Sep 23, 2008

Harvesting Echinacea-coneflower

I have always had an interest in natural ways of health and healing. As a Christian, I believe that God has given us all we need to live well, perhaps things are not quite as well since sin entered the Garden, but I still believe in a loving Father that cares for His children...and so call me 'Crunchy' or call me a tree hugger, but I think it is so much better than chemical solutions to health.

In the past we have bought most of our herbal needs from local shops, that carried what we needed. This year however, I decided to begin to make my own herbal treatments from what I have growing in my gardens. I have done research for years, on what herbal/natural treatments exist. We've used echinacea tincture for years, this year I decided to make my own.
We use this at the first sign of a cold coming on, just a half a dropper full is enough, continued every few hours until you've beaten it.

Parts of the coneflower that are usable:flower, leaves and roots. I picked away from my large bed of coneflower, the best time to pick is near frost time. I snapped off several plants, then also tugged out 20 roots (they are not very big roots). I gave everything a rinse in the sink, the roots got a gentle scrubbing to remove all the remaining dirt. I laid them out on cookie sheets in my kitchen and put the oven on the lowest setting for 20 minutes, leaving them for several hours before opening the door to begin the next process. Make sure the flowers and leaves are totally dry (don't want any dampness that can later create mold).

I tried to snap of as much of the stems from the roots, prior to drying. These roots get rock hard. I ground them in my coffee bean grinder, a few at a time until powdery. It makes an awful racket. A few leaves and flowers were thrown in.

You can use leaves, flowers and roots fresh...I do some of both for echinacea.

More to follow...I will let you know how to make a tincture of echinacea, how to use the now dry echinacea in tea, or how to put them into empty gel capsules. I also made some cough syrups, an echinacea, an onion syrup, a honey-ginger-garlic cough syrup, a cilantro come back and see.

Will it taste good? Well, probably not like candy...but my kids take it without too much fuss. And we tend to be a very healthy bunch, thanks to God.


BethPie said...

"As a Christian, I believe that God has given us all we need to live well..."

Me, too! Thank you for sharing this. We buy our echinacea... I'm not sure if it's something that even grows here in FL. But we do use a lot of ginger, our own herbs and HONEY (my mom keeps bees so we always have a nice supply). Looking forward to more posts on this.

Dreadnought said...

I'm glad you don't live too near my garden Kimmie, what with you and the peacocks there would be nothing left of it LOL! Actually I would probably forgive you for uprooting my plants if you helped make my cold better as there is nothing I hate worse than a cold. Bob

mom said...

I guess I never realized that the entire plant was used as *echinacea*. I do use echinacea through the winter months as it does make a difference. I hadn't really considered making my own tincture before, but, you've perked my interest a bit! :-)

Tammy ~@~

Amrita said...

That s really good we also use a lot of herbal treatments

Annie Chase said...

Hi Kimmie,
I actually read your post with that very thought in mind. Where did you learn all these neat tricks for making your own remedies?
I treat my Fibromyalgia with Guaifenisin twice a day and while that sounds very simple there's one catch. I can't have anything that has salicylates in it because it blocks the effect of the Guai. Salicylates are found heavily in plants and so I cant have lotions with plaint oils, gels, extracts or fragrances, i can't garden without very protective gloves, I can't chew gum because of the mint flavors etc. But because I'm not hypoglycemic I can eat/swallow just about anything except aspirin (its pretty much pure salicylate). Maybe Herbal remedies would be something to check into.

Kimmie said...

Hi Annie;
I am not sure where all the knowledge has come from, part of it I think is just a natural leaning that God has given me.

So you can take any plant material orally? Not sure if I understand that right. I would definitely look into what might be out there naturally...of course I'd pray first. Unfortunately the devil runs rampant in this area, you would be amazed at how many 'pagan-wicca-witch' sites are contributing to the herbal treatments.

Having come out of witchcraft, I am very careful (with learning and from who). However, I think it is time I share what I truly if I believe it is a God given thing...I should be sharing it. God created all the plants, he knows there every property and purpose. I am sure with prayer and asking...that He will lead you to things that will help you.


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