The holidays are here. Everywhere you go there seems to be gatherings with sweets galore being offered and runny nosed kids. (Mine being some of them.) It is important to start building up your immune system now to fight off all the illness that we are prone to get during the holiday season.
I speak from personal experience, I was the kid who came from a house where we ate real foods and very little refined sugars. Dessert was a once a week treat. Every Christmas we would fly to Missouri to visit our family. Well-intending family would stuff my siblings and I with gobs of sweets when my mom wasn’t watching. Our bodies weren’t used to that and we would get sick. Inevitably we would go the see our old family doctor EVERY year without fail.
My mom had enough; talk about having one angry mama bear on hand. She started to think of preventative ways to help us not get sick. She dedicated time to reading and researching how to help us. The flowing year the mom who already limited our sugar intake cut us off sugar cold turkey after Thanksgiving. No sweets were allowed in our house. We upped our Vitamin C, got lots of rest, and started taking Echinacea tincture about a week before our trip. Guess what, that year we didn’t get sick!
Unfortunately buying tinctures can often cost so much money! Did you know you can make your own for a fraction of the price? Making a tincture is a lot easier than it may seem. I try to always keep different herbs on hand for whatever need may arise. Two of my favorite sources for herbs are Bulk Herb Store and Mountain Rose Herbs. Both companies have wonderful products for a good price.
This immunity-boosting tincture is full of herbs that naturally boost your immune system (obviously) and give you an added dose of Vitamin C. As soon as you are exposed to someone that is sick or are starting to feel a bit funny yourself, start taking this tincture. Contrary to what you may have read herbs like Echinacea are not cold relievers. If you are already sick it will help you but its main job is to strengthen your body to kill off the germs before they take hold.
How to Make an Immunity Boosting Tincture
Mix herbs together filling a glass jar 3/4 of the way full. Cover with 80 to 100 proof vodka and give it a good shake. Store in a dark place, such as a cabinet, for at least four weeks. Give it a shake every day. After at least four weeks, strain through a cheesecloth or old t-shirt, squeezing out as much liquid as possible. Store in a glass jar. The tincture will retain its potency for at least two years. Store in a dark location.
Glycerin Method 1:
Mix herbs together filling a glass jar 3/4 of the way full. Pour just enough hot water over the herbs to dampen them. Fill the jar with glycerin and give it a good shake. Store in a dark place, such as a cabinet, for at least six weeks. Give it a shake every day. After at least six weeks, strain through a cheesecloth or old t-shirt, squeezing out as much liquid as possible. Store in a glass jar. The glycerite will retain its potency for at least one year. Store in a dark location.
Glycerin Method 2:
Mix herbs together filling a glass jar 3/4 of the way full. Pour just enough hot water over the herbs to dampen them. Fill the jar with glycerin and give it a good shake. Place a towel in the bottom of a crock-pot, nesting the jar in the towel. (This is to prevent the jar from breaking.) Add water until just an inch of the jar remains uncovered. Place on the lid and cook in warm to low for three days. After three days, strain through a cheesecloth or old t-shirt, squeezing out as much liquid as possible. Store in a glass jar. The glycerite will retain its potency for at least one year.
For children, some prefer to use glycerin-based tinctures. They are not quite as effective as vodka tinctures but they are still very good.
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Suggested Dosage Guidelines
It is best to take the tincture every 1 to 3 hours for no more than two weeks. Echinacea loses its effectiveness if you take it daily.
This is the dosage that I normally use:
Under 12 months: 2 drops (or just get it through mama”s milk)
12 to 24 months: 4 drops (or just get it through mama”s milk)
24 months to 3 years: 7 drops
3 to 5 years: 10 drops
5 to 7 years: 15 drops
7- 9 years: 24 drops
9-12 years: 30 drops
12- adult: 35 drops (1/4 tsp) to 88 drops (1/2 tsp)
As with anything take the weight of the individual into consideration. You may have a heavier 3-year-old or a smaller 12-year-old. The same applies to adults. Ultimately if you are in question do some research and do what you believe is best for you and your family. These are just suggestions. Herbs are a medicine, more is not better.
We talk a lot about the immune system here on MAH because it is THAT important. It’s more than just avoiding sweets and taking an immune boosting tincture. Your diet, how much you rest and exercise directly affects your immune system as well. Here are past articles that teach you more about the immune system, Keeping Up Kids’ Immunities Naturally, Herbs to Boost Your Immune System, Six Foods that Improve Your Immune System , Herbal Cold Syrup and Elderberry Syrup.
How do you boost your family’s immune system?
*Disclaimer: This information has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended for you to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. It is offered for educational purposes only. I encourage others to do their own research as I have done and discuss your findings with a qualified medical professional before adding any supplements or making any changes in your diet.