How To Make An Herbal Tincture
Herbal medicine making to me is an extension of food prep. We take plants and turn them into medicine that rivals any prescription drug on the market. There is an herb for everything and they’ve been used since the beginning of time for healing and enriching lives.
Making an herbal tincture is simple and very rewarding. Learn how just a few herbs are used to treat common ailments and you’ll eliminate the “need” for most, if not all over-the-counter meds. My family has been conventional medicine-free for about ten years except for a case of bacterial pneumonia that required antibiotics.
Dry or fresh herbs can be used. Today, I made an Echinacea tincture. I use this for warding off colds or shortening duration. You can use any of your favorite herbs in a tincture, even kitchen herbs like thyme and oregano.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
- Herb of choice (dry or fresh)
- Vodka (if using dry herbs), Everclear (100-proof alcohol, if using fresh herbs)
- Pint jar with tight-fitting lid
- Dropper Bottle
TO MAKE TINCTURE:
- Fill jar about 1/2 way for fresh herbs, pack almost full for fresh.
- Add vodka (for dried herbs) or Everclear (for fresh herbs) up to the lip of the jar. Leave 1-inch of headspace and place lid tightly on jar. Shake well.
- Label the jar and put in a cool place. I don’t keep it in the dark but you can store it wherever you have room.
- Let sit for 6 weeks, shaking jar regularly.
- Strain herbs through a cheesecloth-lined strainer and pour into dropper bottles using a funnel.
The above is my method. All herbalists have their own way of doing things. I’m sure you will too! That’s the beauty of herbs. You don’t have to be exact when making tinctures.
Dosage will vary depending on what herbs you used. I suggest the following books for help on your herbal journey:
- Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide: 33 Healing Herbs to Know, Grow, and Use
- Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health: 175 Teas, Tonics, Oils, Salves, Tinctures, and Other Natural Remedies for the Entire Family
- Naturally Healthy Babies and Children: A Commonsense Guide to Herbal Remedies, Nutrition, and Health
To your health!
*Note: The herbs in the final picture are catnip. I wanted to show a photo of a tincture already in progress.
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Disclaimer: I am a certified health coach and herbalist but I’m not your health coach or herbalist. Nothing in this post has been evaluated by the all-powerful FDA nor is it intended to prevent, treat, diagnose or cure any disease. If you are having health issues, please see your own health care provider. Herbs are medicine and should be treated as such. I am not responsible for reader’s misuse of herbs. Use common sense.
Sarah is a wife, mom of 4, farm owner, and real food blogger at Real Food Outlaws. She is also an Master Herbalist and owns 90210 Organics, an Eco-boutique and Apothecary. She holds a Master’s Degree in Applied Clinical Nutrition from New York Chiropractic College and is a Clinical/Functional Nutritionist and Advanced Nutrition Response Testing™ Practitioner at Natural Health Improvement Center of South Jersey and Natural Health Improvement Center of Des Moines. You can often find her barefoot in the garden (or kitchen), or rummaging through a refrigerator (not necessarily her own).