Elderberry-White Sage Tincture

My husband, Heath, fell ill with sinus issues. The poor guy is heavily congested. Yes, anything foreign that enters our body will cause a production of mucus to immediately purge the bad stuff - NOT good if we want to reach true beauty and health. Mucus is a sign there is something that needs to be removed, great natural tool but also a block...

The Cold-and-Respiratory-Buster herbs that came to mind was white sage and elderberry.

~Elderberry (Sambucus nigra)

~White Sage (Salvia apiana)


For our tincture, we used a 190-proof organic cane sugar alcohol. Because that is too strong, we diluted it to 50%. We made this tincture last Saturday on January 11, 2020 with dried herbs. Ideally, we'd wait 6 weeks before straining the tincture but Heath was in immediate need. Note: since alcohol is a strong solvent, we have medicine readily available the next day, it's just not as potent.

For this tincture we used dried white sage leaves from our garden and dried organic elderberry from an online source. We recommend www.starwest-botanicals.com.

Dried herbs do not have the water content necessary to dilute such a strong alcohol. If we were to use fresh herbs, then we would not need to dilute the alcohol as the water released during the process will dilute it quite well. Interesting fun facts! Feel like a mad Scientist!

Here's What We Did:

1. Sanitized a 1oz Amber Glass Dropper Bottle and dried thoroughly.

2. Shook the mason jar and opened the lid carefully. We scooped one ounce of the menstruum (the actual liquid part of the tincture). You can use the dropper to gather the medicine, which I did, or you can sanitize a funnel and simply pour through a mesh lining and cheese cloth. Just try to eliminate the berries and sage from entering the tincture.

3. Label the bottle and voila! You have instant medicine to help fire up the immune system.

For our label we wrote the common name, scientific name, ratio of herb to alcohol, alcohol percentage, date it was bottled and the dosage recommended, as well as an expiration date.

[Teaching medicine-making at home is definitely a part of my coaching package for 12-week clients. Be sure to check out our "Book Appointment" page to learn more.]

It's amazing to think that after one week the clear alcohol is this dark in anthocyanin! I mean, can you imagine the amount of antioxidants Heath is getting?! It even tastes like white sage with a sweet and tart flavor.

Talk about true beauty! We're in love!



Elderberry (Sambucus nigra)

~used for centuries in North America and Europe

~very helpful to aid arthritic pains (might I say Heath actually went for a light jog after two doses though his body ached beforehand?)

~antiviral, helps break fevers, and decongests*

*most decongestant medications over the counter suppress coughs but rather, elderberry acts as an expectorant so the junk can exit faster.

White Sage (Salvia apiana)

~steaming the leaves helps break respiratory congestion

~great as a tea to remedy coughs and colds

~related to the mint family


"Herbal Medicine Making Course Manual", by Juliet Blankespoor, contributions from Asia Suler, Jade Shutes, and Meghan Gemma, www.chestnutherbs.com

[Interested in attending the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine? Let us know!]



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