Tinctures are made when you want something that is preserved and will keep for up to 3 years in your cupboard.This is a great option for herbs or remedies that you want to use for a few months. They do take a bit longer to make than infusions or decoctions though, and they contain alcohol. Many tinctures contain up to 90% alcohol or more. Tinctures come out stronger than infusions or decoctions, so you don’t need to take anywhere near as much. This is helpful for herbs that you don’t find particularly pleasant tasting.Keep in mind some herbs only lend their healing properties when alcohol is used to help extract those properties out. This is especially true of roots and bark.
Start by diluting 3 cups vodka with an ounce or two of water to create your medium.
Put your herb(s) into a large jar and pour in your medium, making sure your herbs are completely covered. Seal the jar and store it for 2 weeks in a cool, dark place. You will want to shake it occasionally (once every couple days or so).
~ 7 oz (200 g) dried herb or 21 oz (600 g) fresh herb ~ 3 Cups (750 ml) Vodka ~ 1-2 oz Water
Take 1 teaspoon (5 ml) in water 3 times daily
Place cheesecloth around the rim of a winepress and pour your mixture in, pressing the mixture through the wine press and into another jar. Alternatively, you can place the cheesecloth over the lid of a wide mouth jar and pour the mixture in, then squeeze the cheesecloth by hand.
Store the liquid in clean amber or blue glass bottles, preferably in the cupboard out of the sunlight. Sunlight tends to lessen the potency of the herbs more quickly.
If you get bottles with droppers for the caps it makes it easier to measure out your dosage. Squirt the dropper into your teaspoon measuring spoon to see how many it will take to equal one teaspoon.
You can squirt the tincture directly into your mouth, or put it in a small amount of juice or water to help the flavor. Typically milk is avoided as it may negate any antioxidant properties of the herbs.
TIP: The leftover herb makes excellent compost and mulch for your flower bed – but beware, it can attract deer. NOTE: It is not suggested for pregnant or nursing mothers, infants, toddlers, or those people suffering from gastric or liver inflammation to use tinctures due to the high alcohol content. You can evaporate a portion of the alcohol by adding a small amount of boiling water (0.75 to 1.5 ounces) to your dose and allowing it to cool before drinking.
Do you have a favorite Tincture Recipe? Share it here and try someone else’s favorite too!