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echinacea(ĕk'ənā`shēə), popular herbal remedy, or botanical, believed to benefit the immune system. It is used especially to alleviate common colds and the flu. Several controlled studies using it as a cold medicine have failed to find any benefit from its use, but a 2007 review of 14 different studies said that echinacea could have modest to marked effects against cold viruses. Echinacea is extracted from the roots and flowering tops of the purple coneflowerconeflower,
name for several American wildflowers of the family Asteraceae (aster family). The purple coneflowers (genus Echinacea), found E of the Rockies, have purple to pinkish petallike rays; some cultivated forms have white flowers.
..... Click the link for more information. (Echinacea angustifolia and E. purpurea).
(purple coneflower), a genus of perennial herbaceous plants of the family Compositae. The stems reach 1–1.5 m in height, and the inflorescences are large heads. The ray flowers are purple, crimson, or, less commonly, whitish; the disk flowers are blackish purple. There are about five species, distributed in North America. The plants have bactericidal properties and are ornamentals. E. purpurea and E. angustifolia are cultivated. Sometimes the Echinacea are included in the genus Rudbeckia.