Making Echinacea Tincture



A few years ago I decided to make Echinacea tincture. I buy a lot of Echinacea tincture to use at the first sign of a cold. I spend $15 on little bottles of Echinacea at the health food coop, but I have Purple Coneflowers (Echinacea) growing right in my own herb garden. This is silly, I thought. I can do this. I can make my own Echinacea tincture. I have heard it is easy to make.

I bought a book about medicinal herbs by Rosemary Gladstar and read all about the easy ways to capture the potency of herbs into easy remedies, such as tea, salves and tinctures. I enjoyed reading and dreaming about it, but it still felt like magic. I thought about it for year. I put it on my to-do list. I thought about it some more. My to-do list included “make tincture” for months, with no practical application of it.

Maybe I need to break down the process. I started writing on my list “dig echinacea herb”, thinking that would do the trick. I’d surely get it done now. 

It didn’t happen. For months it didn’t happen. A bit of inertia going on. Maybe another year went by. I couldn’t seem to do it by myself. I thought if I got someone else involved it might move me along. I would engage an enthusiastic friend into the project. Denise would be into it. I solicited her enthusiasm and together, we dug the roots in the fall. There, step one complete.

The Root of the Problem

I let the pile of roots sit on my porch until they dried into nothing. Abandoned, waiting, waiting, abandoned, until it was a dried up pile of nothing at all.

7/25/2019 9:05:59 AM

Rebecca, Having read some great stuff from Wolf Storl, Stephen Buhner, and Matthew Wood, I have gotten the impression that roots often should be harvested late in order to let them do their thing and become more potent and effective in the process... Can´t cite my source because it has been a long while since I read, but it was probably in Wood´s ¨Book or Herbal Wisdom¨ (and likely in other sources too).

7/18/2017 9:03:12 AM

I wonder if there is some wisdom to waiting until fall to harvest the root? I usually take the whole plant in the spring after it blooms and put all of the parts in a half gallon jar and stick it in a dark closet which also happens to have things I use a lot so I see it to remind me to rotate it often. We swear by it!! At the first sign of illness we take a 1/4 to 1/2 ounce of this stuff, a tsp of Elderberry syrup mixed in along with 1000mg of Vitamin C and our usual Vitamin D 5000 mg. We are well by the next day. I call it my flu concoction, but my family is convinced that it works.

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