I just love the bright red colour to these roots! Just as beautiful as the flower!
Many people grow the flower for its beauty, not even considering the potential health benefits of this beautiful plant. I planted Coneflower, as it is also known by, more than three years ago for the sole purpose of digging it up one day. It takes several years to mature enough to use for medicine, though the leaves and flowers can be used right from the start.
I discovered through some research that taking echinacea as a preventative immune booster isn’t actually the main use for this plant. It is a strong formula that one takes right before the onset of a cold or flu. It must be taken several times a day to encourage the body to fight off the attack (boosting white blood cell activity). It is most effective when used fresh.
So I did the work of preserving the roots in 80 proof vodka for 4-6 weeks, shaking daily. It was pretty simple and the outcome is incredible. The flavour is sweet and earthy. Here is Rosemary Gladstar’s tutorial for help. She recommends storing your tincture in a dark glass bottle. I found some at Arts Junktion and also Gales Wholesale.
Use a small amount (1 tsp) and mix into water or tea
Here is a nice tea mixture you could try with the dried roots,
1 part echinacea parts, leaves, flowers, roots
1/4 part lemon grass
1/4 part spearmint leaves (or to taste)
Stevia leaves to taste
Mix and brew at the first sign of cold or flu. Based on the Traditional Medicinal recipe.
Having medicine on hand, that I know will last a long time and will be of great value to someone in need fills me with so much joy.
Thank you Echinacea for your beauty and powerful medicine here in Manitoba!