August 17, 2014

Echinacea

August 17, 2014 Photo (229/365): "Flower Power"

"Flowers always make people better and happier;
they are sunshine, food, and medicine for the soul." 
~ Luther Burbank

Coneflowers, know scientifically as echinacea, are more than just a dramatic edition to late summer gardens. Their spiny centers (resembling sea urchins -- echino in Greek), contain a powerful herb that has been used for centuries for its medicinal qualities. Archaeologists discovered evidence that Native Americans used echinacea for centuries to treat infections and wounds, and as a general "cure-all." Contrary to urban legend, echinacea has not been proven to prevent the common cold; yet many people use the herb to shorten the duration of colds and flu, while reducing symptoms such as sore throat, cough, and fever. Beautiful or medicinal...either way, that's flower power.