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Using Echinacea

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Using Echinacea

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Using Echinacea

Although echinacea is used to fight many different ailments, it is most commonly used to boost the immune system and fight infection. To find out more about making tinctures, salves, syrups, antiseptics, sprays, and many other simple remedies, see Growing and Using Echinacea by Kathleen Brown. This little booklet contains a wealth of information about Echinacea, and costs only $3.95.

Echinacea teas

There are two ways to brew an herbal tea: Infusion and Decoction. Use the infusion method when preparing a tea from leaves, flowers or seeds. Decoction is the method of choice for roots.

To make an infusion:
Place 1-2 teaspoons of dried herb or 2-4 teaspoons of fresh herb in a teapot. Cover with 1 cup of boiling water and steep for 15-20 minutes. Strain out the herbs and enjoy.

To make a decoction:
Combine 2 teaspoons of dried root and 1 cup of water in a saucepan. Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for at least 20 minutes and up to 1 hour. Strain out the herb and enjoy.

Below are two tea recipes excerpted from Growing and Using Echinacea by Kathleen Brown. If you can't locate all the ingredients locally, you'll find them readily available on the internet. My favorite source is Glenbrook Farms Herbs & Such.

Virus Fighter Tea
The herbs in this formula all have active antiviral properties and are effective against herpes, shingles, flu, warts, and other viral infections. Ginger is very warming and increases circulation. This tea can be taken internally or applied externally.

1 part echinacea root
1 part ginger root
1 part osha root
1 part boneset leaf
1 part chaparral leaf
1 part St. John's Wort leaf and flower
1 part usnea lichen
Honey and Lemon (optional)

Decoct the roots using the technique described above. Remove from heat and add the remaining herbs. Stir well, cover, and steep another 10 to 20 minutes. Strain, and add honey and lemon if desired.

On-Line Stress Buster Tea
You've been sitting at hour computer for how long? This formula combats the effects of computer radiation exposure, eyestrain, nervous tension, and mental fatigue. Take it to work with you - your brain will thank you.

1 part echinacea root
1 part licorice root
1 part dandelion root and leaf
1 part bladder wrack leaf
1 part eyebright leaf
1 part ginko leaf
1 part goto kola leaf
1 part kelp
1 part oatstraw
Honey and lemon (optional)

Decoct the echinacea, licorice, and dandelion roots using the technique described above. Remove from heat and add the remaining herbs. Stir well, cover the pot, and allow to steep another 10 to 20 minutes. Strain; add honey and lemon if desired.

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