It grows on sandy soils in an area surrounding the southern Great Lakes, the Rocky Mountains to the Atlantic. Native Americans used the freshly crushed herb to heal wounds, snake and insect bites (still valid to this day). It was imported into Europe in the late 19th century and was a huge success given its interest in the treatment of infectious diseases.
It is rich in minerals (mostly silica). The echinacoside and echinacina (two sugars) are responsible for its pharmacological activity.
Since 1895, homeopathy recommends it for confused subjects, slowed down, with aches and chills and very sensitive to cold. Thus originally showing as an infection before the inflammatory phase.
Internally used, the mother tincture is indicated in acute viral infections (flu, recurrent herpes, cough, bronchitis, sinusitis…) and chronic bacterial and mycotic diseases. It helps boost immunity by increasing the formation of white blood cells, the activity of macrophages and the release of substances of immune connotation (TNF, interleukin, interferon…). Finally, it has anti-inflammatory action.
Its use is safe but it is recommended for use in treatment of more or less 10 days per month to avoid the depletion of the desired effect (30 drops, 3 times per day for an adult). Its use in cases of autoimmune diseases is contraindicated (this is still poorly documented) as well as during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Externally, Echinacea is used to treat boils and abscesses.