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Echinacea

Part Used: root

Energetics: bitter, pungent/cooling/pungent PK- V+

Tissues: plasma, blood

Systems: circulatory, lymphatic, respiratory

Actions: alterative, diaphoretic, antibacterial, antiviral, antiseptic, analgesic

Indication: toxic conditions of the blood, blood poisoning, gangrene, eczema, poisonous bites or stings, venereal diseases, prostatitis, infection, wounds, abscesses

Precautions: anemia vertigo, high, Vata

Preparation: infusion (hot or cold), powder (250 mg to 1 g), tincture

ECHINACEA is probably the best detoxifying agent in western herbalism. It is a natural herbal antibiotic and counters the effects of most poisons in the body. It cleanses the blood and lymph systems, catalyzes the action of the white blood cells and helps arrest pus formation and tissue putrefaction. In terms of Ayurveda, it is used in destroying Ama.

Its usage is somewhat similar to golden seal, but whereas golden seal acts more on the g.i. tract, echinacea is stronger on the blood and the lungs, for colds, flus, etc. Echinacea is less depleting on the body than golden seal, and so is preferable for more long term usage.

For lung infections, it combines well with its relative, elecampane. Where it may cause dizziness or ungroundedness, it can be combined with licorice or marshmallow. Unlike golden seal, echinacea can be used in normal dosages, but care must be taken to get the plant fairly fresh (it loses its potency in six months or less), which is why a tincture is often preferable.

It can be used externally as a poultice or wash for toxic bites or infectious sores.

   
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