How to make Echinacea Tincture

Echinacea-TinctureThe best quality Echinacea extract is with grain alcohol (ethanol) but you can product a quality product with glycerite if you object to using alcohol as the carrier for your tincture,

So lets get started teaching you how to make an Echinacea Tincture

If you are using dried Echinacea, the standard ratio for a tincture is 1:4 (one part dried Echinacea, by weight, to 4 parts solvent by liquid volume). Each kind of herb also requires that the solvent have the correct mix of alcohol and water. In the case of echinacea, you need to have 40% of the solvent to be alcohol and 60% water.

This happens to be an easy one the prepare because you can buy 80 proof vodka which gives you exactly the alcohol-to-water ratio that you need for, i.e. 40% alcohol / 60% water.

Theoretically, for 8 ounces of tincture you would need to start with 2 ounces by weight of fairly finely ground Echinacea (a coffee grinding works great) and 8 ounces of 80 proof vodka by volume (1 cup). I say theoretically because you are not going to get eight ounces of tincture as a finished product because the Echinacea will soak up a lot of the liquid, and unless you have a good hydraulic or screw press you won’t be able to recover all the liquid.

Probably a better starting point would be 4 ounces (by weight) of Echinacea and 16 ounces (by volume) of the alcohol. Put the Echinacea and vodka in a jar together and make sure the alcohol covers the herb. You will need to shake the mixture once or twice daily for two weeks (you may need to tamp the herb back down under the liquid after each time you shake it).

After two weeks you can strain the liquid out by putting the mixture into a clean cotton cloth and, if you don’t have a press, SQUEEZE LIKE CRAZY!!! The more you squeeze and twist the mixture, the more liquid you will recover. After the initial squeezing you can run the liquid through another cloth for a final filtering job.

The finished tincture will keep for up to three years. Be sure to keep it in a dark colored bottle so it isn’t spoiled by exposure to light. The standard dosage for a 1:4 echinacea tincture is 1-3 ml (1/4-1/2 tsp.) up to four times per day.

The suggested maximum dosage for one day is 15ml (3 tsp.). For an acute onset of a cold, flu, etc., you can take 1/2 tsp. every two hours for the first two-to-three days, then back off to the standard dosage until your symptoms have improved.

I believe its best not to use this Echinacea on a daily basis: its one you want to reserve for when you really want to hit an oncoming bacterial/viral with the kitchen sink! If it is necessary to use it on a daily basis, its best used in combination with other herbs in a blended formula.

Good luck making your own Echinacea tincture!

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