At the beginning of the 1950s Alfred Vogel spent some time with the Native American Oglala Lakota in the USA. The way these indigenous people used the power of nature for their health made a huge impression on him. In the course of time, a deep friendship based on mutual respect developed between Oglala Lakota medicine man, Ben Black Elk, and the explorer from far-off Europe.
Black Elk familiarised Alfred Vogel with Native American healing and initiated him into the secrets of their medicine. He even imparted knowledge to his friend of the very plant that was to become so important to Alfred Vogel: the purple coneflower (lat.Echinacea purpurea). The Oglala Lakota had known of this plant for generations and used it as an all-round remedy: externally for snakebites, wounds and bruising and internally for strengthening the immune system.
At the end of his stay in South Dakota, Black Elk presented his friend with a handful of Echinacea seeds. Alfred Vogel took the precious gift back to Switzerland and began to cultivate the plant, with great success. Even today, the plants used to make the A.Vogel Echinaforce® Echinacea tablets and drops are descended from the seeds which Alfred Vogel received from Black Elk.