|Echinacea purpurea harvested from last summer's garden|
For years I stayed away from tincture-making because I thought I needed to have a tincture press, precisely measure everything, and probably possess some special knowledge that I did not have. Fortunately in recent years knowing lots of herbalists in the "wise woman" folk tradition has given me confidence to try making simple concoctions like Echinacea tincture on my own.
Because this herb is tinctured in vodka rather than grain alcohol, it is going to be less potent. Also, I only used leaf, stem, and flower, rather than root, which will make for a milder medicine. The medicinal properties of Echinacea root are stronger than those of the above-ground parts of the plant.
My plan was to dig up some Echinacea roots after the plants died back in the fall and tincture those too and mix the two tinctures together for a whole-plant medicine, but I haven't gotten around to it, and I've just been using the milder leaf, flower, and stem tincture.
Here's the (very simple) process I used to tincture my Echinacea:
|Harvest flowers, leaves, and stems in the summer when flowers are in full bloom|
|Rinse off bugs and debris|
|Fill a quart jar with chopped leaves and flowers|
|Pack everything tightly down into the jar|
|Cover the chopped up flowers, leaves, and stems with organic vodka|
It was quick and easy to make a quart. Six weeks later, I strained the contents of the jar through cheesecloth and bottled it up in empty tincture bottles.
Rosemary Gladstar has a great little video on tincturing Echinacea - she's using dried root, but the process is pretty much exactly what I did:
Here's how my tincture turned out:
I love thinking about Echinacea in full bloom in the summertime when I dose myself up with a shot of tincture.
|Echinacea purpurea blooming in my garden last summer|
Sifting through summer photos, I also came across this accidental little 3-second video, which I love because it includes an audio snapshot of the sounds of summer. I love thinking of Echinacea tincture as the essence of summer, captured in a bottle, perfect for fending off winter ailments.