Echinacea is herbal medicine’s first choice of treatment for colds. Stimulating the immune system, the herbs can also be used to treat chronic yeast infections in women and to prevent urinary tract infections in both sexes. Administered in times of need, this helpful ally can assist the body’s immune system in treating a wide range of disorders. There has been some doubt over the ability of the body to absorb the medicinally active ingredients orally (intravenous injections being considered the only effective way to administer the plant), but recent research has demonstrated significant absorption from orally administered applications. The roots and the whole plant are considered particularly beneficial in the treatment of sores, wounds, burns etc, possessing cortisone-like and antibacterial activity. The plant was used by North American Indians as a universal application to treat the bites and stings of all types of insects. To date the Echinacea angustfolia is presumed to be more effective than the purpurea or pallida.
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