Homeopathic Living Healthy

Echinacea: A Powerful Natural Antibiotic

There are several different herbs I find useful in times of illness, but echinacea is one that I turn to the most for its powerful medicinal properties and its safety for all ages.

EchinaceaPhoto Credit: Chickens in the Trees (vns2009) via Compfight cc

Echinacea {also known as purple cone-flower}, is one of the most powerful natural antibiotics available.  Because echinacea is excellent at fighting infection and boosting the immune system, many natural practitioners of our day feel that this lovely flower is the most important immune-boosting herb in western medicine.

Unlike most herbs, echinacea is one that you don’t want to consume all the time, but is best used only during a time of illness, and not more than 2 weeks at a time.

Ways to Use Echinacea

Tea

To drink as a tea, add 1-2 teaspoons of echinacea to 1 cup of boiling water.  Steep, covered, for 15-20 minutes.  Strain and drink.

Tincture

Many people like to make their own tinctures because they are simple to take and preserve the herbal properties for years.  To make a tincture, fill a jar halfway with dried echinacea or to the top with fresh echinacea.  Pour vodka over the herb to the top of the jar, leaving a 2 inch headspace.  Cover with a lid and shake 3-7 times a week for 4-6 weeks.  Strain the herb from the liquid.  You now have an herbal medicine on hand that will keep for 5 years or more!

Glycerite

An herbal glycerite is similar to a tincture in that it preserves for years, but it uses glycerin rather than alcohol.  Many prefer to use this for children or as an alternative to an alcohol tincture.  Glycerin has a sweet, pleasant taste, yet it doesn’t affect blood sugar levels, making it safe for diabetics and those with blood sugar problems.  An easy way to make a glycerite is in the crockpot.  You can find instructions here!  Glycerites keep for 3-5 years.

Capsule

Another option for taking herbs is by capsule.  Capsules tend to be the least potent way to consume herbs, but they are still effective and preferred by many.  To save a lot of money, you can purchase herbs in bulk and make your own capsules using a capsule machine.

The dosages for taking echinacea for illness are:

{Choose only 1 preferred method of taking echinacea.}

  • 1 cup of tea 3 times a day
  • 1/2 tsp. of tincture 3 times a day
  • 1-2 capsules 3 times a day

For acute illnesses when symptoms come quickly and aggressively, follow these suggestions:

{Again, choose only one preferred method.}

  • 1/4 cup tea every half hour
  • 1/2 tsp. of tincture every hour
  • 1-2 capsules every 2 hours

*Note: For children, cut the dosage amounts in half.

Do you use echinacea?  What is your favorite way to take this herb?

FDA disclaimer for posts with info about supplements Oct 2014

About the author

Jill

Jill York is a Christian herbalist and a homeschool mom of 4. As a young adult, she found her health spinning out of control, and was for the first time introduced to natural medicine, where she found healing. Her desire is to encourage and empower other moms to take control of their family's health naturally. You can find her blogging at Jill’s Home Remedies and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

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