Today I finished making a Double-E Immune Booster tincture for the upcoming cold and flu season just around the corner. Since it is included in the Bulk Herb Store ‘Drink to Health’ Kit Giveaway going on now, I thought I would show you how I did it. It contains both Elderberries and Echinacea (and others), hence the Double-E.
Making it into a tincture is only one way you can use this product~ you can also use it as a tea.
Elderberry is used for its antioxidant activity, to lower cholesterol, to improve vision, to boost the immune system, to improve heart health. It is also used for coughs, colds, flu, bacterial and viral infections and tonsillitis. Bioflavinoids and other proteins in the juice destroy the ability of cold and flu viruses to infect a cell and decrease the length of the sickness. Not much out there can slow or kill viruses, but elderberry seems to do just that~ we love it, and it works like nothing else! See my post on Making Elderberry Tincture here.
Echinacea stimulates the overall activity of the cells responsible for fighting all kinds of infection. Unlike antibiotics, which directly attack bacteria, echinacea makes our own immune cells more efficient at attacking bacteria, viruses and abnormal cells, including cancer cells. It increases the number and activity of immune system cells including anti-tumor cells, promotes T-cell activation, stimulates new tissue growth for wound healing and reduces inflammation in arthritis and inflammatory skin conditions.
Have you ever made a tincture? Here are the simple, time-honored directions found on the Bulk Herb Store Preparing Remedies page:
“Alcohol tinctures (extracts) are easy to make. Fill a glass canning jar 1/3 – 1/2 full of the premixed herbs (1/2 full of herbs makes a stronger brew), and top off the jar to within about 1/2 inch from the top with rum or vodka. Cap the jar and set it in a dark, cool place for 3 – 6 weeks (shake mixture daily). Then, strain off and discard the herbs saving the liquid herbal tincture in glass containers that are clearly labeled and capped.
“As adults, we take 1/2 – 1 teaspoon (30 – 60 drops or so) every 2 hours at the first sign of a cold or flu (any infection) until the symptoms diminish (5-6 days, no longer). We use less for children. Pregnant mamas (and children) can easily evaporate the alcohol by placing their dose in a hot liquid like tea or water before taking it.”
If you are concerned about an alcohol-based tincture for your children or yourself, that issue is addressed in a post I wrote in August of this year.
The Bulk Herb Store page also tells us, “Alcohol tinctures are the most popular because alcohol is the most effective at drawing out the important properties of the herbs, and tinctures made with it have a longer shelf life (2 years or longer). Almost all store bought tinctures use alcohol as a base or include some amount of alcohol as a preservative. Vodka is what we use because it doesn’t have a strong odor and is affordable.
“Tinctures can also be made by using vinegar in place of the alcohol (following the same directions). Vinegar does not draw out an herb’s properties as well as alcohol, but it is very inexpensive, can be used as a gargle, and can be used to fight fungal infections. You may want to rinse after each dose to avoid enamel damage from the vinegar.”
You will discover lots more on the Bulk Herb Store’s interesting and informative Preparing Remedies page.
Mamas, be your own herbalist. Shoshanna (BHS owner) learned just by watching her Mom when she was young; as you learn (like I did~little by little), you can transfer your excitement and interest to your children. I believe we need to rediscover these lost healing arts for our families and the next generation. Our Creator has given us everything right here on earth that we could need. Happy learning!
(I do have an affiliate standing with Bulk Herb Store. If you need a source of pure, organic herbals, books, or accessories to make your own wonderful recipes, I would be grateful if you would purchase through the link or the buttons in this post. It helps to support Deep Roots At Home. Thank you!)