What is a tincture and how is it used?

What is a tincture and how is it used?

By Shannon, Posted in Herbal Remedies

In the early 1500s, a German surgeon-alchemist, Hieronymus Brunschwig, claimed to possess a cure for whatever ails you, using the medicinal potentials of the plants. He laid the foundation for extracting flavors of the herbs from the distillation which was later adapted and modified by ancient Arabic alchemists, where they macerated the flowers and herbs, heightening them up with spices.

For centuries, the powers of herbal tinctures have enamored the human world, emphasizing how a little amount of herb can do wonders to your body.  Today in this post, we will walk you through the basic information about tinctures, their formulation, and usage.

What is a Tincture?

A tincture is a concentrated, alcohol-based extract of a plant, formulated by soaking fresh or dried leaves, flowers, stalks, fruits, bark, or roots in alcohol. During the extraction process, the alcohol pulls the vital alkaloids, vitamins, and minerals that are responsible for imparting the highly-prized therapeutic effects.

The liquid obtained from the process is termed a tincture.

How do you create a Tincture?

Creating a tincture is anything but complicated. It is nowhere near as complicated as the old dusty books might lead you to believe. You can easily formulate a tincture of your own and use this as a starting point for your healthy habits.

You will need to round up the following supplies to get started with tincturing process:

  • Grain alcohol
  • Dried or fresh plant 
  • An airtight pint-sized jar
  • Funnel
  • Measuring cups
  • Strainer 
  • Muslin cloth
  • Amber glass dropper bottle

Chop your fresh herb material or crush them in mortar and pestle (if possible) and fill about three-quarters of the pint-sized jar with it. If you are dealing with dried herbs, pack them in until half of the jar is filled.

Now fill the jar further with grain alcohol, making sure that the plant material is completely submerged in the menstruum. Screw on the lid tightly to prevent microbial contamination and place the jar in a cool, dry, and dark place for 6 weeks. 

During the first week of maceration, you must shake the tincture daily then let it steep uninterrupted for the rest of the 5 weeks. Once you hit the termination of the soaking period, line the strainer with the muslin cloth over the measuring cup and pour the liquid, all the while pressing gently down on the herb material to obtain a good concentrated volume of the tincture.

Lastly, you can transfer the tincture to amber glass dropper bottles using a funnel and label them for correct usage.

How are Tinctures used?

You can take your tinctures neat by simply dropping their suggested dosage in your mouth, or you can add them to your water, teas, coffees, or smoothies.

Do Tinctures Work?

Your finished product-aka tincture makes a perfectly splendid yet inexpensive gift that shouts the tales of your creativity. It holds a whole world of active ingredients, minerals, vitamins, alkaloids, flavonoids, saponins, and whatnot that are ruling the world due to their massive medicinal benefits, knocking out a good load of ailments to keep the human community thriving and alive.

But a word of mouth isn’t always enough when it comes to meddling with health. Always seek the help and consultation of a professional herbalist for correct treatment and avoid creating a regimen of your own.