Making Tinctures

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So, I was in the back hanging out with the donkeys and goats when something yellow caught my eyes behind the enclosure. Swaying in the wind, I found goldenrod. I was ecstatic. What caught my eye was too late to harvest, but it meant more was nearby that would be harvestable.

Behind the animal enclosure is a somewhat thick wooded area.

I did not care though. I was going to get some goldenrod.

Photographed by Amanda Harman

I battled thorns, spiderwebs, and a snake to get to my destination. Okay, to be fair, the snake pictured above is a black racer; they’re harmless. This also is not the same snake I ran into–I think. This was taken another day, but I did run into a black racer in the wooded area. I couldn’t snap a picture though, but had to share at least one picture I did have because they’re pretty.

Spiderwebs? They’re not pretty. They suck. I’d rather the thorned plants.

Photographed by Amanda Harman

So, I harvested some goldenrod to dry. I dried it and had enough to fill half of a pint mason jar.

Photographed by Amanda Harman

And what do you do with that much goldenrod? You make a tincture! I use flowers and leaves (mostly flowers).

Photographed by Amanda Harman

I’m not a big drinker, but I do love Copper Bottom’s vodka when I do drink. Since it’s a product I trust, I also use it for making tinctures.

So, we’re going to let this sit for 6 weeks, shaking everyday. After 6 weeks, we’ll have a lovely natural remedy for allergies. Happy Harvesting everyone!

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Goldenrod is in full bloom in the back of our lot. This breathtakingly gorgeous herb has so many potential benefits that it’s worth braving its gut wrenching taste. My favorite property of this herb is its potential to alleviate allergy symptoms. goldenrod has large amounts of quercetin, an anti-inflammatory constituent. This, paired with goldenrod’s astringency, makes this herb most effective with allergies that affect the nasal passages. Goldenrod tea can be used in a neti pot for instant relief. Goldenrod possesses other actions that may potentially help alleviate allergy symptoms: goldenrod is expectorant and anticatarrhal. This herb can help with sore throats and expelling mucus from the lungs.

Although I think of allergies and antihistamine when I generally think of goldenrod, it possesses some other actions that aid in realms outside of nasal issues. Goldenrod can support imbalances in the urinary system due to its diuretic, antilithic (think kidney stones), and anti-inflammatory properties. If you’re prone to UTI’s or kidney stones, incorporating goldenrod consistently into your regimen can be beneficial.

The flowers and leaves can be used on the skin for minor wounds as a poultice. It can work well in a salve with other herbs like St. John’s Wort or plantain.

I don’t grow this herb in my garden because it is found so readily in the wild. Once you see it and identify it for the first time, you’ll never forget it. You want to harvest the flowers just as it starts to minimally bloom. You use the flowers dried for the most part and if you try to dry a flower already in bloom it becomes nothing but fluff.

I’m not a fan of goldenrod’s taste. If I make a tea, I like to mix it with other herbs I like, including mint and ginger. Honey alone is not enough.

This is a very versatile herb. It starts blooming late summer/early fall and is just in time for when school starts. Next time you’re out on a stroll, really pay attention to what’s growing around you. You might find goldenrod.

Avoid this herb if you’re allergic to ragweed.

Want to see what herbs we do have in our garden? Take a look here.

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