Taking a tincture offers one way to benefit from the medicinal properties of herbs. A common way to ingest holistic remedies, tinctures present an alternative for those who cannot swallow pills, tables or capsules. Tinctures are often mixed with juice, tea or water to increase their palatability. Making an herbal tincture is a simple process and is executable by a novice.
How to Make a Herbal Tincture
Hang the fresh herbs upside down in a dark and dry place. Cut a piece of string long enough to wrap around the bunch several times. Hold the herbal bunch with one hand and firmly wrap the string around the stems three to five times about one inch from the ends. Hang the herbs from a nail or hook and wait up to a week, depending on the humidity and the plant, for the bunch to dry.
Remove the leaves from the stem. Perform this task over a clean countertop or sheet cake pan. Grab the tip of the sprig with one hand and run the thumb and forefinger of the other hand toward the root end.
Pulverize the herbs to expose as much of the surface area as possible. Place small amounts in a coffee grinder, or manually accomplish this task by rubbing the dry herbs between your hands.
Mix your herbal tincture in a glass container, never metal. The Australian College of Health Sciences recommends a basic recipe using 1 to 2 oz. of herbal material with a pint of vodka or other high-proof spirits, to create a medicinal potency in which one liquid ounce equals 30 grams of the fresh herb.
Alcohol produces the strongest tincture the fastest. Replace the alcohol with cider vinegar or glycerin to create an alcohol-free tincture.
Place a secure lid on the container and place it in a dark warm spot for two weeks to one month. Visit the tincture several times a day and gently shake it to facilitate the process.
Strain the plant matter from the liquid using a strainer lined with cheese cloth, muslin fabric or a coffee filter. Employ a funnel, and place the tincture into the glass bottles. Popular bottles hold up to four ounces and come with a plastic screw top with an affixed glass pipette. Cobalt- or amber-colored glass blocks the light and prevents degradation of the tincture’s potency.
Store the bottles in a cool, dark place. Use the tincture within one year.