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Alfred Vogel (26 October 1902 – 1 October 1996), was a Swiss phytotherapist, nutritionist and writer.
Alfred Vogel was born in 1902 in Aesch, Basel, Switzerland. He was the youngest of four siblings. As a child, he became familiar with medicinal plants through his father and his grandparents. At the age of 21, he moved to Basel to manage a herb and health store. He began to advise his customers on his philosophies of life, and also began to prepare his own remedies to sell to his customers. In 1927, he married his wife Sophie Sommer; together they had two daughters. In 1929 he started publishing a monthly magazine, entitled Das Neue Leben (A Fresh Start). From 1941 this became A.Vogel Gesundheits-Nachrichten (Health News).
Vogel was an avid traveller and enjoyed visiting new countries and meeting new cultures. He was especially interested in meeting primitive peoples with a close relationship to nature. From the 1950s an onward, he travelled extensively through the Americas, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and Tasmania.
On one of his travels he met and stayed with the Native American Sioux in the United States. He befriended medicine man Ben Black Elk, who taught him about the Native American herbal tradition. Upon Vogel’s departure, Ben Black Elk gave him a farewell present: a handful of seeds of the Echinacea Purpurea (purple coneflower). The Sioux 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. Back in Switzerland, Vogel began cultivating and researching the plant, eventually creating Echinaforce, that would become his flagship product.