The Fresh Echinacea Story
Echinaforce® is unique as it is made from freshly harvested Echinacea plants
In the 1950s, our founder, Alfred Vogel insisted that only the freshest of plants were used to craft the remedies for the patients visiting his naturopathic clinic in Teufen, Switzerland. This led him to pioneer the concept of fresh herb extraction – a technique we still use today for our herbal remedies.
Echinacea purpurea (purple coneflower) is one of the most popular herbs in Europe. However, it was the Native Americans who were the first to recognise the benefits of Echinacea, using it for snakebites and wound healing.
Using our own Echinacea seeds
For A.Vogel, using our own seeds is the starting point in ensuring a product of consistent quality.
In the early 1950s, on a visit to South Dakota, Alfred Vogel received a gift of Echinacea seeds from Oglala Lakota medicine man, Ben Black Elk. These were brought back to Teufen where the first crop of Echinacea plants were carefully nurtured. These were the plants used to create Vogel’s first batch of Echinaforce Echinacea tincture.
Today, all the plants used to make Echinaforce® are descended from the seeds Black Elk gifted to Alfred Vogel. During each autumn, we harvest seeds from three-year-old Echinacea plants, which are used to produce the seedlings for the following spring.
The quality of each herbal product depends on the quality of the starting plant material. By carefully controlling where our seeds come from, we can be assured that all our Echinacea plants are descendants of the original seeds. This also guarantees the quality of all A.Vogel Echinacea products.
A.Vogel medicinal plants are cultivated according to strict organic guidelines.
Only freshly harvested Echinacea is used to make Echinaforce®. This is because research on echinacea has shown that extracts made from fresh Echinacea contains almost 3 times more active substances than equivalent amounts of dried plants.
Study: M. Tobler et al: Characteristics of whole fresh plant extracts. Schweizerische Zeitschrift für GanzheitsMedizin 5, 257 - 266, 1994
After harvest, Echinacea plants are sent immediately to the first stage of production. They are finely chopped and placed in a large tank containing alcohol and purified water to macerate. After a few days of extraction, the macerate is filtered to obtain the liquid tincture which is stored in tanks. The residue obtained from this process is composted and returned to the ground.