Making Echinacea tincture.
Subject: Echinacea Tincture Help
From: niteowl.crash.cts.com (Richard Stricker)
Date: Mon, 15 May 1995 18:40:07 GMT
I'm ready to try making my first batch of echinacea tincture and would appreciate the help a knowledgable herbalist regarding the following questions.
Is fresh root preferable to dried root? (Use either, but use 60 % alcohol with dried and 95 % alcohol with fresh. -Henriette.)
Are there any potential harmful effects to making the tincture myself?
Should I mash the root in a blender or is there a better way? (Chopping is better - blending gets too much cellulose into your tincture. -Henriette.)
Any other advice would be most appreciated.
Sincerely, Annie Mackin
From: Cathy LeFevre <cathy.tcd.net>
Richard, I have successfully prepared Echinacea tincture in my home. It is a fairly easy process.
I grow my own echinacea purpurea (i.e. purple coneflower). The fresh roots are the best to use for any purpose, but you can use dried. You need more herb if you are using the dried herb. I have a specific recipe if you are one of those people that has to have exact measurements, however I found that the exact measurements translated into covering the herb with alcohol and letting it set for two weeks in a dark place.
My method is:
Pull the fresh root in the fall and chop it with a sharp knife. They are tough so this can be a little time consuming. You could probably use a Vita-Mix or something similar. Put the fresh root in a jar. I use a quart size canning jar and fill it halfway with the root. Pour in enough alcohol (the drinking kind, not the rubbing kind) to cover the root completely. Put a tight cap on the jar and shake well. Store this mixture in a dark place. Take out twice a day to shake well. Store for two weeks.
After two weeks drain the alcohol into a container. I pressed the extra alcohol out of the root, but didn't get much so it probably wasn't worth the effort. The alcohol is your tincture. It is now dark brown. That indicates that the essential oils from the root has been absorbed by the alcohol. Now you let that set for a few hours so the sediment settles. (There isn't much sediment.) It can be used this way or you can carefully pour the tincture into a dark glass bottle with a tight lid, being careful not to disturb the sediment. I poured what I could into the bottle without getting any sediment then let it settle again. Then I used a small siphon to get what I could without disturbing the sediment. Kind of a pain since the sediment is probably good for you too, but it looks good.
I have used my tincture safely for illnesses in myself and my family. It has worked well for us. I only take 1/2 teaspoon three times a day when I first feel ill. Then I only take it for a few days. That is usually all that is necessary. Remember, tincture prepared from fresh root is stronger so you don't need to use as much of it.
I have used this same method for willow bark. I have used that tincture for headaches and find it works much better and more quickly than commercial aspirin.