Chris here with Patriot Privacy, Tiberian Growdome and the Self Reliance Institute. Please welcome our newest contributor Bill Bernhardt, who is a outdoor guide and wilderness survivalist. I asked him to write about his favorite health plant for our readers.
If I had to choose one medicinal plant over all of the others, I would undoubtedly choose Echinacea! In fact, in my opinion, Echinacea (aka Purple Cone Flower) is the best kept secret in the world since it seems that very few people are aware of just how powerful this single medicinal plant is. In fact, there have been numerous times when I have come down with a cold or even the flu and yet, literally within a couple of hours of taking the first dose of this miracle plant, I have felt significantly better and, with just a few follow up doses, my ailment has completely disappeared! However, when I use over-the-counter pharmaceuticals instead, I find that I only feel marginally better because pharmaceuticals only treat the symptoms instead of the root of the ailment. Furthermore, when taking pharmaceuticals, my ailment persists for far longer than if I had taken the Echinacea; which is exactly what the pharmaceutical companies are depending on in order to stay in business.
For those of you who are not familiar with this plant, it is often available as a dried powder contained in gelatin capsules most anywhere that dietary suppliants are sold. Also, it is commonly cultivated as a decorative flower in flower beds throughout the world due to its striking, cone-shaped, flower heads and attractive purple, white, or yellow petals. However, it commonly grows in the wild as well and thus, it is readily available to those individuals who prefer to forge. In addition, it should be noted that there are actually three different species of this plant which all have a similar appearance as well as medicinal value.
For instance, the Purple Cone Flower (Echinacea purpurea) is commonly found in the eastern half of the U.S. ranging from Michigan to Texas to the East Coast. Also, it grows to a height of 2 to 3 feet and has oval, coarsely toothed, green leaves and the rays (petals) of the flower heads (cones) typically appear purple or white with orange tips. Furthermore, it can be found growing wild in both open woods and fallow fields as well as in cultivated gardens. Whereas, the Narrow-Leaved Purple Cone Flower (Echinacea angustifolia) is commonly found growing on open prairies from Texas to Nebraska and as far west as Colorado.
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However, this species only grows to a height of 6 to 20 inches and has stiff, hairy, lance-shaped green leaves topped with a cone-shaped disc surrounded by pale to deep purple rays. Then, there is the Pale Purple Coneflower (Echinacea pallida) which appears similar to the Narrow-Leaved Purple Cone Flower but it grows to a height of 40 inches and produces a larger flower. In addition, instead of spreading rays, the petals of this species grow to a length of 4 inches have a distinct drooping appearance. In addition, it is commonly found growing wild in both prairies and glades in the central part of the U.S. ranging from Oklahoma to Michigan.
But, most importantly, all three species are considered to be non-specific immune system boosters and thus, they are used in a manner similar to an antibiotic to help heal both external and internal infections. Therefore, preparations of this plant can be used topically as either a poultice, a tincture, or a salve to aid in healing cuts and abrasions, wounds, and burns and it can be ingested internally as either a tisane (tea), a tincture (a concentrated tisane), or a dried extract to treat internal infection, colds, and flu. In fact, clinical studies have shown that ingesting this plant can significantly reduce both the severity and duration of both cold and flu symptoms! Furthermore, it has traditionally been used by many Native American tribes as a treatment for both spider and snake bites to help alleviate the tissue and nerve damage caused by the poison that these creatures inject.
So, the next time you feel yourself coming down with a fever accompanied by lack of energy and body aches, instead of reaching for the Nyquil, try taking Echinacea instead. In fact, if you will do so, I am quite certain that you will be absolutely amazed at how quickly you feel better and how quickly your symptoms disappear completely! Plus, you will find that you save a significant amount of money when purchasing Echinacea over the “snake oil” that the pharmaceutical companies are peddling to unknowing and unsuspecting customers and, you will be doing your body a huge favor as well by ingesting a natural plant substance instead of a processed concoction with God only knows what in it.
PS: If you’d like to learn more about edible and medicinal plants that are essential for survival check out this amazing resource.