Homemade Echinacea Tincture

I am so excited to introduce you to the lovely lady who is guest posting here, today! Her name is Paula and she has a fabulous blog called Whole Intentions. She covers so many topics that I love, including natural living, homesteading, Christian faith, parenting, real foods, homeschooling and more! Please be sure to pop on over there and get to know her!

I will be making a batch of this tincture, right away. My poor hubby has been exposed to strep throat and thinks he may have caught it. Echinacea kills the strep bacteria, so I’m really wishing we had some of this tincture to use today! As it is, I’ll get a batch brewing and we’ll sip echinacea tea for the next few days. 🙂

Echinacea is known as an important immune stimulant. It’s one of the best remedies for infections.

Scientific names: Echinacea angustifolia, Echinachea purpurea, Echinachea pallida

Common names: Purple Coneflower, Black Sampson, Prairie Coneflower, Rudbeckia

History: Native Americans used it for hydrophobia (rabies), snakebites, fevers, blood poisoning, wounds, cough, sore throat, and ulcers in the mouth. Dr. Meyer, a doctor in the 19th century, was so impressed by it that he allowed himself to be bite by a rattlesnake, after which he bathed the parts with a tincture, took a dram of it internally, and laid down and slept. When he woke all signs of swelling had disappeared.

Parts Used: All the parts of an Echinachea plant are acceptable: flowers, stems, leaves, and root, although the roots and newly blossomed flowers are considered superior. The Echinachea angustifolia variety is said to be stronger than the other two.

Key Uses:

  • anti-microbial (kills or inhibits the growth of microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi)
  • anti-viral (destroys and/or inhibits the growth and reproduction of viruses)
  • immune stimulant (stimulates your immune system)
  • anti-catarrhal (effective against catarrhal which is a condition caused by inflamed mucous membranes)
  • diaphoretic (promotes sweating)
  • sialagogue (stimulates the secretion of saliva)
  • alterative (restores to normal health)

For Treating:

  • abscesses
  • athlete’s foot
  • bites and stings (snakes, scorpions, spiders, insects)
  • bladder infections
  • blood poisoning
  • boils
  • bronchitis
  • cancer
  • canker sores
  • cervical dysplasia
  • chronic fatigue syndrome
  • colds and flu
  • cold sores
  • cuts and scrapes
  • ear infections
  • eczema
  • fever
  • fungus (Tinea – a skin fungus often caused by candida)
  • gangrene
  • gum disease
  • herpes
  • HIV
  • infections
  • inflammation
  • Lyme disease
  • lymph congestion
  • mastitis
  • pneumonia
  • sinus infections
  • skin diseases
  • sore throat
  • sunburn
  • tuberculosis
  • ulcers
  • vaccination reactions
  • vaginal infections/yeast infections

Echinacea Tincture

about 1 cup of fresh cut Echinacea
2 cups vodka (the liquid you use is also known as ‘menstruum’)

Directions:

1. Dig up or cut stems of an Echinachea plant and wash thoroughly.

2. Cut up all plant parts into pieces and fill a jar to the top, but do not pack it down.

3. Cover the herbs with vodka (80 to 100 proof is best), screw the lid on tightly, and don’t forget to label it.

4. Store in a dark, cool area (I use the back of a rarely opened cupboard in my kitchen) for at least 3 weeks and shake several times a day. (If you don’t need the tincture right away, it can sit for several months. The longer it sits, the stronger and darker it becomes.) The picture above is the same tincture after it’s sat for about 1 month.

5. When you’re ready to use it, strain the plant material through a cheese cloth or fine mesh strainer. Tiny pieces may get through, but they won’t hurt you at all and will settle to the bottom of your tincture bottle.

6. Pour the liquid into a tincture bottle and label it carefully.

7. Store any extra in darkened jars in a cool, dark place. We wrap jars in newspaper and store them in high kitchen cabinets.

Note: You’ll find that there are quite a few recommendations on how to make tinctures. This recipe and the directions are my preferred way of doing it, but it’s certainly not the ‘only’ way.

Preparations & Dosages: Echinacea is best not taken as a ‘daily immune support’ and instead taken to fight an infection. Reserve it for times of need.

Take every one to two hours at beginning of an infection and stop once the symptoms resolve. With sinus infections your system has already been challenged so frequent dosing is especially important. Typical dosage is up to 60 drops of tincture 3x/day until symptoms cease.

Warnings: if you are allergic to ragweed or other members of the aster family, you may be allergic to echinacea. When trying any herbal remedy, start with the smallest dose recommended and work your way up.

Paula Miller is a child of God, wife to Travis, homeschooling mom of five, Christian children’s author, lover of coconut oil, and Lilla Rose consultant. She and her family live on a small hobby farm in the Midwest. Several years of family health problems led her to learn about whole foods, candida, food allergies, and healthy alternatives to modern medicine. She chats about whole food, whole living, and whole faith on her blog, Whole Intentions. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

 

 

Linked up at:

9 comments to Homemade Echinacea Tincture

  • Awesome! I didn’t know you could use fresh herbs to make tinctures, I’ve always made them from dried! I also didn’t know about all the uses for echinacea – great post!

    • Paula did a wonderful job, didn’t she? I especially love the pictures, because I’ve actually postponed planting my own echinacea out of intimidation! I just wasn’t quite sure what to do with those roots, but now I know! 🙂

  • Tabatha

    Thank you! Your pictures and details answered so many of the questions I have had about making tinctures. It helps to get over the “intimidation” that makes me put doing things like this off. Thanks Paula and Justyn!

  • This is my kind of post. I will be making this after I forage some coneflower! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • robin

    I have never made a tincture before but have a garden filled with both the pallida and angustifolia so I plan to give it a go. Unfortunately I just found this wonderful and informative website today and the echinacea are on their last legs, still blooming but rapidly fading. Can I still use the flower heads and how about the stalks, must they be green?

    • Tinctures can be made with dried herbs, so it should work. I believe that the best way is to harvest them at their peak, but I would think that they’d still have some good benefit, even if they aren’t as potent as they could be. 🙂

  • DD

    Ran across your blog tonight and love the posts on your healing salves!(thank you) Thought I’d help answer a question a reader had about when to harvest plants and parts. For all perennial plants (the ones that come back every year), you want to harvest flower heads as soon as they are in full bloom, but before they fade. This will get you the optimum benefits because this is where the plant’s main energy is directed at that time. Leaves and stems can be harvested anytime during the growing season and the roots should be harvested either in the late fall (when they begin to collect energy for winter) or in the early spring (when they are ready to disperse stored energy. Hope that helps!

Leave a Reply