How to Make an Astragalus Tincture
By Heidi Greening - September 11, 2015
Tincture making happens every autumn in my house. I start planning my ingredient list in late summer and begin making purchases in August. By September I’m ready to dedicate a weekend or two to restocking our supply of herbal remedies in preparation for winter illnesses. This year is no different, and I’m planning to double the recipe for one of my favorite tinctures. I call it my "Kitchen Sink Immunity Tincture" because it covers just about all the bases. Astragalus Root is the shining star in this tincture and one of my personal favorites because of its flexibility. (You can learn more about astragalus here.) The other herbs complement Astragalus or enhance its work and offer a pleasant taste to what would otherwise be a very bitter tincture. I’ll list my herbs in order of how much I use in this recipe.
- Astragalus: Immune stimulant. Diuretic, antiseptic, antispasmodic. (Pedersen, 1998) Aids adrenal glands and strengthens lung function. (Balch, 2000)
- Yarrow: Antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, expectorant. (Pedersen, 1998)
- Licorice: Adds natural sweetness and aides in digestion. Anti-inflammatory, stimulating. Increases production of mucus and relieves muscle spasms. (*Not for use during pregnancy.)(Pedersen, 1998)
- Goldenseal: Immune stimulant, anti-inflammatory. Strengthens respiratory system. (*Some sources contraindicate Goldenseal during pregnancy.) (Weaver, 2010)
- Echinacea: Immune stimulant, anti-bacterial and anti-viral. (Weaver, 2010)
- Peppermint: Adds pleasant taste to mask bitter herbs. Anti-spasmodic, aides in digestion. (Weaver, 2010)
- Alcohol (such as vodka) and Vegetable Glycerin
Kitchen Sink Immunity TinctureIngredients:
- 2 parts Astragalus
- 1 part Yarrow
- 1/2 part Goldenseal
- 1/2 part Echinacea
- 1/2 part Peppermint
- 1/4 part Licorice Root
- Combine all herbs in a large bowl and mix well.
- Pour herbs into glass jar. Add enough boiling water to just rehydrate the herbs. They shouldn’t be floating in water.
- Pour Vodka over the herbs until they are covered by about an inch. Mix well with very clean hands or a long spoon.
- Now add enough Vegetable Glycerin to fill the jar about an inch from the top. Mix well again, as much as possible. Replace the lid tightly and shake well.
- Remember to label your jar with the ingredients and date. Keep your jar in a cool dark place for at least two weeks, shaking the jar vigorously every day.
- At the end of two weeks, strain the tincture through cheesecloth into a large bowl. Squeeze out as much of the excess liquid as possible. Throw the spent herbs in your compost and pour the tincture into a clean ½ gallon or two quart size jars.
- Re-label and seal.
What do you do to boost immunity in your family?REFERENCES:
- Pedersen, M. (1998). Nutritional herbology: A reference guide to herbs (Rev. and expanded ed.). Warsaw, IN: Wendell W. Whitman.
- Balch, P., & Balch, J. (2000). Prescription for nutritional healing (3rd ed.). New York: Avery.
- Weaver, R., & Weaver, C. (2010). Be your own doctor: 101 stories : Natural remedies for the health of your family. Reinholds, PA (240 Mohns Hill Rd., Reinholds, PA 17569): Share-A-Care Publications.