Sunday, July 24, 2011

witchy-woman echinacea tincture


Last summer I was delighted to learn that the lovely purple coneflowers in my front garden also answer to echinacea purpura, a prairie wildflower long used medicinally by Native American Plains nations. And for good reason: echinacea properties seem to range from antibacterial (cold), to antiviral (flu), to anti-inflammatory (cancer...?).

So today I found my inner herb-witch and concocted a little brew.  Just a few drops in a cup of chamomile tea do the trick, so they say.

Snip.

Stash.

Souse. 

echinacea tincture: the steps
1. Snip: Cut entire blossom* (not much stem, which is the least potent part).
2. Stash: Loosely fill a 32oz glass container (here, an old milk bottle) with blossoms.
3. Souse: Cover blossoms with 750 mL 80-proof vodka.
4. Store: Lid and set in a cool, dark space for two weeks. Finally, filter through a cheesecloth into dark-tinted glass containers and keep, refrigerated, up to two years.

*Herbalists suggest echinacea root for a slightly stronger brew (but one not nearly as pretty; besides, I was loath to uproot my flower garden).


What are your favorite handed-down home remedies?

2 comments:

  1. This is so cool! Thanks for the info and the lovely pictures.

    ReplyDelete
  2. My pleasure! I'm pretty sure this concoction is the only thing standing between me and some sort of health crisis at the moment... beginning of the semester and all. :)

    ReplyDelete

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