In the past few decades, Echinacea has gained worldwide fame for its anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. At Vauxhall Gardens, we cultivate only Echinacea angustifolia which is universally considered to be the most medicinally potent of all varieties.

echinEchinacea, because it is a native plant, is tough and resilient in Canadian gardens and, like our own beautiful country, it has a very colourful history. Native American tribes were the first to discover the many benefits of this plant and used it for hundreds of years before it was introduced into Western herbal traditions in the 1880’s. In fact, Echinacea tincture might very well be the original ‘snake oil’ that was sold by traveling salesmen. Perhaps most famous was Joseph Meyer who was a showman and a healer who would, on stage, goad live rattlesnakes into biting him and then he would drink his tonic (Echinacea tincture). Unbelievably, he never fell ill to the snake bites and he sold lots of tonic!

Fortunately, we no longer have to worry too much about falling victim to snake bites in our every day lives but we are often fall prey to viral infections for which Echinacea is brilliant at helping to combat. It is recommended that at the first sign of infection, you start to take Echinacea tincture at the recommended dosage. The reason for this is that Echinacea stimulates something called phagocytosis, a process where white blood cells move around invading harmful mirco-organisms, release chemicals and so digest them. Many people actually feel a ’lifting’ effect as their symptoms begin to disappear right after taking a dose of Echinacea tincture.

At Vauxhall, we grow only Echinacea angustifolia which has the highest medicinal activity than any other type of Echinacea. We also do something very different than what is commonly found in the trade: we grow our plants on for 3 years to get the most substantial concentration of the beneficial components. Since we use only the roots for use in making our tinctures, we want them to be strong, fleshy and still vigorous. For that rea-son, we dig our Echinacea root midway between seasonal peak and decline so the roots have stored as much of the active medicinal properties as possible but are still active.

Echinacea is experiencing a revival in interest due to the rise in antibiotic resistance and the limitations of available antiviral drugs. Echinacea has also piqued the interest of plant breeders who have cultivated many varieties which gardeners just love because these hardy plants grow where many things will not and their showy blooms go on and on. Echinacea angustifolia is a bit fussier to grow but well worth the effort because of its superior medicinal content. It’s all about the botanical when it comes to natural remedies and we hope you keep a bottle of our 3 year root Echinacea Tincture on hand because you never know when it might be needed.

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