Echinacea. I looked up the name and it means “sea urchin”. A sweetly quaint meaning for a very power-packed herb! We talked last week about Echinacea in general and it’s well-known ability to boost the immune system during colds and flu season. We spoke also of it’s many healing properties for various illnesses, and about how to prepare it as a tea or infusion to get maximum benefits.
This week, it’s time to focus in on Echinacea Tincture. What’s a tincture? Well, the easy definition is basically that it’s herbs which have been steeped in alcohol (usually vodka) for at least one month to six weeks. As the alcohol extracts the healing properties from the herb, the herb in turn “cooks off” most of the alcohol from the liquid, leaving a product that is no more alcoholic than any over the counter remedy.
It’s important to find Echinacea that is quality and made mostly of organic or wild-crafted echinacea roots, but also other plant parts like flowers and leaves. What we don’t wildcraft ourselves we order from Herbco.com.
We usually get the Purpurea variety cuz it’s cheaper and have had good results, but the Angustafolia variety is said to be stronger. To make a tincture of any herb is very simple. Take whatever size glass jar you want, fill it approximately 1/3 full (doesn’t have to be exact), then top it off with Vodka. Alot of herbalists are very picky about their vodka, which is fine, but we’ve always used the least expensive which is usually 80 proof, and it’s been more than adequate. Again, if you are interested, it’s said to start a tincture on a new moon and it draws the medicinal aspects out better, but you guessed it… we’ve rarely done that and it still turned out okay. Lol. 😇
In our family’s experience, the Tea and the Tincture are both equally effective. However, the tincture, taken by the dropperful under the tongue, does seem to have more immediate results as it gets into the bloodstream very quickly. Tinctures also are much more convenient since nothing needs to be brewed and steeped. The medicine is good-to-go right there in the bottle, and you simply take the drops of tincture and you’re done. Tinctures are also much more easy to carry in your purse or take with you while working or traveling. If I had to choose which I prefer to use it’d be Tincture.
So, does Echinacea Tincture taste good? Well, though the tea tastes great, the Tincture tastes less so. It’s a taste that you adapt to tho’, 🙂 and over time get used to it and don’t even think about putting a dropperful under your tongue. Then too, there’s always the option of taking the tincture in a glass of juice or water which works well also.
For your research:
*It’s recommended not to use it more than 2 months at a time, as it diminishes in it’s ability to enhance the immune system after that. So give your body a break after each illness.
*People who are allergic to ragweed or other plants in the aster family may be sensitive to echinacea.
*Folks with an autoimmune disorder such as multiple sclerosis or lupus should not use echinacea because their ailments might be aggravated by further boosting their immune systems. The same is true of those who are HIV positive.
*If you are pregnant, trying to get pregnant, nursing or taking medication for a health problem check with your health care provider.
The purpose of Jordan’s Crossing Herbal Connections is to promote the sharing of information about healthy, natural products and dietary supplements. JCHC’s views and opinions are INFORMATIONAL ONLY and are not intended to constitute medical advice. If you are sick, injured or pregnant, please consult a licensed health care professional.