Never made a tincture before? This Easy Immune Support Tincture is a great place to start! And your immune system will thank you…
This post is sponsored by Infinity Jars. All thoughts are my own, though.
Ever since my first pregnancy, when my hippie midwife gave me a tincture of red raspberry leave to take, I’ve been intrigued by the use of tinctures for health. When she told me she had made it herself, images of elaborate moonshine-esque chemistry sets popped up in my mind.
Those images stayed there for a few years, making me think that it either took a scientific nerd or someone really crazy to make their own tinctures.
But guess what, neither of those things matter.
Making tinctures might sound a little daunting, but it’s really quite simple. If you’ve ever made your own homemade vanilla extract, then you basically have all the knowledge you need! And if you haven’t tried DIY vanilla, don’t worry, you’ll be rockin’ and rollin’ in no time flat!
You need three basic things to make a tincture:
- a dark glass jar or bottle with an air-tight lid
- some vodka, brandy, or vegetable glycerin
- herbs, roots, and/or berries of your choice
I like to use vodka to make my tinctures, because it’s cheap and easy to get my hands on. If you’re alcohol-free, you can go ahead and use vegetable glycerin instead. I’ve even heard that apple cider vinegar works, but I’ve not ever tried it.
For storage, it’s important to use a dark glass bottle, as the UV rays from the sun can damage the healing properties of the herbs. I’ve been loving these light optimized, glass cosmetic bottles from Infinity Jars. They’re made with a unique ultraviolet light filtering technology that makes them a great choice for tinctures, essential oil blends, and DIY cosmetic storage. Infinity Jars’ light-blocking and air/watertight jars have been shown to preserve herbs for months, and even years, longer than ordinary jars!
Easy Immune Support Tincture
For this tincture I chose herbs that are great at stimulating your immune system. Whether it’s that lovely time of year when everyone and their mom is coming down with something, or you just feel like your immune system could use a little boost, these herbs are a great option.
Thyme leaves are packed with immune-boosting vitamins C, A, K & E, as well as calcium, magnesium, and selenium. They also contain antioxidant-rich flavonoids and antibacterial properties that are said to fight off bacteria and fungi as strong as E-coli. Thyme also has a relaxing effect on muscles, making it helpful for relieving asthma, whooping cough, laryngitis, bronchitis, and even regular ol’ dry coughs.
This pretty little flower stimulates the cells that are responsible for fighting infections, helping our immune system be more effective at attacking viruses and bacteria. Please note that, if you have Th1 dominant Hashimoto’s, echinacea also stimulates the Th1 system, so use with care.
These have got to be one of my favorite berries of all time! Their bioflavonoids are so strong, they can even destroy the ability of cold and flu viruses to infect a cell! They’re filled with amino acids, carotenoids, flavonoids, vitamins A & B and more vitamin C than oranges! Elderberries are an anti-viral, antibacterial, immune-boosting powerhouse.
Using your tincture.
One of the wonderful things about this immune-boosting tincture is that it will help you out whether you’re sick or not. If you’ve been hanging around someone with the sniffles or a cough, or you just want to make sure you’re keeping your immune system up, take the tincture.
If you’ve already come down with something, this tincture will still help you by building up your immune system and giving it ammunition against the virus or bacteria your’re battling.
Generally, if I’m just trying to fortify my family’s systems during the winter months, I give them 1 dropperful, or 1/4 teaspoon, of the tincture per day (half for littles). If they’ve already caught something, I’ll double the dosage, as well as give them a cupful of my Immune Boosting Sore Throat Tea or my Honey Ginger Allergy Relief Tea.
Here’s a helpful tip from a registered herbalist, Carol Little: “At first sign of symptoms, or if you have been exposed to family/friend with sniffles and want to take precautions, adults should take 1 dropperful every 15-20 minutes for the first few hours. Cold virus replicates every 20 minutes, so the constant repeating of the dose is essential for the formula to kill the virus.”
Now that you know everything you need to make a tincture, what are you waiting for? Get going and make your own! Your immune system will thank you. 😉
Note on the herbs: I usually purchase my herbs from Frontier Herbs or Starwest Botanicals, both of which I buy through amazon.com. I also like Mountain Rose Herbs and the Bulk Herb Store, as well.
In the recipe card I’ve linked to some of the products from my affiliate partners that I like to use. Purchasing through these links won’t cost you anything extra. Thanks!
Easy Immune Support Tincture
Free from grain, gluten, eggs, dairy, and sugar.
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1/4 cup dried elderberries
- 3 tablespoons dried echinacea
- 80 proof vodka
Add the herbs and berries to a dark, 8 ounce jar.
Fill the rest of the jar with vodka.
Seal tightly and let sit for 1 month.
Strain out herbs and pour back into the jar, or pour into a bottle with a dropper lid.
SERVING: 1/4-1/2 teaspoon, or 1-2 dropperfuls, a day for adults, half serving for kids.
Please note, this is NOT supposed to taste good. It is ‘medicine,’ after all…
Pin this Easy Immune Support Tincture for later!
Need more immune support? Try these…
- Honey Ginger Allergy Relief Tea
- Immune Boosting Sore Throat Tea
- Ginger Yellow Dock Digestive Bitters
- Natural Remedies for Healing Cold Sores (plus 2 recipes)
Wow! Something new and innovative. I never made Tincture before , will definitely try.
Thank you, Pooja! I hope you find it helpful! 🙂
It is hard core winter here in Eastern Canada and anything that can help ward off a cold is much needed! Thank you!!
You’re so welcome, Dani! I hope you find it helpful. 🙂
Extremely Handy!! Just what I need for the little kiddos. I still have got memories of using Tincture on on injuries as a child.. Eeks .. Its burns.
Yeah, it does burn. 😉 If you have access to vegetable glycerin, that might not burn so much! But it wouldn’t have the same sterilizing effects as the alcohol. 🙂
I learned to dilute the drops in drinks. It doesn’t burn that way.
Yes! That’s a great tip! 🙂
hmmm.. learnt something new today. Thanks for sharing.. 🙂
Glad to share, Sushma! I hope you find it useful! 🙂
This is such great information! I love making my own vanilla extract, but haven’t really ventured out into the world of tinctures yet. Thank you for putting the work in and sharing this post. I definitely think I need a dropperful of this right now!
So glad to share, Willow! It’s so easy to make, and it really boosts your immune system. I hope you get to give it a try, and get to feeling better.
How do you take your tinctures? Just drop right on the tongue, or in water or tea? Or something else? I’ve seen all those suggested, sometimes in different contexts, and I’m not sure which would be best.
I usually take mine under my tongue. My 9-year old likes hers mixed with a little water or kombucha. If you’re giving it to little kids, and you don’t want the alcohol to burn their throats, you can put the dosage in a little warm tea. The alcohol will evaporate from the heat, but the benefits of the tincture will remain the same.
O I think I need to try whipping some up!
Yes! Do it! 🙂
Ebook please and thank you
I’m very excited about trying the tinctures!
Thank you so much!
Thank you, Paula! I hope you find it helpful!
Simple but good tincture for immune support. I am not sure if you mentioned, so will just add:
At first sign of symptoms or if you have been exposed to family/friend with sniffles and want to take precautions; Adults.. Take 1 dropper ful every 15-20 minutes for the first few hours. Cold virus replicates every 20 minutes so the constant repeating of the dose is essential for the formula to kill the virus. Key to success. Hope it’s ok to jump in and add this.. in the spirit of healing that darn cold or flu!
Thank you so much for sharing that info, Carol! I’m always open to learning more, in the spirit of healing. 😉
I always just make elderberry syrup, but I should definitely experiment with adding other immune boosters. Thanks for the inspo! 🙂
You’re welcome, Dena! Glad to inspire. 😉
I still haven’t made a tincture. You make it sound super do-able!
It IS super do-able. 😉 You should give it a try!
Can one use this all year round?
I usually only use it when the weather starts gets cooler. But you can use it whenever you feel like your immune system is struggling. I would probably not use it constantly, maybe for a few months at the most, then take a break.
I need to keep some of this on hand!
It is very helpful to have around!
This is such a great idea for supporting the immune system! I love that you included thyme in the tincture.
Thank you, Emily! My family has been living off it this winter. So helpful. 🙂
I love the name, the simple ingredients, and the recipe. Thank you! I look forward to making this!
Thank you, Megan! Sometimes simple is the best. 😉 I hope you find the tincture helpful!
What size of bottle did you use? I’d like to make up some for a friend and some family members. 1batch makes how much? Also do you can it when done or just put the lid on and keep it in the fridge
One batch makes about 1 cup of tincture. I store my in a dark glass jar, but if you don’t have that, a regular jar will work as long as you store it out of direct sunlight. It doesn’t need to be refrigerated. 🙂
Does alcohol destroy the medicinal properties of the herb? How does it work?
No, the alcohol acts as a preservative.
Can I use fresh herbs, such as the thyme? Also, do you have any other suggestions on a berry other than elderberry, due to negative immune effects? Thank you.
You can use fresh thyme, if you’d like, and if you don’t want the elderberries in there you can just leave them out. 🙂
It’s so great for health. I love that it can be done at home. And I definitely want to try. Thanks for this great idea.
You’re so welcome, Tatiana!
How interesting! I haven’t tried making a tincture before. Love all your tips. Definitely need this with the kids starting school soon.
Yes, it’s that time of year, unfortunately! I hope you get to make it!
What an interesting post, and I find your readers comments to be informative too. Thanks for this!
You’re so welcome, Pam!
All my ingredients are in the bottle, waiting for summer to ride itself out and the sniffly autumn to come in! Thanks for this great, informative post!
You’re welcome, Ashley!
Elderberry makes such a difference for me, I can’t wait to make this tincture!
Yes! It’s so helpful!
Is it true that you have to boil the elderberries before use? Can’t wait to get going on this.
If your elderberries are dried, then you don’t have to boil them. If they are raw then you will need to dehydrated them first. Raw elderberries are poisonous.
I know this is an older post but do you have an ebook with multiple recipes?