Processing the Juice from Echinacea
Answered by: Richard Alan Miller
Question from: Anita Langendorf
Posted on: February 12, 2001

I grow Echinacea Purpurea in Sweden, Stockholm area, and am interested in the Herb Farming Series. Does it include information about pressing and freeze drying the juice as well? That would be just perfect!

[Editor’s note:] The Echinacea 2000 Herb Farming Series Technical Report does not have information on processing the juice. The following is from the author of the report.

Certain crops, which are sensitive to drying temperatures, have been successfully sold as freeze-dried. This would include St. John’s Wort (for hypericin) and Klamath Blue Green Algae (for neuropeptides). The expense makes this kind of processing limited for specific chemistry markets and needs.

The primary chemistries involved with all forms of Echinacea make freeze-dried root and herb too expensive for chemistry delivered. It’s best forms includes dried material (as a tablet or capsule) and tinctures, since the chemistry is solvent with alcohol. What this means to you is that you either have a specific market demand for this process, or it’s cost of delivery (of chemistry) is not competitive.

Rarely has the juice also been used in the manufacture of Echinacea as a fortified additive. Juicing it would not remove desired chemistries from the rootbark. They are primarily alcohol solvent, and would not exist in the water aspect (of juice) with any significant percentages.

There are companies that specialize in freeze-dried herbal products (Van Drunen Farms), but they already have a position for that very specialized market demand. They can not be competitive with certain types of crops, to include Echinacea root and herb. And, this market is driven on the cheapest delivery of chemistry.

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