How to Make Herbal Tinctures
Making a tincture is one of the most useful and versatile extracting methods. The standard method which has been used for many centuries involves using an alcohol base, usually vodka as this has very little taste, to extract the herb’s nutrients and healing properties.
Tinctures can be added to water which may then be used for tea or to create an ointment or salve and basically can be used for any form of herbal treatments as long as the tincture was done correctly.
If you are using dried herbs a common ratio to use is 1:5 – 1 part plant material to 5 parts vodka.
For fresh herbs the ratio is 1:3. If using a combination instead of a single herb the ratio always remains the same. Vodka is the preferred alcohol as it only contains alcohol and water
Chop herbs finely, then place into a glass jar. Do not pack them tightly or else the vodka won’t be able to get to it all.
Add vodka to the herbs. If the vodka does not cover all the plantmaterial add some more until it is all completely submerged.
Put a tight lid on the jar and store for 2 weeks at room temperature. A dark shelf is fine, since tincture does not need light to process. Shake the contents once or twice a day to redistribute the herbs in the alcohol. If you are using powdered herbs, stir them with a spoon every day to keep them from clumping together.
Strain the herb pulp through a coffee filter or some muslin/cheesecloth. I like using two layers of muslin.
Squeeze out all of the tincture and discard the left over pulp.
Funnel into a sterilized, dark glass bottle.
Label and store in a cool, dark place. A tincture can be stored for 2 years or longer.