How to Make a Tincture – Homemade Remedies

 

Making herbal tinctures is a simple and effective way to help boost your families health and wellbeing. I have multiple preparations that I use all year round to stave off flu's and colds, or to help when I'm feeling anxious or stressed out. Read below to learn how to make a tincture at home in just 5 simple steps

I first learned about tinctures and their benefits from my neighbour after I came down with a particularly nasty cold. When she learn how under the weather I was she rushed over with a tincture that she purchased from a local naturopath, she swore it would make be feel better. What can I say...it did.  With in 24 hrs I felt the cold shifting out of my body. This began my interest in the medicinal benefits of Herbs and plants.

At first I would buy all my herbal remedies online or at the local health store as I didn't feel confident in making my own. But the more I learned about herbs, plants and remedies the more I wanted to learn about making herbal tinctures myself.  Many of my friends felt the same way and so I thought I would share what I have learned not only with them, but with you too.

I hope you find this how to guide to making herbal tincture useful and informative.  If you feel we have missed out on some information about tinctures that you would like to know, please leave me a comment and tell me what you would like to learn.

WHAT IS A TINCTURE?

 

A tincture is a concentrated liquid extract made from plants. Through out history tinctures have been used as remedies for many health issues, from colds and coughs to insomnia and depression. Because the beneficial properties are so concentrated in the tincture form, a single dropper full is the equivalent of  of a whole cup of herbal tea. Tinctures are fast acting as they absorb quickly into the blood stream.

Making herbal tinctures is a simple way to , tinctures can stay viable for many years as the herbs are extracted in a high proof alcohol such as vodka or brandy. Alcohol free tinctures (extracts) can also be made with apple cider vinegar or vegetable glycerin, but they tend to be less potent than their alcohol cousins and have a lower shelf life.

Tinctures can be make from fresh or dried plants and, with or with out alcohol.  Below is the simple base Tincture recipe, by switching up and combining various plants and herbs you can make any number of remedies.

Need help deciding on what tincture or extract to make: for a complete list of recipes see  tincture recipes:



HOW TO MAKE A TINCTURE

What you'll need:

  1. A clean pint sized glass jar with a lid.
  2. Alcohol - at least 80 proof CONSUMABLE Alcohol such as vodka or brand.
  3. Alcohol alternative if desired (Apple cider vinegar, vegetable glycerin)
  4. Herbs, Plants, Bark and Berries (Fresh or Dried, grind or finely cut up, but not powdered)
  5. Small dark bottles for storage (preferably with droppers)
  6. Fine strainer - metal, cheese cloth or muslin
  7. Funnel
 

STEP 1:  CHOOSE AND PREPARE YOUR HERBS, PLANTS, BARKS OR BERRIES.
  1. Fresh plant materials such as leaves and flowers should be finely chopped or ground up. This can be done by  hand or with a grinder or a mortar and pestle.
  2. Fresh barks, berries, or roots can be gently rinsed if needed, but do not let them get become water logged, and should be finely cut or or ground.
  3. Dried plant materials should be finely cut up, but avoid turning into a powder as this will make it more difficult to stain out the plant matter later.

Not sure what herbs or plants to use, take a look at:

 
STEP 2: FILL THE JAR
  1. Fill the jar 1/2 way  for dried plants or 3/4 full for fresh materials.
  2. Fill the jar to where the lid ring starts with alcohol or the alcohol alternative.
  3. Screw the lid of the jar on tightly.
 

STEP 3: STORE AND SHAKE
  1. Label your jars with the date and tincture type. Leave them to process in a cool, dark space for approximately 6 weeks.
  2. Everyday for the first week give the jars a shake to mix up the liquid and the plant material.
  3. After the first week you can just let them sit for 6 weeks.
 

STEP 4: STRAIN AND BOTTLE (After 6 weeks)
  1. Strain the jars contents over a container using the sieve, cheesecloth or muslin. Squeeze all the liquid out of the herb materials, to get out all the liquid out you can. This left over plant matter can be discarded or composted.
  2. Using the funnel fill your small dropper jars almost to the top with the tincture liquid. Date and label your bottles and store away from direct sunlight.

 

Check out this great how-to video by Allison Martin from motherearthliving.com

DOSAGE AND USE

Tincture can be administered in a variety of ways, but always give the bottle a shake before using.  This is recommended as it is common for sediment to settle to the bottom and you want all the good things in the tincture to be evenly mixed through out.

Tincture can be taken directly as is or can be mixed into 2-6 ounces of water, or in a hot liquid like tea.

The most used dosage for tincture is a "dropperful" (also know as a squeeze). One dropperful or squeeze is the amount of tincture that is drawn up into the dropper when you squeeze the suction top once.  Depending on the dropper you use this will be about 30 drops or the equivalent of 1/5th of a teaspoon.

The usual recommend tincture dosage for adults is 2 droppersful 2-3 times a day. For children the recommend amount will vary on individual size and weight.  According to Naturopathic Doctor News and Reviews  you can determine the dosage for children in two ways : The Clark's Rule method or the Young's Rule method.

 
1) Clark's Rule (children 2-17 years):

(Childs weight/150lbs) x adult dose
Example for a 90lbs child, adult dose 60 drops
= (90/150) x 60 = 36 drops

 
 2) Young's Rule:

[childs age/(childs age +12)]x adult dose
Example for a 9 year child, adult dose 60 drops = [9/(9+12)] x 60 = 26 drops


See how easy it is to make herbal preparations at home. We hope you liked this guide on How to Make a Tincture.  If you have a home remedy you would love us to try? Share you favourites below.

For additional inspiration about Making Herbal Tinctures check out these other great resources we found on the web.


Wildernesscollege.com - Tincture Recipes: Making Home Remedies

Cleversurvivalist.com - Herbalism Tinctures
Mommypotamus.com- Valerian Root Tincture Recipe

 

** Disclaimer: Making Herbal tinctures is very easy, but remember that herbal remedies can be very potent and can interact with prescription medication. Herbal remedies should not be used without seeking the advice of your doctor. If you are suffering from any health issue lasting longer than two week we urge you to seek the advice of a qualified health professional. All information on this website is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the recommendation from you health care provider. Please research and use common sense before using any home remedies**

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