- Safari Park
Purple Coneflower Echinacea purpurea
FAMILY: ASTERACEAE (Sunflower Family)
The purple coneflower Echinacea purpurea has had a big impact on the medicinal herbal market since it was shown to have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and to stimulate the immune system (for those who aren't allergic to it). Echinacea seems to be in everything these days: vitamins, throat lozenges, tea, and cough syrups. It seems you can't walk through a drug store without seeing it!
The part of the plant used to make most of these remedies is the root, although Native American tribes have long used all parts of the plant for everything from easing toothaches and headaches to treating wounds and snakebites. Recent studies have shown that echinacea is effective in reducing the symptoms of viral infections, but doesn't seem to be the definitive "cure for the common cold."