Echinacea Seeds

Traditional use of Echinacea in North America

The medicine man is widely revered by native American tribes – he is responsible for the health of the tribe and is a fountain of knowledge about herbs and their uses.

Echinacea is native to the North American prairies up to Canada, and has been used by the American Indians for thousands of years, alongside much of the plant life found in the wild.

The medicine man uses Echinacea for wounds, skin rashes and poisoning of any kind, and although native tribes didn’t try to prevent colds with it, they often used it to treat the symptoms of colds. It could be argued that people who live off the land and not in centrally-heated houses do not catch as many colds.


How native Americans use Echinacea:

  • By eating the root and the whole plant
  • Adding it to soup
  • Chewing the root
  • Putting it directly on to wounds or snake bites.

The Lakota Sioux Indians chew the roots of echinacea to treat sore throat, toothache and stomach problems, as a pain remedy, and to make poultices for snakebites and other infections.

The Kiowa chew the root for coughs and sore throats.

The Delaware-Oklahoma tribe use the plant to treat gonorrhoea.

The Pawnee take Echinacea for headaches.


Alfred Vogel and Black ElkThe friendship between Black Elk and Alfred Vogel

In the 1950s, Alfred Vogel, a Swiss naturopath was on his travels through North America. He always took great pleasure in meeting people who lived off the land and while visiting the Sioux Indian Reservation in South Dakota, he met the medicine man of the South Dakota Lakota tribe, Ben Black Elk.

The two men developed a friendship and in recognition of the fact that Vogel shared the same natural approach to health as Black Elk, the medicine man gave Vogel some Echinacea seeds as a farewell gift.

Vogel carried the seeds with him to Switzerland and cultivated them in his local fields. Today, these same fields provide freshly harvested, organically grown echinacea for the world leading echinacea tinctures and tablets which can be found all over the world. All this, from the friendship of two men devoted to nature – and a handful of echinacea seeds.

‘Man can provide medicine, but only nature can heal’ Alfred Vogel
‘As for modern medicine, show me something as strong and effective as Echinacea and I will gladly use it.’ Black Elk