Drying echinacea flowers and roots from your garden is a great way to preserve and make use of these beautiful plants.
In this article I’ll show you how to harvest and dry echinacea flowers and share an immune boosting echinacea tea recipe that you can easily make at home.
If you have echinacea plants growing in your garden you can also dig up the roots to make your own herbal decoction.
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Echinacea, also known as Purple Coneflower, is a beautiful perennial flower that is easy to grow and has many different uses.
Coneflower plants can grow 3 to 4 feet (90 to 120 cm) tall and they bloom from summer through until fall.
Echinacea is a hardy perennial that will survive cold winter temperatures and grow back in the springtime.
Harvesting echinacea flowers
Echinacea flowers can be harvested any time after the flowers open.
Use a pair of sharp scissors or pruning shears to cut the stems just above the lowest set of leaves.
Only pick echinacea flowers that haven’t been sprayed with pesticides.
Give the flowers a light rinse under running water to remove any dirt from the petals.
Drying echinacea flowers
There are a couple of different ways to dry the flowers:
Hang the individual flowers upside down in a cool, dry spot using a string line and pegs to secure the stems to the string.
The petals will begin to drop off as the flowers dry so it’s a good idea to place some paper towels underneath to catch the petals.
Place the flowers in a single layer on a tray and leave it in a sunny place that is protected from wind.
The flowers should be completely dried in 3 to 5 days, depending how warm the temperature is.
Store the dried flowers and leaves in an airtight container to use for herbal tea and natural remedies.
How to dry echinacea roots
Echinacea roots can be harvested from plants that are 2 to 3 years old.
The best time to dig up the roots is in late fall when the plants have finished flowering.
Use a shovel to dig around the base of the plant and pull up the root ball.
You can cut the roots in half and replant part of it so it will come up again in spring.
Shake the soil off the roots and rinse them off with cold water and pat them dry.
Cut the roots into small pieces, about ½ inch (1 cm) long with a pair of sharp kitchen scissors.
Lay the pieces of root on a tray and leave it somewhere that is dry and well-ventilated.
It will take about 2 weeks for the roots to dry completely.
To make a decoction, add 2 teaspoons of dried echinacea root and 2 cups of water to a saucepan and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.
Allow the decoction to cool slightly and enjoy.
How to make echinacea tea
Echinacea tea is made by adding a teaspoon of dried flowers and leaves to one cup of boiling water.
If you’re using a teapot, add 2 teaspoons of dried echinacea to the pot.
Boil the water so it’s just barely boiling and allow the tea to steep for three minutes, strain and enjoy.
If you prefer a stronger tea you can let it steep for longer.
You can combine dried echinacea with elderberry to make an immune boosting herbal tea or add some honey for a hint of sweetness.
Echinacea tea nutrition
Echinacea flowers are high in antioxidants, flavonoids, polyphenols and vitamins including vitamin C. 
What does echinacea tea taste like?
Echinacea tea has an earthy, slightly bitter flavor that makes your tongue tingle.
So there are my tips for harvesting, drying and storing echinacea roots, leaves and flowers.
Drying is a great way to preserve echinacea plants so you can use them for herbal tea for many months.
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