Tinctures are a healing mixture commonly used in herbal medicine. You may have seen them in herbology shops, health food stores or herbal medicine books.
These liquids are generally very potent and used to combat specific issues. They can contain one herb or a mix of different herbs and plants. Tinctures are usually taken as a few drops on the tongue or mixed with water and taken orally.
The good news is that making tinctures is not difficult at all. They are a good way to use up plants found in abundance in your area.
Here’s how to easily make a tincture at home.
Start With a Suitable Base
Tinctures must be stored for several weeks to several months in a cool, dry, and dark place. This means that you need a carrier base that can help extract the medicinal properties of the herb or plant. It is also important that the base doesn’t break down the plant overtime or reduce its properties.
For this reason, you will see many tinctures that use cane alcohol in one form or another. For home made tinctures, one of the most ideal bases to use is 100 proof vodka. Keep in mind, you want top shelf for your tinctures.
Cheaper vodka can break down the plants and herbs. This is because it is usually mixed with cheaper solutions processed differently to make it less expensive.
As an indication of how much you’ll need, one handle of vodka, or large bottle, can make over two dozen tinctures.
Assembling the Tinctures
Once you have the base ready, it is time to start assembling the tinctures. You will need to have larger bottles for this part of the process.
In most cases, the easiest thing to use and store your tinctures in while they cure are mason jars. Traditional sized jars with secure lids are the best option.
Take your herb or plant and separate them into the different mason jars. Do not bruise the plant. You can simply place it into the jar and let the alcohol and process do their jobs.
Once you have placed the herb or plant into the mason jars, pour over the vodka. Cover the herbs with the vodka completely and secure the lid. Each mason jar will yield at least a dozen tinctures, so keep that in mind.
Final Steps and Bottling
Once the tinctures have been created, you will need to store them in a cool, dry, and dark place. Most people tend to store them in a climate controlled storage area on their property or in the back of a closet.
For safety purposes, you may want to place the jars into a lockable foot locker. This will give you a cool, dry, and safe place to store the tinctures. Plus, it ensures the mixture doesn’t get touched by anyone else (particularly children).
Another benefit of a locker is in case the alcohol begins to ferment with certain herbs and flowers. If this becomes over active the jar may explode.
Wait for at least two months before removing the tinctures. Check on them at least once a week during that time. For higher potency, wait up to four to six months.
Remove the jars and strain the liquid. Place the strained liquid into small bottles with droppers. The bottles should be brown or dark blue in color as light will degrade the tinctures.
Store the completed tinctures in your kitchen cabinet or medicine cabinet in a cool dry place. Tinctures should be dosed out at two to four drops at a time as their potency can be very high.