How to Make Your Own Tincture
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Are you aware of the ingredients pharmaceutical companies put in your medication(s)? It’s enough to make you sick (pun intended). So, why waste all your time, energy, and money on expensive medications with ingredients you can barely understand when you could rely on Mother Nature for medicinal relief?

With administered use, tinctures, which are composed of natural herbs, can cure common ailments and promote your overall well-being. Conveniently enough, tinctures are easy to use and can simply be made out of the comfort of your own home.

So, relax and sip some tea while you enjoy your journey to awakening your inner herbalist. Learn what a tincture is and how you can use the medicinal properties of plants to create a healthier you.

What Are Tinctures?

Tinctures are a natural medicine composed of herbal extracts in an alcohol solution. Tinctures are taken orally, placed under the tongue to ensure the herb is delivered directly into your bloodstream.

Herbal tinctures can be made with fresh or dried flowers, leaves, roots, stems, and berries. To make dosage a more pleasant experience, you can dilute the tincture in a small amount of water or tea to mask the bitter taste some tinctures may have.

Most commonly used in India, tinctures were based on an Ayurvedic belief that one can be healthier by using concentrated herbal extracts as a form of medicine. People often prefer tinctures as an alternative natural remedy over pharmaceutical over-the-counter medication.

What Are Tinctures Made Of?

There are multiple ways you can make a tincture, it just depends on personal preference. Tinctures are most commonly made using alcohol or brandy as a solvent, but you can also use vinegar, apple cider vinegar, and vegetable glycerine as well.

  • Alcohol-based tinctures: The alcohol in tinctures extracts the medicinal properties from the plants while preserving them, preventing them from forming mold or other contaminants. Alcohol-based tinctures have a virtually unlimited shelf life if they’re stored correctly in a cool, dark location.
  • Apple cider vinegar-based tincture: Apple cider vinegar is beneficial because apple cider has medicinal properties in itself, like enhancing weight loss and reducing blood pressure. Apple cider vinegar tinctures are considered non-alcoholic. The shelf life of apple cider vinegar is one year, which isn’t very long, considering you can use alcohol-based tinctures for up to five years or longer.
  • Vegetable glycerine-based tincture: Considered as glycerites, vegetable glycerine can also be used to make non-alcoholic tinctures. Although using vegetable glycerine may not have the extraction powers of alcohol, it still does the trick and has a shelf life ranging from 3 to 5 years if stored appropriately.

Please Note When Using Non-Alcoholic Tinctures:

Since non-alcoholic tinctures contain no alcohol to serve as a preservative, they can easily become contaminated or exposed to mold. To prevent contamination or mold growth, follow these simple tips:

  • Do NOT touch glass tincture dropper with your hands
  • Do NOT let your children suck or put glass dropper in their mouth (which can break)
  • Do NOT lay dropper on a countertop or any surface other than the tincture bottle

Tip: Mold is usually white or gray-tinted in color and tends to float on top of any liquid. If your non-alcoholic tincture becomes contaminated with mold, throw it away! Do not use it.

Natural Remedies: Tinctures

How to Make Your Own Tincture

As stated earlier, tinctures are very easy to make and can be done in the comfort of your own home. Since alcohol-based tinctures are most commonly used, we’re going to show you how to make your very own alcohol-based tincture:

What You Will Need

Ingredients

  • Fresh or dried herb of your choice (can either be roots, flowers, leaves, roots, stems, or berries)
  • Alcohol or brandy (80-90% proof alcohol)

Materials

  • Gloves
  • Mason jar
  • Muslin or cheesecloth
  • Amber dosage bottles
  • Small funnel
  • Labels
  • Large bowl
  • Liquid measuring cup

Fresh Plant Material: Flowers and Leaves

  1. Finely chop or grind plant material.
  2. Fill 2/3 or 3/4 of the jar with herb (should be filled but not to the point where plant material is compacted in the jar).
  3. Pour alcohol to the top of the jar to make sure the plant material is fully covered.
  4. Let mixture sit for 6-8 weeks.

Fresh Plant Material: Bark, Berries, and Roots

  1. Finely chop or grind plant material.
  2. Fill 1/3 or 1/2 of the jar with herb (should be filled but not to the point where plant material is compacted in the jar).
  3. Pour alcohol to the top of the jar to make sure the plant material is fully submerged.
  4. Let mixture sit for 6-8 weeks.

For Dried Plant Material: Flowers and Leaves

  1. Use finely cut dried plant material.
  2. Fill 1/3 or 1/2 of the jar with herb.
  3. Pour alcohol to the top of the jar to make sure the plant material is fully submerged.
  4. Let mixture sit for 6-8 weeks.

For Dried Plant Material: Bark, Berries, and Roots

  1. Use finely cut dried plant material.
  2. Fill 1/4 or 1/3 of the jar with herb.
  3. Pour alcohol to the top of the jar to make sure the plant material is fully submerged.
  4. Let mixture sit for 6-8 weeks.

Tip: Make sure you remember to shake your jar several times a week and check the alcohol levels. If the alcohol has evaporated a little bit, don’t be afraid to add more alcohol to ensure your plant is fully submerged. Plant material exposed to air can create mold, so make sure your jar is cl0sed tightly to expel any unwanted air.

After your extraction has rested for the required time, drain mixture with a damp cheesecloth into your amber dosage bottle. Label your tinctures and keep them in a cool, dark place and your tinctures will last for years.

It’s always best to know the potential side effects of any drug, herb, or other medicine before you begin taking it. The good news is that tinctures typically have no reported side effects. With that being said, it’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor before adding any new treatments to your self-care regimen.

References

Medicine Box Green. History of Medicine Box Tinctures: When, Where, Why. http://medicinebox.green/2016/09/history-of-medicine-box-tinctures-when-where-why/. Updated Sept. 2016. Accessed February 20, 2018.

Benefits Of Tinctures | Navaherbs. Navaherbscom. 2018. Available at: https://navaherbs.com/benefits-of-tinctures/. Accessed February 20, 2018. 

 

As a true philanthropist, Paris cares about everyone she interacts with. She believes people perish from a lack of knowledge, by studying herbs and ancient remedies she feels as if she can provide the knowledge of our ancient ancestors to help us live a long and fulfilling life.