What a perfect example of how through the seasons, Mother Nature provides us with what we need to stay alive and well. During the summer months Echinacae shows off its' beautiful purple petals, which soak up the daylights sun and sends deep into it's roots a reserve of energy. When the days begin to cool and the petals tuck back on this plant in fall, the roots are ready for harvesting.
Echinacea angustifolia and E. purpurea I'm certain will be popular herbs this coming cold and flu season. Growing up I had an aunt who would give us Echinacea when we were sick. Thinking back I regretfully remember discounting the potent impact this herb can have on combating the common cold or flu.
I realized this for myself this past year when in school, I kept running my immune system into the ground and was repeatedly catching every cold that went around. My sleep was awful, I was getting an average of four hours a night for several months on end. Inevitably my body was trying to tell me something, my immune system was weak and I had pulled myself into a level of chronic fatigue.
I began using Echinacea in tincture form, 30 drops per day and also purchased some of the dried herb which I decocted with Lemon balm and Ashwagandha for a calming sedative evening drink. How quickly my immune system bounced back once I started using Echinacea was impressive...placebo I can't say for sure. What I can say is that when you're entire body is full of aches and pains, your head is hot and heavy and your respiratory system is so blocked you cant take a breath through your nose, and you begin to feel the sensation of coolness and clarity after using this herb..you begin to believe it actually works.
As an anti microbial herb, Echinacea acts by supporting the bodies own immunity and can promote healing from infections. The dogs and I stumbled across this little patch on our walk several weeks ago. The E. angustifolia variety of this herb can be found growing wild all over the prairies and in open wooded areas. Although I haven't yet grown Echinacea on my own, I am inspired to plant a small patch of it in my garden in the spring for summer blooms. To cultivate this herb, most people will wait a minimum of three growing years till they harvest its' roots.