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Herbal Medicine with a Wild History

Echinacea by Kelly Kindscher
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This book provides an in-depth analysis of one the of most popular medicinal plants—Echinacea a species that is native to only the US and Canada. There are nine Echinacea species and several roots and above-ground portions of these showy wildflowers have been used in herbal medicine as an immune stimulant and to reduce one’s chances of catching a cold. Considerable medical research supports these claims. The most popular species and the primary one wild-harvested is the one native to the Great Plains, Echinacea angustifolia. It has a long history of use, including being both historically and currently the most widely-used medicinal plant by any of the Great Plains Native Americans. The importance of this species is described by the editor with a few key contributors chosen to relate the important facets of the story of this interesting plant: Echinacea’s biology, ecology, medicinal uses, markets, production and harvest, along with population biology, legal protections, ethnobotany, and history. The US Forest Service has expressed concern about the conservation status of Echinacea species on their lands, especially on the National Grasslands and National Forest units in the northern Great Plains. Overall, the future status of Echinacea, as an important medicinal plant and in the wild is not grim, but this book provides a clear perspective of why both cultivated and wild-harvested Echinacea will continue to be available to consumers without threatening the remaining populations.
Springer International Publishing; June 2016
243 pages; ISBN 9783319181561
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Title: Echinacea
Author: Kelly Kindscher
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