The Q&A Archives: Echinacea as a Medicinal Herb

Question: I ve seen much written lately about the medicinal qualities of Echinacea. Can you tell me more about what part of the plant - seeds, roots, leaves, etc. - are used for this purpose and how it is processed?

Answer: The two kinds of Echinacea used medicinally are E. angustifolia and E. purpurea. The roots contain most of the active compounds, but you'll see preparations that include leaves as well. Richters Herbs catalog has a website that offers more in-depth information on the topic. They also recommend (and sell) these books that should detail how it is processed: Steven Foster's "Echinacea, Nature's Immune Enhancer" and Christopher Hobb's booklet, "Echinacea: The Immune Herb!" The website address is: Hope this helps!

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