how to make glycerites

How to Make Glycerites: An Alcohol-Free Herbal Remedy

Want to experience the benefits of tinctures but don’t ingest alcohol? Try making a glycerite! A glycerite is an herbal extract made with vegetable glycerine. Glycerine has a sweet taste, which also makes it a fantastic option for kids or anyone who is averse to bitter or acrid tasting herbs. You can make glycerites with a wide variety of herbs, and one of our favorite glycerites to make is an Echinacea glycerite. This is a great glycerite to have on hand for the whole family for cold and flu season.

In this article, we’ll show you how to easily make an Echinacea glycerite at home with dried Echinacea root. Here’s our Apothecary recipe card on how to make an Echinacea glycerite.

how to make glycerites
Humans aren’t the only ones who love Echinacea — pollinators love Echinacea flowers too!

Working with Echinacea Glycerite for Colds & Flu

Last year during cold and flu season one of my dear friends got hit with a persistent cold. Her nose was running, her throat was sore, and she was exhausted. I wanted to recommend that she just get a few ounces of Echinacea tincture from her local health food store, but she doesn’t ingest alcohol. She was too tired to make herself an Echinacea decoction, so I had to think on the fly — what else could I recommend to her?

Then I remembered! I had a pint of Echinacea glycerite in my home apothecary. I bottled up a few ounces for her and dropped it off on her porch. This alcohol-free glycerite really helped her symptoms, and she wasn’t the only one who liked it: a few months later her youngest son got a cold too. She gave him the glycerite, and the sweet taste helped encourage him to actually swallow it. Like so many kids, he doesn’t like the taste of tinctures and spits them out if his parents try to administer them, so a glycerite is an excellent option for him.

Before we dive into more of Echinacea’s health benefits, let’s revisit the Echinacea glycerite recipe step-by-step…

how to make glycerites
Echinacea glycerite is easy to make at home.

Echinacea Glycerite Recipe: An Alcohol-Free Remedy for Strong Immunity

Echinacea glycerite is one of our go-to remedies for colds and flu. Add this easy-to-make remedy to your home apothecary to support the immune health of you and your whole family.

Ingredients you’ll need…

  • 150 grams dried Echinacea angustifolia root (approximately 1 ½ cups)
  • 450 ml glycerine
  • 300 ml water
  1. Place the Echinacea root in a 1-quart jar.
  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the glycerine and water. Whisk to combine.
  1. Pour the glycerine and water mixture over the Echinacea root.
  1. Cover the jar and shake well. Continue to shake the jar every day for 1 week, and then every few days while it is macerating, or extracting, over the next 6 weeks.
  1. You’ll notice that the Echinacea root will expand as it soaks up the liquid. If the roots expand so much that the liquid no longer covers them, add a bit more glycerine and water. However, you want to add as little as possible to avoid diluting the mixture too much.
  1. After 6 weeks, give the jar one last really good shake. Then strain the roots through cheesecloth, squeezing it well. (Alternatively, use a potato ricer to strain and squeeze the roots. Herbalists who make a lot of glycerites often get a tincture press.)
  1. Using a small funnel, pour the glycerite into clean dropper bottles. Store in a cool, dark place.

Note: a glycerite will last longest if it is refrigerated. Glycerites usually keep anywhere from 6 months to 1.5 years in the fridge.

Yield: approximately 3 cups (24 ounces)

how to make glycerites
Echinacea makes a beautiful addition to any herb garden.

The Benefits of Echinacea

Echinacea is most well-known as an herb for the immune system. As an immune stimulant, Echinacea can help not only prevent colds and flus but also help the body fight a cold or flu that’s already infected the body.

In addition to fighting colds and flu, this antimicrobial herb excels at fighting a wide range of other infections. Some of its antimicrobial benefits include:

  • Easing toothache
  • Addressing chronic acne
  • Supporting wound healing

When working with Echinacea, the root is generally thought to be the strongest for making remedies, but the leaf and flower are also medicinal.

What is vegetable glycerine?

Vegetable glycerine is a sweet-tasting, clear, viscous liquid that comes from vegetable fats. Some of the most common vegetable sources of glycerine include corn, soy, and palm. Creating glycerine is generally a large scale industrial process that requires heat and pressure.

how to make glycerites
You can make remedies with Echinacea flower, leaf, and root.

How long does it take to make a glycerite?

There are a few different ways to make a glycerite. You can make it using the long steeping method we used in our recipe above, which required 6 weeks of steeping. Or you can make a decocted glycerite, which means heating up the steeping herb and glycerine together. Making a decocted glycerite can take as little as 1 hour.

Is a glycerite a tincture without alcohol?

A glycerite is an alcohol-free alternative to a tincture. A glycerite is technically not a tincture because tinctures are extracts made with alcohol. To learn more about tinctures, check out our tincture how-to guide here.

Do glycerites need preservatives?

Glycerites do not require any added preservatives. Glycerine itself is a preservative, and you can make glycerites that last upwards of 1.5 years.

how to make glycerites

Now Id love to know…

Have you ever made a glycerite?

If so, what kind of glycerites do you like to make?

Please let me know in the comments below.

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