Echinacea purpurea

Plant family: Asteraceae aka Compositae (Daisy family)

Part used: root

Taste: bitter

Historical commentary: Echinacea was introduced to European herbalism from America, where it had been used by the Indians and adopted into American herbalism. During the latter half of the 20th century, echinacea was widely cultivated in Europe, mainly in Germany.


Antibiotic: mainly used as a preventive and treatment for respiratory tract infections.

Modern findings: Echinacea is reported to shorten the duration of upper respiratory tract infections. It may function primarily by improving immune system responses.

Dosage: 1-3 grams.

Active constituents: The herb has been extensively studied and numerous components have been isolated, but the active components responsible for the anti-infection activity are not clearly identified. One suggestion is that the polysaccharides are responsible for promoting white blood cell functions. The root also contains caffeic acid derivatives, essential oils, and alkamides.

Cautions: Members of this plant family may rarely cause allergy reaction.

Künzle Formulas: Tea for Colds, Tea for Flu.