You don’t have to be a herbalist to know about the immune-boosting powers of echinacea. It’s one of the better-known herbs, and for good reason.
Echinacea tea has been used for centuries to help fend off winter illnesses, and there are countless studies that show it’s an effective immune system stimulant.
Echinacea is most commonly taken as either a tea or a tincture. Echinacea tincture may contain more medicinal compounds because a tincture extracts both the water-soluble and alcohol-soluble components of a herb.
The problem is, the dosage for echinacea tincture can be quite high, around 1 ounce every 6 to 12 hours. When you’re sick, you may not want to consume that much alcohol-based medicine. In that case, echinacea tea makes more sense.
Benefits of Echinacea Tea
A hot cup of echinacea tea a few times a week can help prevent winter colds and flu. If taken at the first sign of sickness, many people believe that echinacea helps them get better faster or prevents the illness from developing altogether.
Echinacea does more than just stimulate the immune system. According to WebMd, echinacea activates chemicals in the body that decrease inflammation. The fact that it works as a natural anti-inflammatory may another reason why it helps people feel better while they’re sick.
Echinacea also contains compounds that have been shown to attack yeast and fungi directly, which means echinacea tea may also boost healing from yeast infections.
How to Make Echinacea Tea
Echinacea tea can be made with either fresh or dried plant material. If you’re using fresh echinacea for tea, you’ll need about twice as much for a tea of the same strength.
Start with 1/4 cup of loose leaf dried echinacea (or 1/2 cup fresh homegrown echinacea) and pour about 8 ounces of boiling water over the herb. Allow the mixture to steep for about 15 minutes.
Some of the hot water will absorb into the plant material, leaving you with just the right amount to fill a standard size 6-ounce mug.
To be perfectly honest, plain echinacea tea isn’t exactly tasty, and cannot be described as “the perfect cup” by any stretch of the imagination. To make a great cup of echinacea tea, you’ll need to add in other herbs to improve the flavor and ideally increase the medicinal benefits.
Traditional Medicinals sells mixes theirs with lemongrass and peppermint, both of which have a strong but pleasant flavor. Ginger and cayenne are also great flavor masking herbs that will help open up your respiratory system. We grow our own lemongrass and have homegrown ginger indoors, and they both make a delightful sinus-clearing tea in the winter months.
If you want to help boost the medicinal content of your echinacea tea blend, try mixing it with any of the following herbs:
- Elderberry or elderflower
- Rose Hips
- Wild Lettuce
This homemade echinacea tea is just what the doctor ordered to help clear up a cold. Echinacea boosts the immune system while lemongrass and peppermint help clear the sinuses. Large batches of this can be made in advance and stored until needed. To make 1 cup of tea, use a heaping 1/4 cup of the mixture.
Homemade Echinacea Tea
Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g
This homemade echinacea tea is just what the doctor ordered to help clear up a cold. Echinacea boosts the immune system while lemongrass and peppermint help clear the sinuses.
Large batches of this can be made in advance and stored until needed. To make 1 cup of tea, use a heaping 1/4 cup of the mixture.
Question: Are you using the leaves, the flowers or the roots when you say “mixture.”
I’m using a mixture of aerial parts (leaves and flowers) and dried roots in my tea mixture. Each individual part also works too, and you do not have to have all three.
Thanks, I had that question too. I’m growing my own echinacea and wondered what to do with it, aside from letting it attract pollinators to my garden. I’m planning to make iced tea with fresh echinacea leaves and fresh mint! Any tips before I get started?
That sounds lovely. You should have all of the information in this post that you need. If you have any questions just let us know.
Can you use the powder form?
You can, but it’s very hard to filter out of the finished cup of tea. If you have a good way to make a clean final cup by filtering it, or you just don’t mind, then yes that will work fine.
If I want to make a larger batch of tea, say for 5 people, do I need to add 5X all ingredients? Or will it not take that much of the herb mixture?
Yes, you’d want to multiply the batch by the number of people since the recipe is only for one cup.
When do you harvest the flowers? As soon BBC as they bloom or wait until they start to die out?
Written with love. Thankyou
Hi and thank you for this.
It may be a silly question but how would you take a root from a living plant without killing the plant? I used mainly the leaves and some petals this morning (it’s still early for us and the plant hasn’t fully bloomed yet), but I hear the root contains the most beneficial compounds. Thank you.
If you add lemongrass to this how do you go about doing that? I am still new to all of this and want to make up some teas as gifts to my massage clients. How do you package the lemongrass in it? Do you grind it up after its dried?
That depends on how you plan to prepare it. If you are giving it as a loose blend, then you wouldn’t want to grind it up very fine. I would just cut it, chop it or even break it into small pieces.
Love it. I know I am going to get a lot of knowledge all in one place.
Thanks, this is useful instructions. My herbal book only mentions making a decoction from the roots, which is a lot more hassle than making a tea, and I bought some dried leafy Echinacea material. I was thinking of combining it with Elderflowers or Elderberries to maybe increase the potency and improve the flavour, as you mention. I have bad chronic sore throat, my throat looks very red, and ear infections, and have been diagnosed with oral lichen planus, which is probably about the immune system being stressed. At the moment I have been waiting months for a medical appointment and it looks as though my referral was rejected, so I am thrown back on my own to try to at least alleviate the symptoms.
I hope you feel better soon!
can we use echinacea stem too beside root flower and leaves?
I believe so, as I think the whole plant is medicinal. I don’t know the technical answer for sure though.
Question: I’m also new to this. When using the flower, do I use the entire flower or just the pedals? Thanks!
The flowers, leaves, stems and roots can all be used. I would not use the seed head though.
Why not the seed head? Please elaborate as I have an abundance of dried echinacea seed heads I harvested from my garden this year.
I think it’s mainly because of the taste.
I have been harvesting my Echinacea weekly throughout the summer and have quite a number jars with leaves, flower petals and seed heads all kept separately. I use my dehydrator and then store them in half gallon Ball jars with a oxygen absorber and cannister sealed on our VacMaster Pro 360. My plan is to make Echinacea tea bags for gifts. Would you suggest breaking up the leaves or grinding them? I was thinking of just crumbling them as they are super dry coming off of the VacMaster.
I love the idea of adding Lemongrass or Mint. I am growing both of those and have quite a bounty this year. Do you think that adding Moringa leaves to the tea would be beneficial?
Thanks so much!
I would just crumble them rather than grinding them and I definitely think the Moringa leaves would be beneficial as well as the lemongrass and mint.
Its fall, and the echinacea leaves in my garden are turning yellow. Can they still be used?
I would not recommend using the leaves at this stage. This would be a perfect time to begin harvesting some roots.