Roots!! I just love this time of year. The changing colors, the crisp air, the hint of fermenting apples as you drive down the road. And it's the time to gather roots for medicine as the aerial parts start to die and the energy goes back into the roots.
Today I'm harvesting echinacea. Aka "common cone flower". I am a life long user of echinacea when it comes time for fighting colds, flus, sore throats, sinus yuckyness, etc. I was even the weird gal taking it and not getting sick back in my musical theater school days, and friends would come to me wanting this magical elixir.
It's a whole new magical experience to get to harvest this plant here on the land. I harvested the flowers and leaves when they were blooming and dried for tea, plus I'll start a tincture of these roots and add the aerial parts in for a whole plant tincture.
Our family goes through quite a bit of this medicine during the colder months and I'm really happy to be making our own batch. After I rinse these roots, I'll chop them up and put in a quart jar, add the dried flowers, cover with organic vodka, and let sit for at least 2 weeks.
Echinacea helps strengthen the immune system and helps fight infections, but it's best not to take it consistently as your body can adapt to it. Taking it when you know you've been around anyone sick or when you're starting to feel the symptoms yourself is a great idea. As always with any medicine, do your own research and do what feels best!