By:  Narda

August 19. 2021

Tinctures are liquid extracts from herbs; they are easy to use. They are taken under the tongue, therefore,  they enter the bloodstream faster and act quickly.

 You will need:

  • Preferably vodka or grain alcohol; if not available, you may substitute with brandy, rum or whiskey. It should be no less than 80 proof (40% alcohol) to avoid mold. 
  • When alcohol cannot be used due to the patient’s age or underlying medical condition, organic cider vinegar with the mother or glycerin can be used
  • A large, sterilized mason jar with airtight lid is a must.  Avoid metallic or plastic containers they react with the tincture and could seep unsafe substances
  • Butter knife
  • Labels and a marker
  • Large glass bowl that has been thoroughly washed, boiling water poured into it, and then let dry
  • Large sieve
  • Muslim cloth
  • A wooden spoon
  • Sterilized, dark, glass medicinal syrup bottles with tight screw-on or clip-on lids
  • Funnel

What you need to do:

  • Label your container naming the ingredients, the tincture’s use and the date
  • Decide whether you want to add fresh, powdered or dried herbs.
  • The easiest way is to fill the jar up to ½ an inch from the bottom of the mouth of the jar
  • Cover with alcohol (or choice of substitute when indicated) up to the edge where the mouth of the jar begins
  • If you prefer to measure, the ratio will be 5 ounces of alcohol (or cider vinegar or glycerin) for each ounce of dry herb or 4 ounces of powdered herb for each ounce of liquid. Remember to always add the herbs first and then the liquids
  • Stir around the edge of the mason jar with the butter knife, making sure that all air bubbles disappear
  • Close the mason jar making sure it is tightly sealed
  • Place in a cool, dark corner in your cupboard, out of reach of children and pets
  • The jar must remain there a minimum of eight days to a maximum of thirty

What you need to do, Cont.:

  • Shake the container twice a day for the first two weeks
  • Label your dark tincture bottles. Always include the date of production
  • After the designated steeping time has passed, it is time to transfer to the dark jars, ready for use
  • Place the sieve on the large bowl and the muslin on it
  • Slowly pour the tincture
  • Once all liquid has passed through, press the herbs with the wooden spoon to squeeze remaining liquid
  • Finally, twist the muslin tight to extract any leftover liquid
  • Fill tincture bottles using the funnel
  • Close tightly
  • If the tincture is not for immediate use, it is recommended to seal the caps with wax
  • If properly stored, your tincture could have a shelf life of approximately five years. This will depend on the specific properties of the herb you use
  • Follow instructions carefully and don’t exceed the recommended dosage

Extra tips

  • Follow directions to the “T”
  • Do not exceed the recommended dose
  • Always label your tinctures, it is important to know their components and date of production
  • Sterilization is very important
  • When using a dropper, always squeeze the bulb tightly between your thumb and index, then put in the tincture and slowly release to have a dropperful or squeeze, don’t worry if it only fills halfway
  • All bulbs are the same size regardless of the lenght of the tube; the bulb determines the amount of tincture in the squeeze

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Photography by:  Content Pixie, Fulvio Ciccolo,  Jordane Mathieu, Kathrin Hauf, Kelly Sikkema,and Towfiqu Barbhuiya @ Unsplash