MAKE YOUR OWN ECHINACEA TINCTURE|
Echinacea, known for its immune system enhancing capabilities, is especially beneficial during cold and flu season. Echinacea root and flowers are widely available for purchase at health food stores, online at herbalist's and alternative medicine sites and also naturopath practitioners. Growing wild in many locations in the world on roadside verges and fertile wastelands, echinacea stimulates the white blood cells that kill viruses and bacteria, therefore keeping us healthier and free from sickness. Antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial, echinacea is one of the most helpful medicinal herbs to have on hand in your home. Echinacea tincture keeps well in a cool dark place for up to two years.
You can use both the roots and flowers to make your tincture and when blended together they make a stronger blend.
Echinacea Root Tincture:
1. Dig echinacea roots up with a garden hand-fork making certain not to break the root. Store-bought Echinacea root can be washed, chopped and sorted until you have measured two cups of echinacea root.
2. Measure two cups of 100 proof (50% by volume) good-quality vodka to the two cups of washed and chopped echinacea root and mix together in a large glass screw-top jar.
3. Place jar in a cool dark place away from sunlight and shake daily for six weeks.
4. Strain the liquid from the roots after six weeks of extraction. Pour through two layers of cheesecloth or other suitable material into a sterilized glass jar. Discard the used roots.
5. Use the pipette to transfer fresh echinacea tincture into individual amber-colored dropper bottles. Cap tightly. Place a shrink band on the neck of each amber bottle and use the hairdryer to seal each one in a couple of seconds. This ensures that over time, the tincture is not tampered with in any way. Store bottled tincture in a cool dark cupboard.
Echinacea Flower Tincture:
Echinacea tincture has many uses. It is used internally to help the body fight off infection, and externally as a skin wash. Here is how to make your own echinacea tincture.
1. Fill a quart jar 2/3 full of echinacea flowers.
2. Pour 80 proof alcohol, Vodka work well, over flowers, filling jar.
3. Cover jar tightly and label. Steep herb for at least 2 weeks, shaking jar every day.
4. After 2 weeks, Strain tincture through fine cheesecloth, if desired. The finished tincture will keep indefinitely.
5. Store tincture in a darkened area. Store in colored glass if possible.
There is no proven effective medicinal dose for echinacea. Echinacea is commercially available as capsules, expressed juice, extract, tincture and tea. A common dosing range studied in trials is 500 to 1,000 milligrams of echinacea in capsule form taken by mouth three times daily for five to seven days.
The dosing and safety of echinacea have not been studied thoroughly in children. Parents considering echinacea for their children should discuss this decision with the child's healthcare provider before starting therapy. Some natural medicine practitioners recommend basing children's doses based on weight. The safety of echinacea injections is not established, and injections are not advised. The tinture should not be used for more than 10 consecutive days.
At this time, echinacea cannot be recommended during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Although early studies show no effect of echinacea on pregnancy, there is not enough research in this area. Pregnant women should avoid tinctures because of the potentially high alcohol content.
- If you don't drink alcohol, put the tincture in a hot cup of tea where the alcohol can evaporate, leaving just the tincture in your tea.
- As with all items containing alcohol, store tincture away from babies and children's reach, preferably under lock and key.
- Alcohol is flammable; keep away from open flame.
See also Echinecea and Echinacea Teas.
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