One of the remedies I always try to have on hand all year round, especially during cold and flu season, is echinacea tincture. It is, without a doubt, one of the best herbal remedies for immune support you can make for your family and one that you can easily make in large quantities without breaking the bank.
The average bottle of echinacea tincture you can find online or at the store is around $12 per 1 oz of tincture with an average of about 40 servings.
This may sound like a good amount, but in actuality, this amount of tincture won’t last long (about one week to 20 days for one person) since you need to take it 2-5 times per day at the first signs of cold or flu symptoms.
If it’s just you you need to worry about, then a 1 oz bottle will at least get you through the worst of it. However, if you need more for your family or you’re prone to catching colds, things can get a bit pricey!
When I make echinacea tincture at home, I can spend about $12-13 on 4 oz of dried echinacea root and get at least 10 oz of tincture after straining.
Assuming you already have 80 proof vodka and an empty jar, that’s a little over $1 per ounce of homemade tincture.
Wouldn’t you much rather spend $12 for 10 oz of tincture than $120? Me too!
This is enough tincture to last my husband and me for the whole year. Plus, if you store your tincture in a cool dark place after straining, it can last for YEARS and will be a valuable remedy whenever you need it.
So, are you onboard? Here’s how to make it…
How to Make Echinacea Tincture at Home
Making your own echinacea tincture is really easy.
All you need is:
- One 16 oz glass jar with a screw-top lid
- 4 oz of dried echinacea purpurea OR echinacea angustifolia root, cut and sifted
- 80 proof vodka
If you want to make a super echinacea tincture, you will need:
- One 24 oz glass jar with a screw-top lid
- 4 oz of echinacea purpurea root, cut and sifted
- 4 oz of echinacea angustifolia root, cut and sifted
- 80 proof vodka
There is much debate among herbalists over which echinacea is most effective. Some say purpurea works best for the flu while others will argue that angustifolia is better. I like to cover all my bases and just use both!
How to Prepare Echinacea Tincture:
- Add the echinacea root to the jar and pour over the vodka. You want to pour enough vodka to reach the shoulder of the jar.
- Cap the lid closed and give the jar a good shake.
- Label the jar and store it in a cool dark place for 4-6 weeks. You will need to give it a light shake every so often to ensure even maceration.
Send your loved one off you work with their own 1 oz bottle of echinacea tincture to keep at the office for use when they feel the first signs of a cold or flu. This will help reduce the chances that they will catch or pass on seasonal bugs to you or your family.
How To Use Echinacea Tincture:
Add one dropperful of echinacea tincture to 1-2 oz of water and take 2-5 times per day as soon as you start to feel like you’re getting sick. You can continue to take the tincture until you’ve beaten the bug (up to two weeks and then stop to give your immune system a break).
For children, use a third of the dose.
Why is Echinacea so Good for Seasonal Wellness?
Echinacea has been shown to exhibit some rather powerful immune-supportive properties that help the body fight off both bacterial and viral attacks, especially in the beginning stages.
It does this by stimulating phagocytosis, a process by which a cell uses its plasma membrane to engulf and ingest another cell. This includes bacteria, dead tissue cells, various particles, and microbial pathogens.
Echinacea, in particular, stimulates our white blood cells to do this and gives them a boost. They then locate areas of infection and inflammation in the body and flood the area in order to “devour” the invaders.
Echinacea is especially good for fighting off upper respiratory infections, the common cold, and various forms of the flu.
When taking echinacea, it’s important to try and rest as much as possible in order to allow your body to focus on locating and eradicating illness. This will ensure that your symptoms decrease and the duration of whatever beasty you have is shortened. It also makes sure that you’re not overtaxing your immune system, so be sure to get in that rest!
Do you make your own tinctures? Which ones do you make? Please share in the comments below!
You may also enjoy reading:
Echinacea for preventing and treating the common cold
Echinacea for the Prevention and Treatment of Colds in Adults: Research Results and Implications for Future Studies
Echinacea—A Source of Potent Antivirals for Respiratory Virus Infections
Complementary Treatment of the Common Cold and Flu with Medicinal Plants
Echinacea in the prevention of induced rhinovirus colds: A meta-analysis