One of the best things you can do to bolster your health during the cold and flu season is to take a daily immunity-boosting tincture.

Tinctures are heavily concentrated extracts made by placing chopped fresh or dried herbs into a jar and covering them with a solvent: alcohol, glycerin or vinegar. The mixture is then sealed and allowed to macerate for several weeks before the herbs are strained out and the remaining liquid is ready for medicinal use.  

(You can read more about herbal preparations and how they differ, here.)

A Tincture For Every Season

Tinctures are incredibly versatile! Depending on the stage of life you’re in, the physical weaknesses you have, or the health benefits you hope to obtain… there’s a tincture to meet your needs. All you have to do is select the right herb, or combination of herbs, and better health is in your grasp.

For the winter time, our family relies heavily on a WINTER IMMUNITY-BOOSTING TINCTURE.

I make huge batches of this tincture for my family and extended family to use throughout the season and we’ve witnessed a definite strengthening of our immune systems. We take a daily dose (when we remember!) and then a repeated hourly dose if we feel we’re fighting a bug.

And the number one ingredient?

Elderberries.

The League of Incredible Herbs

Elderberries just happen to be our Herb of the Month right now… and little wonder! They are THE best source of immune-boosting powers in our opinion. Not to mention they’re the best tasting. 🙂

In fact, a 2004 study verified elderberries’ ability to safely and efficiently relieve symptoms caused by the influenza virus. And a 2009 study reached the same conclusion.

Elderberries are high in vitamins A and C, and are chocked full of antioxidants. They contain more iron and phosphorus than any other berry. (Source)

If you read our guide to elderberries, you probably saw that these purple fruits contain a toxic substance that can cause mild nausea and diarrhea if ingested raw. However, dried berries prepared in a tincture are safe.

But it’s not just elderberries that make our Winter Immunity Tincture a success, it’s the joint effort of five other incredible herbs that give any cold or flu the ol’ “one, two”. 

winter tincture

CALENDULA 

Calendula is widely recognized for it’s ability to disinfect and facilitate healing for external wounds and skin irritations. But calendula petals offer tremendous internal benefits too as they are anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-tumor! They work well as an herb to reduce fever, as well. 

NETTLE

Nettle may be the last herb I mention in this awesome tincture line-up, but it’s the backbone of nutrition. What’s a holistic medicinal tincture without the inclusion of a tonic herb that’s abounding in nutrients?

ECHINACEA

Echinacea needs little highlight. This herb is well stocked with medicinal components, like polysaccharies, which are responsible for echinacea’s popularity as an immune-stimulant.

ELEUTHERO ROOT

 This tonic herb, also known as Siberian Ginseng, has some very notable effects on the immune system as well. It’s a powerful, yet gentle herb on the body, which is why research suggests it’s the safest and most efficient immune-stimulant available for children. (Source)

ASTRAGALUS

Last, but not least is the wonderful energizing tonic herb, astragalus. Like the others, this herb bolsters the immune system, but it is also a strengthening tonic for the lungs. A great thing for the winter season! 

Making Tincture: Life Under the Influence

If you ever want to feel like a real loser, take your children to a state liquor store and have them wait outside the door while you purchase several bottles of 100 proof vodka. It’s a great feeling.

The look I was given by the man behind the counter would make any mother feel compelled to provide a good explanation… and fast. My mumbled “it’s for medicinal purposes” didn’t seem to make things any better. I send my husband to buy it now. 

Tincture sounds like such a scary thing to make, but really it’s quite easy. All it takes are some well-selected herbs (either fresh or dried), a lot of high-quality alcohol and a little bit of know-how.

tincture

 You can make tinctures using fresh or dried herbs, but I find dried are the easiest to work with. 

To make tincture using dried herbs: 

• Fill a mason jar 3/4 full with the herbs (if using roots, fill the jar only 2/3 full)

• Pour alcohol over the herbs up to the top of the jar, being sure to cover completely! (You don’t want your herbs to be exposed or else they can develop mold.)

NOTE: If using vegetable glycerin, fill the jar half with glycerin and half with pure, filtered water. 

Place a lid on the jar and seal tightly.

Then, allow the mixture to sit for at least 6 weeks. You can speed up the maceration (soaking and extraction) process by using a crockpot (following this method for glycerin tinctures), but I prefer doing it the old fashion way. If you notice the alcohol level drop, add more. You want the herbs to remain covered at all times. 

My Immunity Tincture sits for 8 weeks and is shaken at least once per day to keep the herbs from packing down in the bottom of the jar. 

Once the preferred maceration time is achieved, strain the herbs, bottle (and label!) the tincture and store in a cool dark place. This tincture will keep for years and will maintain it’s value! 

Ready to get started?

You can purchase quality, organic herbs here:

 

Mountain Rose Herbs. A Herbs, Health & Harmony Com
 

Don’t Want to DIY? Buy Ours!

If “do-it-yourself” isn’t your thing, there are other options.

For one, you could buy your Winter Immunity Tincture from us!

Update 2015: I’m so glad you all have found this tincture to be such a great assets to navigating the water to better health! Due to the fact I couldn’t keep up with demand for this product last year, I’ve decided not to be offering it for sale this year. I’m so sorry for the inconvenience, but I hope you will try to make your own! 

Tincture_Main

We have a limited amount of this wonderful winter tincture that is available to our readers! 

This tincture is chocked full of medicinal benefits and can not only shorten the duration of your cold or flu (when taken according to bottle directions) but will help strengthen your immune system so you don’t get sick in the first place!

This year, be smart!

Take measures to boost your immune system NOW… so you don’t have to deal with the ickies later. A tincture can be fun to make and offers your family a host of medicinal benefits that will leave you wondering why you didn’t start taking one sooner!

 

*This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.*

 

This post has been shared on: Homestead Barn Hop, Natural Living Monday, Better Mom Monday, Modest Monday, Reinventing the Herbal, Domestically Divine Tuesday, Teach Me Tuesday, Works for Me WednesdayHealthy 2Day WednesdayWelcome Home WednesdayWildcrafting WednesdayRaising HomemakersParty Wave Wednesday, Frugal Days, Natural Family FridayLittle House Friday, From the Farm.

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So fresh that smiles are guaranteed
Faith

Faith is a follower of Christ, wife and homeschooling mother of five, with a degree in public policy and holistic healthcare. She is also a clinical herbalist and nutrition guru with a passion for teaching her clients and readers how to take charge of their health. In her spare time Faith is also the caretaker of 8 chickens and a large herb garden.... which grows exceedingly well despite her brown thumb. Read more...

Faith

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