How to Make Tinctures

How to make tinctures

hand holding herbal plantIt is relatively easy to make your herbal tinctures from herbs such as echinacea. We will give you the step-by-step method of making an echinacea tincture to treat the common cold and the flu.

What is a tincture?

A tincture is a solution made of alcohol and water that contains herbal extracts of one or more plant parts such as the roots, stem, leaves or flower. It is more potent than using the herb itself.

What supplies do you need?

  • 500 mL (1 pint) of vodka, gin, brandy or rum.
  • 120 g (4 oz) of powdered or fresh and finely cut dried herbs.
  • Distilled water (reverse-osmosis processed water is an excellent choice as well) to make a 1:1 ratio of water to alcohol mixture.
  • Wide mouth air-tight container that holds about 500 mL. (The wide mouth allows you to easily put in the dried plant.)
  • Glass container that holds 500 mL (1 pint) for the final filtered tincture for storage.
  • Cheesecloth (for filtering) and a funnel to help with transferring the tincture to the final glass storage bottle.
  • Optional digital scale for measuring the herb accurately and graduated containers for accurately measuring liquids.

The steps on how to make tinctures

  • Prepare 500 mL of the alcohol solution. The ratio of water to alcohol should be around 1:1 (50% alcohol and 50% water).
  • For example, if you are using 50% vodka (50% alcohol and 50% water), you do not need to add any water. Use the vodka as is. If you are using a 95% rum (95% alcohol and 5% water), then use 250 mL of rum and 250 mL of purified water. This will give you 50% alcohol solution for making a 1:1 tincture..
  • Place the 120 g of the echinacea powder in 500 mL of the alcohol solution, making sure the cut herbs (if that's what is used) is fully covered by the alcohol solution.
  • Store the sealed container in a dark place. Shake the container several times a day for 2 weeks.
  • Strain the final solution (now called a tincture) using the cheesecloth and transfer the filtered solution into an air-tight dark glass bottle.

What is the dose?

Typically thedose used is 4 or 5 mL (1 teaspoon) three times daily.

How long can it be kept?

When a tincture is properly prepared and stored air-tight in a dark place, it is stable and can keep its potency for over 2 years.

Can I put inmore than one herb?

Yes indeed. You can combine and experiment with multiple herbs to make a customized tincture.

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Created: December 28, 2009