Friday, August 17, 2007

Echinacea purpurea

Purple Coneflower (E. purpurea)
Height: 2-3 feet
Germination: 15-30 days
Optimum soil temperature for germination: 70F-75F
Sowing depth: 1/8"
Blooming period: June-October
Suggested use: Borders, meadows, mixtures, floral gardens.
Uses, Cautions, and Preparation: The aboveground parts of the plant and roots of echinacea are used fresh or dried to make teas, squeezed (expressed) juice, extracts, or preparations for external use.
Echinacea has traditionally been used to treat or prevent colds, flu, and other infections. Echinacea is believed to stimulate the immune system to help fight infections. Less commonly, echinacea has been used for wounds and skin problems, such as acne or boils.
Studies indicate that echinacea does not appear to prevent colds or other infections. Other studies have shown that echinacea may be beneficial in treating upper respiratory infections.
When taken by mouth, echinacea usually does not cause side effects. However, some people experience allergic reactions, including rashes, increased asthma, and anaphylaxis (a life-threatening allergic reaction). In clinical trials, gastrointestinal side effects were most common. It is important to consult your health care providers about any herb or dietary you are using, including echinacea. This helps to ensure safe and coordinated care.
Miscellaneous: E. purpurea is indigenous to the SE and Midwestern United States. An excellent variety for cut flower arrangements with a vase life of 5 to 7 days. Propagation from root cuttings is reliable if performed in the fall.

Sources and further reading:
Texas A&M University
National Center for Complementary & Alternative Medicine
Missouri State University (image source)

12 comments:

twotymer97 said...

Dear Mr. Dunhill,

Medicinal plants are well and good, but I've got a much weightier issue on my mind at this time. You see, E.R., as long as I've known you, here in the blogosphere, I've wondered what the E.R. in your name stood for. A certain friend of mine (an ethnic chef by trade) and I were conversing one day, and we went over several E.R. possibilities. Now I realize that in today's government-intrusive, privacy-concerned cyber-world, a blogger might not wish to divulge his or her full name. And I realize that E.R. might even be merely a pseudonym. But I hope it's not overstepping the bounds of propriety to list to you the names my fajita-grilling friend and I came up with—maybe you can just tell us "warm" or "cold."

Evan Ray Dunhill
Earl Randolph Dunhill
Edsel Rockefeller Dunhill
Elijah Reuben Dunhill
Edgar Ralph Dunhill
Erik Rick Dunhill
Evil Righteous Dunhill
Everything Rolls Dunhill
Environmentalist Raconteur Dunhill
Ebullient Rapscallion Dunhill
Enjoys Reading Dunhill
Employs Rats Dunhill
Especially Radical Dunhill
Epileptic Revolutionary Dunhill
Epicurean Rationalist Dunhill
Emotional Rollercoaster Dunhill
Enormous Rabblerouser Dunhill
Energized Romney-voter Dunhill
Elastic Realist Dunhill
Eccentric Robot Dunhill
Extra Rice-for-me Dunhill
Empanada Retriever Dunhill
Existentially Regrettable Dunhill

How'd we do? Are any of these "warm?"

Kindest Regards,
Charise

E. R. Dunhill said...

tt97 and ICM,
I wondered if anyone would ever ask about E.R. Dunhill. You and ICM did come up with quite a list. I had quite a laugh over them. For the record:
Elijah Reuben Dunhill - cold
Especially Radical Dunhill – colder
Energized Romney-voter Dunhill - “Now what's cooler than bein' cool? I can't hear ya'! I say what's cooler than bein' cool?”

I’m not sure I ever knew what the E or the R stood for. If I did, I’ve since forgotten. The handle is an homage to one of my earliest (and likely dorkiest) literary influences. Before I started spending time on authors like Thoreau, Emerson, Miyamoto Musashi, and Ueshiba Morihei, I was much enamored of science fiction and fantasy books. Before Peter Jackson made Middle Earth cool (maybe a stretch), I was a Tolkien fan. “E.R. Dunhill” is a nod to The Fellowship of the Ring (and my favorite pipe tobacco, from the days when I smoked), and is a little joke to myself on the subject of assumed names. The reference appears in both the book and the movie.
I had intended this fantasy lit connection to remind me not to take myself too seriously. Apparently, I needed stronger stuff.

ICM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ICM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ICM said...

I called myself Iron Chef Mexican 'cause of the show Iron Chef (original Japanese version). And 'cause I'm Mexican. Now you know.

Signed,
ICM, who takes himself, and his blog, seriously as fuck.

E. R. Dunhill said...

ICM,
It's good to hear from you. I'm glad to see you're taking things as seriously as always.

Sue said...

ERD, as a long time Tolkein/Rings fan I'm delighted (read the trilogy the first time in 1965). I'm glad you explained because I just knew the name seemed so familiar, but it remained, teasingly just beyond recall. I guess its been a while since I read/saw the books/movies.

twotymer97 said...

I will surely be able to rest better at night now with this newfound information. Thank you for indulging my and my cohort's (ICM)irrelevant curiosity.

:)

E. R. Dunhill said...

tt97,
I'm glad to indulge. Since you were the first to ask, I'll give you and ICM a gold star if you can identify where E.R. Dunhill appears in LOTR.
For the record, I don't think there is such a thing as irrelevant curiosity.

-erd

ICM said...

I'll give it a shot. Problem is, I haven't read The Lord of The Rings since about the ninth grade. Coincidentally, I also read Lord of the Flies at about that time. But alas, I have never seen Lord of the Dance. So, to answer your question, which is the most powerful Lord: Rings, Flies, or Dance? That was your question, wasn't it?

hellomelissa said...

those echinacea plants thrive in our climate, and are great for so many things... the least of which is making the garden lovelier.

E. R. Dunhill said...

hellomelissa,
Thank you for reading. They really are beautiful plants. And, as you point out, since they’re indigenous to our part of the world, they thrive here. Growing native plants is the path of least resistance (a good thing for those of us who are busy all the time), and those local plants promote local pollinators and other wildlife.
Growing up, my mother always kept purple cone flower. I was in college before I knew that it was the same plant as the medicinal echinacea. I’m just beginning to learn the diversity of useful plants that are easy to grow around here. If you know of any that you’d like to share, or if you’re curious about any particular type of medicinal or culinary purpose, you’re more than welcome to comment.