We’ve all been there, you go to bed healthy and then the next morning you wake up to find that your throat is sore, your nose is stuffed and you are so groggy your eyes can barely focus. Before you succumb to the inevitable change of season cold, we recommend trying a natural approach that will act as a preventive measure. We are, of course, talking about utilizing tinctures and their homeopathic properties to  improve your immune system and soothe your stress. We spoke to Sheila Kumar, Homeopath at The Organic Pharmacy in NYC to teach us to how to pick the right tincture to remain healthy all season long.


Explain what a Tincture is?

Tinctures are a combination of organic herbs, in which the medicinal qualities of a herb are extracted into a liquid form. The most common liquids used for the extraction process of tinctures are a combination of water and grain alcohol.

What made The Organic Pharmacy want to add tinctures to their product list?

The Organic Pharmacy uses the “Three-Pronged Approach” (Homeopathy, Herbs, and Supplements) allowing the maximum effectiveness of each discipline in removing obstacles to cure. Tinctures (herbs) are especially helpful in boosting the immune system and allowing proper organ function.

How effective are tinctures?

Tinctures are very effective as they are quickly absorbed into the body; also, the small glass bottles are very convenient for carrying around. As the extract is preserved in alcohol, no preparation is necessary – except counting out the drops! Finally, tinctures are very stable as they do not need refrigeration and can hold their potency for many years.

What type of tincture should people gravitate toward as we transition from me to fall to avoid the dreaded fall cold?

The Immune Tonic Tincture is an excellent preventative and convalescence tincture during the winter months which contains essential herbal tonics to support the immune system. Commonly, I recommend adults to take 10 drops of tincture in water daily, and children to take 5 drops in water daily.

Key Ingredients:

Elderberry: contains quercetin (a natural antihistamine), vitamin C and iron; these are all used for influenza, colds, chronic nasal catarrh and sinusitis.

Cat’s Claw: has anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties. It stimulates the immune system and is an antioxidant strengthening the cells of the body against environmental stress and toxicity.

Thyme: acts effectively against bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi;  it helps in the healing of a sore throat, cough, and asthma.

Astragalus: strengthens the immune system and lungs; used to help fatigue, weakness, night sweats, and loss of appetite.

Plantain: works as an antihistamine and antibacterial agent in cleansing the blood and lymph. Plantain is useful in reducing inflammation and respiratory congestion by soothing inflamed and sore membranes.

What is your favorite tincture recipe? What does it help you with?

There are two particular tinctures that I thoroughly enjoy, the Sleep Tincture and the Relax Tincture. The Sleep Tincture is a combination of nonaddictive, soothing herbs which help promote restful sleep. I recommend 10 drops in a little water before bed daily for short term use.

Key Ingredients:

Valerian: a natural tranquilizer which helps the client feel refreshed, without being irritable.

Passiflora: helps with mental restlessness and calms an over-excited nervous system

Oats: the number one nerve tonic and brain food, helping reduce stress and exhaustion.

Skullcap: nerve tonic and mild sedative that helps calm an overactive mind.

The Relax Tincture is a wonderful combination of herbal tonics and adaptogens that support the nervous system and helps the body to reduce stress. I recommend adults take 15 drops in water daily twice a day.

Key Ingredients:

Oats: the number one nerve tonic and brain food, helping reduce stress and exhaustion.

Holy Basil: a tonic herb that lowers stress levels and increases vitality by promoting balance and well-being. It further helps to reduce cortisol levels and reduces blood pressure and sugar levels.

Ashwagandha: ancient Indian herb that serves as a potent adaptogen (helps the body to adapt to adverse situations). It has been shown to be effective in reducing stress induced anxiety and panic attacks, boosting low sex drive, improving immunity and overall serving as a brilliant body tonic.

Siberian ginseng: is a superb adaptogenic herb for anxiety and depression; it helps the adrenal glands to function optimally in stressful situations.

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