I have used herbal remedies to treat my family for years, and echinacea is one of my all-around favorites. This echinacea tincture can be actually be made from either the fresh or dried form of the herb. I just choose to use fresh, since I am already growing it. Doing it this way saves me an extra step. But you can still make echinacea tincture from the dried form. Just remember that you won’t need to use quite as much in terms of volume.
I never was able to grow echinacea myself until last year, when I finally snatched up a plant of my own. It did amazingly well in my little flower and herb garden in front of my house. This year it came back and is going crazy! I am loving it. Not only do I have enough to make this tincture, but I’ve been able to make a few cut flower arrangements from it as well.
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MEDICAL DISCLAIMER: Hopefully you know this, but I’m just a mama with no formal medical training. This post is not intended to be medical advice, as that is something that should be tailored specifically to you from your doctor. I’m just sharing a bit of knowledge that I’ve gleaned over the years, along with some natural remedies that have worked well for my own family.
Why should I make echinacea tincture?
Creating an herbal tincture is one of the easiest ways to obtain all the beneficial nutrients from the plant. I’m sure you’ve been in a situation where you want some natural relief or treatment, but don’t feel like having to eat or drink a lot of one thing. To be honest, this is one reason I don’t do a lot of herbal teas. I usually don’t love the taste, and I also know that I’m not really receiving much benefit unless I drink multiple cups at once. This is one reason tinctures are excellent! They are highly concentrated because the herbs have already been sitting in alcohol for weeks and weeks.
Echinacea is one of my favorite tinctures to make because of its versatility. It can help with colds, flu, fevers, pain, and digestive issues. The tincture will last for 5+ years if properly stored (I love using these amber dropper bottles) and the recipe I’m about to share actually doesn’t taste too horrible. Even if you do end up hating the taste, you only have to take a tiny amount as opposed to the 3+ cups of tea you would have to drink to ingest the same amount of the plant.
Components of echinacea tincture
Echinacea tincture can be made from all parts of the plant: leaves, flowers, and root. Last year, I only used the flowers and leaves because my plant was still young. I wanted to give the plant a chance to establish itself (usually after 2-3 years) before attempting to harvest any roots. A well-rounded tincture is great, but it ain’t worth having to start my echinacea growing over from scratch! It is still totally fine to only use some parts of the plant if you are lacking one.
With all that being said, making this tincture throughout the growing season will ensure optimum potency of all the plant parts. What I mean is you can harvest the leaves and cover them with the alcohol at their peak potency in late spring before any blooms happen. Second, you would harvest the flowers in mid-summer and add to the tincture. And lastly, you would harvest the roots after your first frost and add them in as well. However, if your plant is already has blooms, don’t let that stop you from making tincture. My echinacea is certainly blooming at this point in July, but you better believe I am still starting a batch. That immune boost our family will receive is still well worth it. This year my plant is large enough I can also harvest some roots this fall and add them in.
The only other component you absolutely need other than the echinacea itself, is alcohol. In the past I’ve used 80 or 90 proof vodka. This is good, and is definitely more than adequate if you will be using the dried herb form. But having some high octane grain alcohol, such as Everclear, to mix 1:1 with the vodka will allow for even greater extraction if using fresh herbs.
How to make fresh echinacea tincture
- Cut your leaves and/or flowers. I like to cut individual stems down low where there are more leaves.
- Wash the plant components and pat dry with paper towels.
- Stuff all the leaves, flowers, and stems in a quart size mason jar, then cover with alcohol. Remember to use a 1:1 ratio if you want to use a combination of vodka and Everclear.
- OPTIONAL: I like to add a cinnamon stick to my echinacea tincture. This gives it a more pleasant flavor as well as adds some anti-inflammatory benefits.
- OPTIONAL: If you would like to harvest some roots to add to your tincture in the fall, dig up 1-2 small sections of root after you’ve had a frost or two. Be sure to replant any extra pieces you may not have meant to dig up. Wash & cut the roots into small pieces and add to your jar. Top with additional alcohol if needed.
- Put on a tight-fitting lid and allow the mixture to sit for about 3 months (if you are adding roots later, let it sit for at least a month after doing that). Do your best to shake the jar every couple of days.
- After the mixture has sat long enough, strain the mixture and bottle/jar your tincture however you like! You can use a pretty jar with a chalkboard label, an amber glass bottle, or whatever tickles your fancy.
If you decide to follow this method, you will end up with plenty of tincture! I like to share with close friends and family. But it does keep for years, so there’s also a good chance you will be able to use it all within that time frame.
RECOMMENDED DOSAGE: 1/4 tsp for kids, 1/2 tsp for adults as needed.
Adults can take this daily as immune support, but I prefer to only use it when we or someone close to us is already sick.
That is it!
Looking for more natural remedies for common illnesses? Check out my post on All-Natural Sore Throat Gargle.