The following article is supplemental to the Folk U podcast

by Yulia Kochubievsky

Yulia shares her alder tincture recipe at https://www.madebyyulia.ca/alder

  1. This is information is in addition to all the recommended cautions, self distancing etc and in addition to any measure you can take to strengthen your immune system (which include, but not limited to: good food & exercise, keeping your mind and emotion calm and balanced and taking herbs and supplements). I recommend looking up “vitamin C mega dose” both to boost your immune system and to help heal if you get sick.
  2. I am not a clinician. Use this information with the usual caution and common sense, especially if you are taking prescription medication. Herbs/drugs interaction is something that needs to be considered and I have no training to offer advice on that.

Here is a simple anti-viral tincture any one can make at home using two ingredients readily available on island:

  1. Alder tree - use small branches
  2. Alcohol (vodka, rum, whisky etc).
  3. Here is an article by the herbalist Kiva Rose for those who wants to research it:

https://enchantersgreen.com/blog/2020/3/18/antiviral-properties-of-alder-in-a-clinical-amp-theoretical-context

Also google: “Kiva Rose Alder” for other articles on Alder medicine.

According to Kiva, research has shown Alder tincture to help with SARS and other corona viruses. Like anything else, there is no experience yet specifically regarding COVID-19.

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While I have not used Alder as anti-viral, I have used it for other purposes with great results and find the information and experience Kiva Rose share in the link above extremely interesting. It is very easy to make and use and tastes reasonably good. Most importantly Alder is very common on island and many people know how to identify it (also see photo).

Alder is also considered an Adaptogen which is a class of herbal remedies that mitigate the effects of stress on the body…

I have taken large doses of Alder tincture before (as anti-inflammatory and for colds/flu) as large as a dropper-full (about 1ml) every hour or even more frequent. To the best of my knowledge and experience overdosing on this tincture is not likely (but it may make you drunk).. though as always, use common sense and listen to your body.

The simplest way to make Alder tincture is to cut a few small branches into small pieces (1cm long or so) place in a jar and cover with an alcohol such as vodka and let sit for some days/weeks. The tincture will turn bright red over time. Strain the plant material before use. The ready tincture (strained or unstrained) will last years.

The usual time recommended for a tincture before it is ready to strain is about a month. However this is a rule of thumb only. The tincture will be good in days if required and if needed urgently you can make a decoction (strong tea by simmering the plant for some time) and use that. [also, if urgent I have some tincture ready I can share]

Notes on making the tincture:

  • The most medicinal part is the inner bark. I find that tincturing chopped small branches (containing outer bark, inner bark and hard wood) works really well and much easier than peeling the inner bark. [Do not use inner bark from the main trunk as it can kill the tree if done incorrectly and offer no additional benefit]
  • Any hard alcohol is equally good. I have used rum, vodka and whisky in the past and noticed no great difference in tincture quality. Do NOT use wine (it is too saturated already and will not work well as a tincture)
  • You will know you’ve done well when the alcohol will turn red and smell and taste differently.
  • I find the taste quite pleasant, although it is astringent and will feel a little tightening at the mouth. You can dilute in a little water if you don’t like the taste.

Recommended dosage: 2-3ml , 3-5 times a day.

Top photo credit: Alder Trunks by rebelxtned via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License)