Uses for the Tennessee Purple Coneflower

The Tennessee purple coneflower (Echinacea tennesseensis) is a perennial flowering plant in the daisy family. It is an endangered species found in a small area of Tennessee. Because of road building, livestock grazing and construction of homes and businesses, the habitat for this useful plant has been drastically reduced. Efforts are under way to save this medicinal plant from extinction because it is valuable as an immune system booster that can help many ailments.

Landscape Plant

It's possible to grow the Tennessee purple coneflower in home landscapes because it is attractive, rather unusual and has medicinal properties when the root is made into teas and tinctures. By growing endangered species at our homes, you can be instrumental in conserving such plants and in teaching others about them.

Immune System Booster

All varieties of echinacea are used to help the immune system become stronger, thereby enhancing the body's natural ability to recover from illnesses such as colds, flu, infections of any type and even such problems as snake bites. The root is dug up and made into tea, tincture or other types of extracts and then taken orally.

Topical Uses

Archaeologists have found evidence that Native Americans used the Tennessee coneflower to treat wounds and other skin ailments. When the root is dug, pulverized and mixed with additives such as honey or oil, it makes a good skin ointment that speeds healing.

Useful for Infections

The Tennessee coneflower has been used to treat many different types of infections, such as those affecting the urinary tract, candida, ear infections, athlete's foot, hay fever, sinus infections and even hard-to-shake herpes simplex viral infections such as fever blisters and mouth sores.

Keywords: Tennessee coneflower, Echinacea endangered, medicinal plants

About this Author

Barbara Fahs lives on Hawaii island, where she has created Hi‘iaka's Healing Herb Garden. Barbara wrote "Super Simple Guide to Creating Hawaiian Gardens," and has been a professional writer since 1984. She contributes to Big Island Weekly, Ke Ola magazine, and She earned her B.A. at UCSB and her M.A. from San Jose State University.