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Echinacea is a wildflower with purple blossoms native to the North American plains.   Native Americans and pioneer settlers used it for everything from healing wounds to relieving toothaches and treating snakebites.   Echinacea increases the production of Interferon to combat bacteria, viruses, fungi and other microbes.   If taken at the first sign of infection Echinacea can decrease the severity and duration of the illness relieving symptoms such as aches, pains, fever, and congestion.   There is some indication that it may be an effective treatment for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and it may increase immune functions in those who have undergone cancer treatment.

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