What is a tincture you may ask?
Before learning how to make a tincture, it is important to learn what a tincture is! Tinctures are herbal preparations that use something beyond water as a solvent. Using a solvent like alcohol, vinegar, or glycerin, you can extract a greater spectrum of the whole plant and preserve the medicine much longer than an infusion or a decoction. Alcohol is especially an excellent solvent that extracts a wide range of plant properties and allows for easy absorption of healing compounds into the bloodstream.
For our tinctures we use 40%-80 proof vodka. I'd say Tito's or Kettle One would work perfectly.
About 2 months ago, we started the process of making the tinctures. We took dried herbs we had in the house and jarred them along with the vodka. We had homegrown, organic lemongrass and peppermint. These herbs were harvested from the 2014 Mayernik Garden. The three others we made with herbs purchased from Mountain Rose Herbs, all organic and great quality. Those three were dried whole elderberry, rose, and chamomile.
We filled each jar about 1/2 way with the dry herb and covered with vodka. The dried herbs will absorb some of the liquid so keep checking to make sure you fill the jar up to the brim with liquid. Once completely filled, cap them with a tight seal, label them, and wait. We let ours sit for about 7 weeks, and we gave them a good shake, every other day.
Flash forward 7 weeks:
We are now ready to strain our tincture and prepare them for medicinal use for years to come.
What you will need:
1 oz amber dropper bottles
A glass bowl or large measuring cup
Masking tape and marker
Place cheesecloth over bowl or measuring cup and open up mason jars filled with liquid and herbs. With clean hands, strain the liquid and herbs through the cheesecloth. Try to get as much liquid out of the menstruum as possible. You can strain several times either with cheesecloth or a paper filter. Once you have squeezed all liquid out, compost the leftover herbs and funnel or pour the liquid into glass amber dropper bottles. Be sure to label every bottle with the name of the herb and date created.
Tinctures will last many, many years in a cool, dark place. Using a standard sized dropper bottle, adult dosages are typically 30 to 60 drops in a little water, taken three times a day. However, drop size can be variable depending on the viscosity of the preparation and the dropper size. You can also take the tincture straight, but just a few drops are needed if not diluted.
This is just a simple over view on how to make a tincture. In future posts, I will be going over in detail the benefits of each of the tinctures listed above so be sure to check back regularly.
I hope you enjoyed this little lesson in tincture making and I can't wait to share more herbal remedies with you. Be well.