Botanical name: Echinacea purpurea
Uses and history:
Echinacea is a very popular herb, and people commonly take it to help combat flu and colds. It is a genus of herbaceous flowering plants in the daisy family - Asteraceae. It is also known as the American coneflower.
Echinacea is available otc (over the counter) at pharmacies, health shops, and supermarkets as teas, liquid extracts, a dried herb, and as capsules or pills.
Promoters of echinacea say that the herb encourages the immune system and reduces many of the symptoms of colds, flu and some other illnesses, infections, and conditions.
Echinacea is a perennial plant, meaning it lasts for many years. It is approximately 1-2 feet (30-60 centimeters) tall when mature. It is slightly spiky and has large purple to pink flowers, depending on the species.
The center of the flower has a seed head (cone), which is also spiky and dark brown to red in color.
Echinacea purpurea - purple coneflower, eastern purple coneflower
**Not intended as medical advice**