Extracting, preserving, and turning a plant into a tincture or a liquid medicine is one of the best and easiest ways to obtain the herb’s medicinal properties. Below are the two easy ways to make a tincture. The first formula requires the use of alcohol and the second one needs glycerin.
Method #1: Tincture with Alcohol
To create an alcohol tincture, you need vodka or any 80-100 proof alcohol, along with a jar and any herb of your choice. It is relatively easy to extract and preserve the medicinal properties of the plant through this method.
Step 1: The amount of herbs needed depends on how soft and hard the plant is. The jar should be half-filled with fresh herbs if you’re using the bark, seeds, and root. If you’re using the leaves and stems of the fresh herb, you can fill the jar all the way. However, if you’re using dried roots, barks, and seeds, 1/3 of the jar should be filled. Dry herbs will often expand when the alcohol is added, so if the jar is overfilled with herb, there will not be enough room to add sufficient liquid. Additionally, 2/3 of the jar should be filled with dry stems and leaves of a soft herb. Limit your use of strong herbs like cayenne and garlic.
Step 2: If you want to spend less for your tincture, you may opt to add a small amount of hot water in the jar. This will lessen the amount of alcohol needed and it also softens your herbs. However, with less alcohol content, your tincture may not be as potent as you expected it to be. It also may not last as long as it otherwise would.
Step 3: Once the herbs have been added, fill the jar with the alcohol and put the lid on. Make sure to put the jar in a dark place and shake it two to three times a week.
Step 4: After 2-6 weeks, the tincture can be strained and used.
If you opt to strain the tincture at two weeks, be aware that the medicinal properties may not have been fully extracted from the herb yet, and your tincture may not be as potent. You can add some additional alcohol to the jar if needed, replace the lid, and let it rest for next four weeks.
But if you want to wait for six weeks before your first strain, then you’ll get a very potent tincture, as you all the medicinal properties of the herbs will have been extracted into the alcohol by this time.
Method #2: How to Make a Glycerine Tincture
If you want optimum potency, an alcohol-based tincture should be your first choice. However, the taste of the tincture may not appeal to children or for anyone avoiding alcohol. In that case, you may want to consider using glycerine instead of alcohol.
Step 1: Fill the jar with the same amount of herbs mentioned in the first method.
Step 2: Make sure that 1/3 of the jar is filled with hot water and let it rest for the next 10 minutes.
Step 3: The rest of the jar should be filled with food-grade vegetable glycerine and put the lid back on.
Step 4: Now, get a crock pot, fill it with water, and put a cloth at the bottom. Put the jar on the cloth. Set the temperature to the lowest warm and let it sit for the next three days. When you notice that the water level is starting to get low, you can turn off the crock pot, let it cool down, and add new water. Make sure that the water temperature is low, and don’t pour the water in a hot jar.
Step 5: After 3 days, you can now strain the mixture and the tincture is now ready to use.
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