Echinacea Purpurea

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Echinacea purpurea, also known as Coneflower, is a species of flowering plant in the genus Echinacea of the family Asteraceae. Its cone-shaped flowering heads are usually, but not always, purple in the wild. Echinacea is a hardy perennial that perfers full sun to part shade and fertile, well-drained soil. Use as a cut flower, dried, in beds, in a cottage garden design, and as a medical herb.

Direct sow in the fall of the previous year for mid-summer bloom or as soon as the soil can be worked for late summer bloom.  Ecinacea can be started indoors, 8-10 weeks before planting date. Harvest seeds in flowers open. 

Echinacea should be of particular interest during the cold and flu season when you are exposed to these illnesses on a regular basis. When used correctly it is the closest thing to a cure for the common cold.  According to

Echinacea stimulates the overall activity of the cells responsible for fighting all kinds of infection. Unlike antibiotics, which directly attack bacteria, echinacea makes our own immune cells more efficient at attacking bacteria, viruses and abnormal cells, including cancer cells. It increases the number and activity of immune system cells including anti-tumor cells, promotes T-cell activation, stimulates new tissue growth for wound healing and reduces inflammation in arthritis and inflammatory skin conditions.

Echinacea purpurea is one plant that should be in everyone's garden!

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