Saturday, May 8, 2010

DIY Scented Saturday 8 - Echinacea Tincture

Echinacea's active ingredients aren't all water soluble; a tincture is the best way to obtain its benefits.

Personal Note: Please keep in mind that alcohol in a tincture can destroy some of the natural properties of an herb. Whenever possible go alcohol free for best results. This recipe is with alcohol... sorry.

Echinacea Tincture:
3/4 cup (177 ml) pure grain alcohol or 80 to 100 proof (40 to 50 % alcohol) vodka or brandy or glycerin
3/4 cup (177 ml) distilled water
1 1/2 ounces (42 g) echinacea root, chopped

To make:
1. Combine the alcohol with the distilled water in a jar with a tight-fitting lid.
2. Add the echinacea root. Run a knife or chopstick around the edges of the jar to release any trapped air bubbles.
3. Replace the lid and set the jar in a cool, dark place for 2 weeks. Shake the mixture every day.
4. Strain the mixture to remove the herb. This must be done quickly or the alcohol will evaporate. I usually pour the mixture into a strainer lined with an unbleached paper coffee filter and place it in the refrigerator as it strains to slow the evaporation of the alcohol. After straining, squeeze the filter to remove as much of the liquid as possible.
5. Store the tincture in a tightly sealed glass container in a cool, dark location, where it will keep for up to 5 years. Be sure to label the bottle first!

To Use:
At the first sign of a cold or flu's onset, herbal experts recommend 30 drops of tincture every 3 hours for the first 2 days only. Once you have developed a full-blown case of a cold of flu, echinacea probably will not cure it.

If you are unable to take the alcohol in the tincture, add the tincture to a small glass of warm water and stir gently. The warm water will cause the alcohol to evaporate.

Disclosure: This is a recipe from page 362 of the book:
Country Wisdom & Know-How: Everything You Need to Know to Live Off the Land. I am not being paid to promote this book or the contents of this book. I just really feel the information is of value to my readers. The link is available and I encourage those to purchase the book, not because I am an amazon associate who might potentially make 4-6% off each purchase, but because this book is inexpensive and valuable.

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