How to Make Your Own Tinctures

Are you wanting to build up your herbal medicinal cabinet? Here's how to make your own tinctures.

Are you wanting to build up your herbal medicinal cabinet? Here’s how to make your own tinctures.

By Crystal Stevens

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Tincture Making

Tincture making is an ancient art that has been passed down through generations, usually from mother to daughter, around the globe.

Tinctures involve soaking herbs in a liquid — typically vodka, brandy, apple cider vinegar or vegetable glycerin — to extract the medicinal properties of the herbs. Alcohol tends to have a long shelf life so the tincture will last up to a year. Vinegar and glycerin tinctures have a shorter shelf life and may need to be refrigerated. The liquid used in tincture making is known as the menstruum. The standard ratio for fresh herbs in tincture making is 1 part fresh herb to 2 parts menstruum. The standard ratio for dried herbs is 1 part dried herbs to 5 parts menstruum. Typically the herb will rise to the top of the jar, above the liquid surface. To prevent this from happening, weigh down your herbs with a crystal (be sure to sanitize the crystal first). For advanced tincture-making, 190-proof organic alcohol works best. Different herbs require varying concentrations of alcohol.

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Simple Tincture

Herbs and flowers of your choice

Mason jar with lid

Alcohol (organic vodka or brandy)

1) Label your jar with contents and date.

2) Fill jar ¾ of the way full with herbs.

3) Fill jar halfway with alcohol.

4) Fill remaining space in jar with water, leaving one inch at the top of the jar.

5) Be sure your herbs are covered. If they are not, tamp them down with a spoon.

6) Shake vigorously for 1–2 minutes.

7) Store in a dark, cool, dry place.

8) Shake daily. Medicine will be ready in two weeks and will last up to one year.

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