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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Echinacea Flower VS Echinacea Root


To all those who ordered echinacea flower tea, here is how the flowers are doing. They've opened beautifully and their centres are just beginning to fill with pollen. I will be harvesting them tomorrow for processing in the dehydrator. Then I will call some of you to pick up your orders.

Don't be surprised to find the edges of your mug stained with pollen after you have microwaved the flowers like I showed you here.

I had a spot of flu early this week and so I used one stalk of dried flower with stems and leaves to make tea. This is the first time I am using a stalk of echinacea flower. In the past, I made the whole family chew and swallow the echinacea root. The first mug I steeped had a very mild taste compared to the tongue numbing spiciness of chewing the fresh root (sterilized of course). At the 2nd steeping, I was able to obtain a stronger brew (that tasted a bit more like the root) because I used a spoon and did a fair bit of mashing inside the mug. Then I chewed some petals and leaves - very mild compared to the root.

I sipped the first mug through 3 hours in the morning. The 2nd mug lasted me another 3 hours in the afternoon. By that time, the flu was losing its hold. But before I could finish drinking the 2nd mug of echinacea flower tea, guests came for dinner... and after they left, I discovered that my very efficient Helper had thrown away the tea and washed my mug.

So I took some echinacea tincture before bed. The flu was all gone by morning. I think I got better results with the tongue numbing root (12 hour turnaround instead of 24 hrs) but then... well, I don't wanna kill my plant, and also... I usually chew the root and eat it all up. This time, I didn't get to eat much of the flower because it had got thrown away before I could get to that. I was gonna eat up the whole flower at the 3rd steeping. So maybe, it isn't a fair comparison?

The verdict is still out on whether the root or the flower is more effective. Next time, I will eat up the flower at the first steeping.

2 comments:

Theanne said...

how is Echinacea with stuffy nose and cough? everytime the g'kids have this I get it! :(

petunialee said...

Theanne - If you can catch that stuffy nose early, it'll help. Echinacea grows wild in parts of North America. You should have no problems growing it in your balcony.