How to make Tinctures

A common question asked by people who would like to use herbal remedies at home is; How to make tinctures at home? We have listed here a simple step by step process to make tinctures at home.

Tinctures

herbal tinctureTinctures are concentrated herbal extracts that are made using alcohol, apple cider vinegar or glycerin and chopped herbs. Since this method ensures that the herbs and their nutrients are preserved for a long time, it is often preferred by herbalists. The tincture is especially effective in drawing out the essential compounds of plants, especially those that are fibrous or woody, and from roots and resins.

Benefits of tinctures

Herbalists love tinctures for several beneficial reasons, such as their being portable, their utility for long-term treatments, and their ability to be absorbed rapidly, as well as allowing for immediate dosage changes. Another benefit of tinctures is that they keep nutrients from the plants in a stable, soluble form and they retain the volatile and semi-volatile ingredients that are otherwise lost in heat-treatment and processing of dry herbal extracts.

How to make tinctures at home

Get high quality alcohol. It is also possible to make a tincture from apple cider vinegar  or glycerin as well. The preferred type of alcohol for producing a tincture is  vodka.  Whatever alcohol is chosen, it must be 80 proof (namely, 40% alcohol) to prevent mildewing of the plant material in the bottle.
Use a Glass or Ceramic Container(especially dark colors). Items such as a Mason jar, a  glass bottle  with an attached stopper, etc., are ideal for steeping a tincture. In addition, you will need to get some small dark glass tincture bottles for storing the tincture in, once made. These bottles should have a tight screw-on or tight clip-on lid to prevent air intrusion during storage but to allow for ease of use. Ensure that all containers are both washed clean and  sterilized  prior to use.

Tincture Preparation

Follow these steps to make tincture at home:

  • Add enough fresh chopped herbs to fill the glass container then Cover with alcohol
    • Add 4 ounces (113 g) of powdered herb with 1 pint (473 ml) of alcohol (or vinegar/glycerin)
    • Add 7 ounces (198 g) of dried herb material to 35 fluid ounces (1 liter) of alcohol (or vinegar/glycerin).
  • Using a butter knife, stir around the edge of the glass container to ensure that air bubbles are broken. Add a label and date
  • Seal the container. Place it into a cool, dark area; a cupboard  shelf  works best. The container should be stored there for 8 days to a month.
  • Shake the container regularly. shaking it twice a day for 14 days is recommended.
  • Strain the tincture. (A non-bleached coffee filter could also be used to filter the tincture) . Once the  steeping  time is finished (about two weeks is a good steeping time), strain the tincture using a muslin or cheesecloth:
    • Place a muslin cloth across a  sieve. Place a large bowl underneath to catch the strained liquid.
    • Gently pour the steeped liquid through the muslin-lined sieve. The muslin will capture the plant material and the liquid will pass through into the bowl underneath.
    • Press the herb material with a wooden or  bamboo  spoon to squeeze out some more liquid, and lastly, twist the muslin to extract any leftover liquid from the herbs.
    • Decant the liquid into a prepared tincture bottle.
  • Decant  the liquid into a prepared tincture bottle. Use a small funnel for this step if you don’t have a steady hand. Tighten the lid and date and label the tincture.

How to store a tincture

If you’re storing this for long-term without using until later, consider sealing the caps with  wax.

A tincture can have a shelf life of up to 5 years. However, know the properties of the particular herbs you’ve used, and follow the guidance of the recipe from which you’re making the tincture in terms of how long to keep the tincture for.

How to use a tincture

Follow the instructions relevant to your tincture for usage; consult a qualified, reputable herbalist or a health professional if you need more information and bear in mind that herbal treatments can be dangerous if you don’t know the properties of the herb and its consequences.

Herbal vinegar Tincture

Herbal vinegar tinctures are prepared using exactly the same method as tinctures made from alcohol. Its preferable to work with vinegar for it is a food with a lot of healing benefits on its own. When herbs are infused in vinegar it can only be amplified. Vinegar is cost effective and easily assimilated and has a gentle effect to the body. We recommend you use organic apple cider vinegar to prepare tinctures