Tincture Making 101-The basics

herbalism tincture making tinctures

Tinctures are herbal extracts made by steeping herbs in alcohol or vegetable glycerin. They are a great way to extract the medicinal properties of herbs and use them for various health benefits.

Here are a few things you should keep in mind when making tinctures:

1. Choose the Right Herb: Not all herbs are suitable for tincture making. Choose herbs that are high in medicinal properties and safe for consumption. Some popular herbs used for tinctures include echinacea, chamomile, ginger, and garlic.

2. Choose the Right Solvent/Menstruum: The solvent used for tincture making can be alcohol or glycerin. Alcohol is the most common solvent used for tincture making (needs to be 80-100 proof). It preserves the medicinal properties of herbs and has a long shelf life. Glycerin, on the other hand, is a good option for those who do not consume alcohol. Vegetable Glycerin tinctures can last up to 9 months with proper storage (cool dark cabinet).

3. Preparing the Herb: Fresh herbs should be cleaned, dried, and chopped into small pieces before being added to the solvent. Purchased dried herbs in bulk are already clean and cut for you. The amount of herb used depends on the hand of the tincture's desired potency. The ratio of herbs to solvent for dried herbs is 1 part herb and 5 parts solvent. For fresh herbs, the ratio is 1 part herb and 2 part solvent. This is because fresh herbs contain water and we need to compensate for that in the recipe.

4. Steeping the Herb: The herb should be added to the solvent in a glass jar and left to steep for several weeks (4-6). The length of time depends on the strength of the herb and the desired potency of the tincture.

5. Straining and Storing: After the steeping period, the tincture should be strained through a cheesecloth or a coffee filter. The tincture should be stored in a dark glass bottle away from direct sunlight.

I hope this information helps you in your t journey. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.