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How to Make an Herbal Tincture

Posted Sep 05 2013 7:02am

Green Living Ideas is happy to feature another guest post from Alexis of The Art of Sacred Body today! Alexis is a mama, permaculturalist, gentle living activist, aspiring midwife, freelance writer and health blogger.

Tinctures are concentrated herbal supplements that protect the fragile compounds of medicinal plants by preserving them in alcohol. They are usually much stronger than tea or other brewing methods, and last a very long time. Tinctures are potent too; a typical dose is about 10 drops in a small amount of water. Tinctures can seem difficult to make, but are relatively easy once you get the hang of it. Follow these simple steps for creating your own wild herb tinctures. dandelion plant

Making your own tinctures is a sustainable, fun and effective way of promoting quality, nourishing health for youand your family. Working with local plants growing in your own environment is more ideal than purchasing exotic plants from far away. Your backyard and local forest is full of nutrients perfect for your environment. Explore and create better inner and outer health.

To make a tincture, you’re going to need a jar with a tight fitting lid, quality alcohol (the kind that you drink) and dried herbs.

Fill the jar about mostly full of dried herbs. No need to pack the herbs down. For a stronger tincture, use more herbs. Pour enough boiling water to just cover the herbs. This is optional but can potentially help extract more nutrients. Then, fill the jar to the top with a quality alcohol like vodka. Stir the mixture with a clean spoon.

Set aside out of the sun and shake it up everyday for three weeks to six months. I usually wait a month and a half.

Strain with a mesh cloth into dark colored dropper bottles or a clean glass jar. Store it out of the sun and heat. This tincture should be good indefinitely, but is best if used within 2-3 years.

Some important notes about tinctures and herbs (and a word of caution!):

  • Herbs are strong medicine! Please be sure to do your research on the type of herb that you are using to ensure that it is appropriate for use. We recommend consulting an herbalist if possible.
  • Doses for each herb are different, so again, I highly recommend finding a good herbalist, or a good herbal handbook for personal research.
  • Read our post “ How To Find and Use Wild Herbs ” to learn more about sourcing quality wild herbs and what to avoid
  • Always listen to your body: if after taking a strong tincture, you don’t feel right, discontinue use or try a lesser dose. Tinctures are best for use in first aid and emergency situations, as they are fast acting and highly concentrated
  • Some herbalists consider tea’s and infusions to be more effective and milder than tinctures

 

Images from Shutterstock/ Mona Makela

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