Recipe Using Echinacea Tops
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: June-Etta Chenard
Posted on: August 4, 1998

I recently bought your two books on Echinacea (B2570 and B2575) hoping to find out just HOW to prepare the top parts of E. purpurea for medicianal purposes. Alas, I cannot find such a ‘recipe’ in either book. Is there anyone there who can help me? By the way, all the seeds and plants I ordered from you are doing splendidly. Thanks so much.

The main way that echinacea is prepared for medicine is as a tincture. Both the roots and the tops can be extracted this way. Usually, grain alcohol is used, but water can be used also. There is some debate as to which components of echinacea are medicinally active, and some are water-soluble while others are not very soluble in water. An alcohol-water mixture may be the best compromise; a spirit such as vodka works very well.

The leaves and tops can be dried first or used fresh to make the tincture. The material, fresh or dried, should be broken or ground down to small pieces. As much alcohol-water as is needed to wet the material and cover it is added to a large open mouthed jar and covered. The mixture can be allowed to steep for two or more weeks. The resultant liquid is strained and stored in dark glass bottles.

Notice that proportions are not given here. For most purposes, the exact proportions is not critical.

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