The flowers, leaves, and root of the Echinacea plant are immune stimulants that increase overall resistance to disease. I use Echinacea in my fresh flower bouquets as well as in home made herbal remedies and teas.
Echinacea is useful in treating the early phases of bacterial or viral infection, Echinacea speeds resolution of colds, flu, and all kinds of upper respiratory infection. The herb makes an anti-inflammatory treatment for infected wounds and the bites of reptiles and insects. Echinacea is also a potent sialagogue (promotes salivation).
–From Richo Chech’s Making Plant Medicine.
Contraindications: Safe for general consumption, although rare allergic reactions have been recorded. The advisability of using immune-enhancing herbs for treating autoimmune disease has been challenged.