No homemade medicine cabinet would be complete without echinacea tincture!
Echinacea is a prime herb for treating infections of all types and boosting the immune system.
The most common use for Echinacea is to prevent and treat the common cold/flu. When used at high frequency during a cold it can reduce symptoms and duration quite remarkably. Those who are prone to recurring infections of the respiratory tract such as sinusitis, tonsillitis, bronchitis and ear infections, may benefit from a preventative daily dose leading into the winter season when these infections most commonly occur. The same preventative approach should be used for those who suffer hay fever and seasonal allergies. Start a daily dose 6 weeks prior to allergy season.
Topically it is used (diluted) to treat a wide variety of skin disorders, such as impetigo, boils, abscesses, burns, herpes infections, athletes foot, eczema, bites and stings, thrush, skin ulcers and infected wounds.
Making a tincture is a good way of extracting the goodies out of the plant, and preserving them for several years. It’s a must have in the home health kit and all the better to have come from your own garden.
Harvest on a dry day. A plant should be 2-3 years old and have formed a good sized clump that is dividable. Clean off as much dirt as possible. Collect any roots that have come away during removal for use and make sure the remaining plant is bedded back in nicely. Remember to say your karakia.
Chop the roots, stalks, leaves and flowers as finely as possible into the jar. Any old brown bits should be discarded into the compost. Don’t leave the plant to sit around after harvest, as it dries it goes very hard – chopping needs to follow harvest!
Pour over alcohol until just covered. Give the jar a gentle shake to mix alcohol through. Secure lid on tightly, label with date and put jar out of direct light. Check on your brew every couple of days for the first few weeks, giving it a gentle mix, making sure plant matter remains covered. You may need to top up with more alcohol in the first few days. Leave to brew for a minimum of 6 weeks.
Strain into glass jug through muslin cloth and press out as much liquid as possible. Pour strained tincture into clean brown glass bottles and label. Store in cool dark place. Keeps for 2-3 years.
A tingle on the tongue after taking is a sign of good potency. If you experience excessive tingling or watering of mouth, reduce the amount by half next dose. If this is okay, increase by 1ml next dose until you find your happy place.
Adult: 5ml in a little water, every 2 hours on day 1 then reduce to 4 to 5 times daily until improvement is notable then reduce to 3 times daily until fully well.
Child: 1-2.5ml in water or juice, frequency as above.
Chronic (ongoing) or Preventative
Adult: 2.5-5ml, 1 to 2 times daily
Child:1-2.5ml, 1 to 2 times daily
Posted: Thursday 22 April 2021