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These plants, funghi and insect illustrations
are part of my botanical oracle deck

Echinacea purpurea | Purple Coneflower

Botanical Overview of Echinacea

  • Scientific Name: Echinacea purpurea

  • Common Names: Purple Coneflower, Eastern Purple Coneflower, Echinacea

  • Family: Asteraceae

  • Description: A robust perennial herb with upright stems, lance-shaped leaves, and large, daisy-like flowers. The flowers have prominent, spiky, brownish-orange central cones surrounded by pink or purple petals. It grows up to 1.5 meters tall.

echinacea purpurea botanical painting

Properties of Echinacea

  • Chemical Constituents: Polysaccharides, glycoproteins, alkamides, caffeic acid derivatives (such as echinacoside), and essential oils.

  • Edibility: Leaves and flowers can be used in teas or as garnishes, but it is primarily valued for its medicinal properties rather than as a food source.

Distribution and Habitat of Echinacea

  • Native Range: Central and Eastern North America.

  • Preferred Habitat: Thrives in prairies, open woodlands, and dry, sandy, or rocky soils. Prefers full sun and is often cultivated in gardens for both ornamental and medicinal purposes.

Medicinal Properties and Uses of Echinacea

  • Traditional Uses: Long used by Native American tribes for its immune-boosting and wound-healing properties. Traditionally applied to treat infections, snake bites, and other ailments.

  • Modern Applications: Widely used in herbal medicine to enhance immune function, reduce inflammation, and treat respiratory infections and colds. Echinacea extracts are popular in dietary supplements and herbal teas aimed at supporting immune health and reducing the duration and severity of colds and flu.

Magical Correspondences and Uses of Echinacea in Magical Practice

  • Element: Air

  • Planet: Jupiter, Mars

  • Magical Properties: Strength, healing, and prosperity.

  • Uses: Purple Coneflower is used in magical practices for its protective and strengthening properties. It can be included in spells and rituals to promote health, strengthen resolve, and attract prosperity. The plant is also used in healing rituals and potions, drawing upon its reputation as a powerful medicinal herb. Dried flowers and leaves can be used in sachets or as incense to bring positive energy and protection to the home.

Folklore, Legends, and Mythology of Echinacea

  • Historical Context: Purple Coneflower has been a valued medicinal plant for centuries among Native American tribes. It was adopted by European settlers and has since become a staple in herbal medicine.

  • Folklore: In Native American folklore, Echinacea was often used in ceremonies and treatments to ward off illnesses and boost vitality. It was considered a sacred plant with the power to protect and heal.

  • Mythology: Associated with healing deities and spirits due to its extensive use in traditional medicine. In modern myth, it continues to symbolize health and resilience, often invoked in rituals and spells for these purposes.

Historical Literary Sources

  • H. W. Felter and J. U. Lloyd's "King's American Dispensatory" (1898): Describes the medicinal uses of Echinacea as recognized in late 19th and early 20th century herbal medicine.

  • Joseph Meyer’s "The Herbalist" (1934): Provides insights into the traditional and contemporary applications of Echinacea in herbal practice.


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