It is a very simple process to learn how to make an herbal tincture at home. A tincture is an extract of a plant material dissolved in a solvent. Tinctures are made by soaking an herb in alcohol (vodka or rum), vegetable glycerin, or vinegar. Soaking the herbs encourages the active plant constituents to dissolve, giving the tincture a strong medicinal action in comparison to an infusion or decoction. They also last longer because the solvent is shelf stable for up to two years.
Standard Ratio is 1:5 (1 part herb to 5 part solvent)
- 200g dried or 300g fresh herb chopped into small pieces
- 1 quart solvent – alcohol (80 proof vodka is ideal), glycerin (3 part glycerin 1 part distilled water), or vinegar
Standard Adult Dosage: 1 tsp 2-3 times per day diluted in water or fruit juice
Storage: Store in a sterilized dark glass bottle in a cool dark place for up to 2 years.
How to Make an Herbal Tincture Step by Step
- Place herbs in a large, clean glass jar and pour on the solvent ensuring that the herb is covered.
- Close and label your jar with the name of the herb, solvent, and the date.
- Shake the jar for 1-2 minutes.
- Store in a cool dark place for at least 10-14 days (or longer), shaking the jar every 1-2 days.
- After 14 days you are ready to strain out the herbs. Pour the jar through a mesh strainer or cheesecloth. (There are some new fancy tools for this I have found like this herb press that helps make it less messy and extracts every last drop).
- Squeeze out the herb to get all remaining liquid.
- Discard or compost your herbs.
- Pour your finished tincture into a clean dark class bottle using a funnel.
- Close and label your jar with the name and date of your tincture.
Should Your Use Fresh or Dried Herbs?
The answer to this question depends on the type of herb but most of the time fresh plant matter is ideal when making an herbal tincture. Always use 100 proof vodka when using fresh herbs. You can use 80 proof when using dried herbs due to the lack of water content.
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