting back the tops of the plant. Gently dig around the plants and pull them up removing some of the roots. Replant any new growth that may be popping out. Wash roots in water and tincture. Make a separate aerial and root tincture throughout the year and then combine them to make more potent medicine.

    Here's a great video from the legendary herbalist Rosemary Gladstar, demonstrating how to make an echinacea tincture: