As I mentioned in my homemade vanilla extract post, I started some tinctures a few weeks ago. Tinctures are highly concentrated liquid extracts of herbs, made by steeping the herb in alcohol, vinegar or vegetable glycerine.
They absorb more quickly than other types of remedies, and are often taken by dropper-fulls under the tongue (sometimes a few times a day). You can also put your herbal extract into tea or warm water.
They’re often labeled as herbal extracts at the health food store. You can make tinctures for relaxing and reducing stress, bringing your whole body back into balance, boosting your immune system or your mood, reducing anxiety, improving memory, sleeping better, for colds or allergies, etc..
When using alcohol, it’s often recommended that you use 80 – 100 proof vodka, brandy or rum. (I used 80 proof vodka.)
If you want your tincture to be non-gmo, make sure the alcohol is organic.
Adaptogenic herbs help you deal with stress, improve your immune system, and help to bring your body into balance.
To create the tinctures:
- I put the dried herbs into jars (cutting the reishi into small pieces first) and poured vodka on top. (Some herbs, like chaga mushroom, work best when ground in a coffee grinder first.) I used a 1:2 ratio – 1 part herb to 2 parts alcohol.
- I labeled the jars with the type of herb, type of alcohol & date started
- Then I put them in a dark cabinet, taking them out every day for two weeks to shake them.
- You want to keep the herbs submerged in the alcohol. If the liquid starts to get lower, top the tinctures with more vodka.
There are different ways to make tinctures – I ended up using the simple folk method that’s mentioned in this video by Mountain Rose Herbs.
Keep in mind that some herbs may be treated differently – be sure to research each individual herb before you start. Take a look at this awesome chart for info on different herbs; which ones are best used fresh v.s dry, the best liquid to herb ratios, etc..)
In this great post, Herbalist Kiva Rose goes into detail about different methods, using dried herbs vs fresh herbs. . etc.
“Making Plant Medicine” by Richo Cech and “The Herbal Medicine-Maker’s Handbook” by James Green are also two highly recommended books with
tincture recipes for different herbs. Micheal Moores Materia Medica is also an excellent resource.
After my tinctures have been steeping for 8 weeks, I’ll strain them and will put the liquid into amber bottles that have a dropper – I’ll keep you posted on how it works out.
Have you ever made a tincture? What herbs did you use?