Sicky season is upon us. And although I'm not a firm believer that sick people get you sick, I do believe that a weakened immune system does. Sometimes illness is unavoidable and can actually even be a positive thing if we allow it to slow us down and take the time to rest. But more often than not, it is an inconvenience. So late Fall through early Spring, I like to give my children and of course myself, a twice daily dose of an immune support tincture. I like to use the Winter Shield recipe of out Rosemary Gladstar's book Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health. If I don't have access to fresh herbs, than my favorite online vendor is Mountain Rose. Today I added some Red Raspberry leaf and some dried Nettle just because I had them and I love what they offer to the body. Remember that we measure herb by the 'part', which is measured in weight, not volume. For example, 1 part Rose Hips is less in volume to 1 part Echinacea Root because it is actually denser and therefore weighs more. At the end of the day, it doesn't have to be exact, I just love an excuse to use my vintage scale! I opted for Brandy with this tincture because it feels a bit warmer than vodka. If you are using dry herb, then the alcohol to herb ratio is 3:1, if using fresh herb the ratio is 2:1. Mix it all together in a big glass jar and place it in a cool dark place for 6 weeks, giving it a little shake everyday. When ready, strain through a cheese cloth or thin muslin and if you are able, compost the herbs. Take 2 droppersful a day as a preventative or 6 droppersful as an acute remedy. Tinctures will keep indefinitely so if you don't use it all this season, keep it for next!
3 PARTS ECHINACEA ROOT 1 PART FRESH OR FROZEN RASPBERRIES 1 PART SLICED FRESH ORANGES
2 PARTS ELDERBERRIES 1 PART FRESH OR FROZEN BLUEBERRIES BRANDY
2 PARTS ROSE HIPS 1 PART GRATED FRESH GINGER ROOT