Simple Homemade Tincture to Help Boost Immunity

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How to Boost Immune System

It’s fall, and with the turning of the leaves and school starting, everyone is running at full speed. Work, school, sports and other outdoor activities all take a toll on us. Many of us lose sleep which can lower our resistance to all kinds of things. Illness abounds, but if you know what to do, you can prevent them and/or shorten their duration.

Today we show you how to boost your immune system with a simple homemade tincture, but first lets revisit a few tried-and-true tips.

Tips for How to Boost Immune System

Some of the keys to keeping healthy are easy.

  • Get plenty of rest. Sleep deprivation can weaken the immune system.
  • Eat balanced meals. You need all the vitamins you can get naturally.
  • Get plenty of exercise. It’ll keep your lungs and heart in good shape.
  • Wash your hands often. This helps to get rid of germs better than hand sanitizer.
  • Get some fresh air. Stagnant indoor air can harbor all sorts of bacteria and mold.

Of course, we can’t eliminate all contact with people who might be sick, so naturally, we can be exposed to many types of colds, flu and other ailments. You can make your own tincture that will help to boost your immune system and either help to keep you healthy or to shorten the duration of anything you might happen to catch. Here’s how!

Natural Immunity Boosting Tincture Recipe

Ingredients & Supplies

  • Quart jar with lid
  • Alcohol (at least 40%) – vodka works well
  • Mixture of various dried herbs and spices such as any of the following: elderberries, nettles, fennel, ginger, yellowroot, echinacea, Oregon grape root, holy basil, yarrow, cleavers, mint, rosemary, sage, or plantain (where to buy these herbs & spices)


  1. Place dried herbs in the jar until about half full. Depending on the herbs you use, this should be an equal amount of each, such as ¼ cup.
  2. Cover the herbs with alcohol to about ½ inch over the top of the herbs. Shake well and let sit for an hour. Check to see if you need to add more alcohol. Some of the herbs may absorb more liquid and may need more to cover them. Once they are completely covered, set the jar in the sun and let it sit for a few weeks. This can be outside like on a picnic table or inside on a window sill.
  3. Shake the jar every day. After a week or so, you’ll notice the color start to change. You can use it after a week, but it will be more potent if you let it sit longer. I often leave mine for 6 weeks or more.
  4. When it’s done, strain off the solid parts and toss them into the compost. The liquid should go into a colored jar, such as an amber bottle (like this), and stored in a cool, dark place. It will keep for a number of years, but it’s best used within 9 months to a year. After that, the potency is diminished.
  5. (Optional Step) You can add a little raw honey or another natural sweetener to your tincture if you wish.

To Use

To use the tincture, consume 3-5 drops a day for maintenance, as in just keeping healthy. You can take it straight or mix it in coffee or juice. It doesn’t really matter and it doesn’t get diluted that way. If you feel like you’re getting sick or you just need an extra boost, take 5 drops a few times daily. This will jump start your immune system and help you to fight off whatever ails you.

Alternatives to Alcohol in Your Tincture

There are some people who can’t or don’t want to use alcohol, especially with children. If this is the case, there are alternatives that you can use. Vinegar is one. You can use a base of apple cider vinegar instead of alcohol and it will work just fine. (Find organic, unfiltered ACV here.) The taste may be off putting to some, so make a salad dressing from it or add it to hot water and honey to make a warm drink.

Another alternative is raw honey. It may take longer to infuse, but it will work. Get it from a local beekeeper or online here. Vegetable glycerine can also be used. Glycerine is available at your local health food store or online here. It’s sweet like honey and both are well accepted by children.

You can also use water, but this must be done quickly, not over weeks. Simmer the mixture on the stove and cool. Strain when cool and place in a pint jar. Keep this in the refrigerator and use when necessary. This mixture is not as effective, but if doubled (6-10 drops), it can work quite well. Be sure to use it within a week.


Like any other herbal preparation, not all of them work for everyone in the same way. If you experience any discomfort, discontinue use. Herbal treatments are meant to enhance any health care system, not replace it. Seek a doctor’s advice if you have questions. And lastly, know your own body. Sometimes you may need more or less of something. If you have a sensitivity to a certain herb, replace it with another or eliminate it entirely.

What do you do to enhance your immunity?

Share with us in the comments section below!


About Debra Maslowski

Debra is a master gardener, a certified herbalist, a natural living instructor, and more. She taught Matt and Betsy how to make soap so they decided to bring her on as a staff writer! Debra recently started an organic herb farm in the mountains of Western North Carolina. You can even purchase her handmade products on Amazon!

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  1. Louise says

    I’ve read that you must cook elder berries before you can ingest them. Is this true? I started some elder berry powder in vodka, then read that I needed too cook it, so now I don’t know what to do with it. I guess I can put it in a pan and let it simmer? I don’t want to have to toss out anything! Thanks for any help you can give.

    • Debra Maslowski says

      It’s true that you need to prepare elderberries somehow, Louise, but drying them to a powder is one of these. So you really don’t need to do anything more if you don’t want to. Basically, you can cook, dry, freeze or make a tincture, glycerite or infusion to prepare them. So–you don’t need to cook the vodka unless you want to get rid of the alcohol ans suggested by Mari above. You don’t need to toss it out. There is plenty you can do with it.

  2. Leonie Patterson says

    Are there recipes of which herbs to combine for various treatments ? Thankyou for the informative article.

    • Debra Maslowski says

      There are many sites that you can get herbal suggestions on Leonie. I can give some ideas, but it really depends on you and what you need. I would look at some of the herbal sites to see what you might be able to use specific to what you need to treat.

  3. mari says

    Alcohol tinctures are far more palatable than the vinegar oxymel you describe. To make an alcohol tincture safe for children is very simple.

    Put all ingredients in a small saucepan (or glass jug in the microwave) and heat until they boil and steam rises. Reduce the heat and simmer for 3 mins. This burns off the alcohol by steam reduction. This is now safe to give to children. Add other ingredients (honey etc) and stir well. I do this every time I make my cough mixture or throat brews.

    I have tinctures that are several years old and are still as effective as when fresh. As long as they are kept in the dark in an amber glass jar with a screw on lid they keep indefinitely. I always make my cough mixture a year ahead and it gets more effective with age.