While many kinds of echinacea (or cone flower) exist, only three are used medicinally: Echinacea angustifolia (narrow-leaved purple cone flower), Echinacea purpurea (common purple cone flower) and Echinacea pcillida (pale purple cone flower). Since E. angustifolio is the one favoured by herbalists, and E. purpurea is the one on which most of the research is done, many commercial products now combine both types.
While not all positive, results from a number of clinical trials now support the use of echinacea in the treatment of colds, flus and infections of the upper respiratory tract. Traditionally creams and ointments made from echinacea are used to treat minor cuts and grazes. Echinacea is also considered to be a blood purifier and is used in the treatments of many chronic skin conditions, such as eczema andarthritic conditions.
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