Flower Focus: Echinacea

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Echinacea Pilleda: perhaps our very most favorite form of the daisy family (we love them all). You may have spotted this darling wildflower growing alongside some ditches, in native wildflower gardens (such as our Bee Haven:) and in your neighbor’s yards galore. This super easy-to-grow herb will not only look lovely in your garden and serve as the perfect cut flower for a fresh bouquet, but is guaranteed to attract hordes of butterflies, bumblebees, and if you’re lucky – hummingbirds!

We don’t just love this flower due to its fiery bright orange center and its modest pink petals – although these characteristics are certainly what first drew us into the Echinacea plant itself. We also adore it because of all the wonderful medicinal attributes it holds! Read below for some of our go-to uses for Echinacea.

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Immune System Booster Extraordinaire:

You may recognize this pink coneflower from the packaging of some natural cough drops at your local pharmacy. Whenever we feel ourselves coming down with a sore throat or cold we b-line it to the pharmacy or grocery market for our favorite Echinacea + honey throat lozenges. This classic duo combines the immune system helping of the flower alongside the anti-bacterial properties of the honey and inevitably kicks your nasty winter cold in the butt and tastes just like candy. Let’s just say this bag doesn’t last us very long… win, win!

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Natural Painkiller:

Say goodbye to your bottle of Advil and say hello to all natural Echinacea tea. Nothing relaxes you and alleviates a killer headache like making a hot cup of herbal tea. We rely on this for after a particularly long work week, hike in the woods, intense hot yoga class, or run about the neighborhood. You can find pouches of Echinacea tea at a nearby health food supply store.

Beautiful Cut Flower:

We love to collect handfuls of this native wildflower to keep in a vase of fresh water in the house. They last an impossibly long time – and even once the petals begin to wilt try this favorite tip of ours that we learned from a local florist friend: gently pluck off the remaining green foliage pink petals to reveal the spikey orange center. Once you’ve done this you don’t even need to keep the stems in water anymore! They will dry out this way and keep indefinitely! What a great way to keep a maintenance-free reminder of the summer months in your home year-round.

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This wonder-flower has been utilized for years by our ancestors as a natural way to good overall health and will continue to linger for years to come! Why not give it a go next time you sense a sickness coming on, or when looking for a simple flower to grow in a part of your garden that you’ve found to be otherwise difficult to cultivate. You’ll be surprised the conditions this little flower can withstand and its long lasting nature. Grow it and dry some to save for the long winter months ahead! Let us know – will you attempt growing it yourself? Will you go to the shop and pick up some natural throat lozenges and maybe some pill-form concentrated capsules to take on a regular basis as a preventative action against the common cold? Or maybe both? Don’t be shy to share your personal experiences with Echinacea and if you have any other tips or uses we should try out for out.

Thanks for reading

GBD Team