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Echinacea, the Sacred Plant

Author: Anja Heij

A full grown Echinacea-plant is an impressive and decorative appearance. You may
consider giving her a place in your garden. This beautiful plant will probably steal
your heart with her large, colorful and long lasting flowers.

No doubt you have heard of Echinacea, also called Purple Cone flower, as a herb to
boost the immune-system. Many scientific studies have proven its effectiveness to
promote overall health. Instead of naming the chemical components to explain why it
works, I propose we observe the plant the way healers and herbologists in ancient
times did. They derived their knowledge about healing properties from experience,
intuition and the outer appearance of a plant, combined with the symbology of colors
and astrology. Let's take a look:

The Purple Cone flower has strong vertical stems, rising up till 1.5 meter, not
needing support; this points at strength. The stems and leaves are dark green;
according to the old signature teachings this is a vitalizing color. The stems are
round (balancing, harmonizing) and hairy; hairy stems were believed to have a
healing effect on the skin and the respiratory system. The plant grows from a thick
black root; this points at power, persistence and regeneration. Echinacea can stand
full sun, drought, poor soil and frost; so it must be a strong plant. The flowers
reach up to the sun; this is translated with liveliness and optimism. The plant
flowers from June until September; again: strength and persistence. The plant has
orange-tipped bristles on the reddish flowerheads. Both red and orange are colors of
energy, vitality and enthusiasm; in the body they have a stimulating and purifying
effect on the heart and blood circulation. Red is associated with the planet Mars:
strength, activity, assertivity and defense. Orange is the color of Jupiter:
liveliness, self-confidence, abundance, expressing your beliefs. The flowerhead of
the Echinacea completely opens up to the sun, as if to say "here I am"; herein we
recognize both Mars and Jupiter. The flower petals are purple-magenta. Purple is a
mixture of red (activating and stimulating) and blue (calming down heat, fever and
inflammation). Magenta is associated with Scorpio, who wishes to bring about
transformation in a very persistent way from deep within.

So now we found the way the ancients did that Echinacea is a good herb to
strengthen your immune system, vitalize the body through activation and purification
of the blood, heal the skin, calm down inflammations, and positively influence
Scorpio-diseases (cancer, AIDS-symptoms). And I'd like to add that Echinacea in my
opinion helps building up self-confidence and inner strength.

Modern science reaches the conclusion after analyzing and testing, that Echinacea
increases the bodily immune system against bacterial and viral infections, that it
promotes the activity of the white blood cells (who attack invader-organisms in the
blood), stimulates the lymphatic system, and keeps infections from spreading.
Outwardly applied it has anti-septic and wound-healing properties. Echinacea
contains essential oil, polysaccharides, polyacetylenes, betain, glycoside,
sesquiterpenes, caryophylen, copper, iron, tannins, protein, fatty acids and the
vitamins A,C and E. The most important immune-stimulating components are the large
polysaccharides, such as inulin, that increase the production of T-cells and
increase other natural killer cell activity.

This herb can be used to fight almost any infection or inflammation, and it can
be applied in the defense against tumors. It promotes a stronger life-force.
Therefore the Indians named this plant the Sacred Plant, for it can even heal snake-
bites. Echinacea is commonly known to prevent colds and flus. Well, this does not
always work. Sometimes the body needs an 'outlet' in the form of an acute disease to
get rid of waste material. This is a form of internal cleansing and cannot be
prevented, unless you adopt a healthier way of living. But Echinacea can reduce your
period of illness in such cases. In persons with a weak constitution, who are
suffering from regular and chronic colds or inflammations, Echinacea indeed can work
preventive, because it strengthens the overall immunity. Besides colds and flus,
think of Echinacea in case of (chronic) bladder inflammations, herpes, candida,
vaginal yeast infection, blood poisoning, gangrene, blood cleansing, arthritis
relief, hay fever, chronique fatigue, inflammation of the teeth, mouth, throat and
skin (eczema, ulcers, psoriasis, acne,insect bites).

Echinacea can be used internally and externally. Please follow the prescriptions
on the box you buy, and do not use it month after month. It is meant to stimulate
your self-defense; not to do the job for your immunity system. It is best to use it
for let's say 3 weeks, stop for a week, if you still need it use it another 3 weeks,
take a break of a week, and if necessary use it again for 3 weeks. I do not find it
wise to continue with self-medication after 9 weeks of usage; so please consult a
specialist then, or earlier if your common sense tells you so. In itself Echinacea
is a save herb. I can recommend you the benefits of this Sacred Plant, and the joy
of watching its beautiful flowers in the garden.

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