Mar 12, 2021
3 mins read
A tincture is a highly concentrated herb extract made by soaking the bark, leaves, berries, leaves (fresh or dried) or roots from one or more plants in alcohol o vinegar (1). Tinctures are the most popular way to take herbal medicine. Tinctures have been around for thousands of years. Tinctures must be made by plants that are safe to take. They are easy to take. You can put them in dropper bottles and put some drops under the tongue or put a couple of drops in your water, tea, or juice. Tinctures get in the bloodstream very quickly so they are good to use for long-term conditions and for problems happening at the moment like colds, sinuses, or the flu.
Tinctures will keep for years if stored properly. They must be stored in a location that is dark and cool and from heat. They must be kept away from sunlight and any interior lights. It is best if it is stored in jars with tight, sealed lids to keep the oxygen from getting at the tincture. I like to use mason jars when I make my tinctures.
Ingredients to Use
Making a tincture only takes two ingredients the menstruum and the herb. Menstruum is the solvent that is used to extract the medicinal qualities of the plant. It is made by steeping the herbs in menstruum and then infusing it to make it release the medicinal constituents. There are three types of menstruum alcohol, vinegar, and glycerin. To make my tinctures I only use apple cider vinegar. When using vinegar, it is not as strong as when you use alcohol in your tinctures. Vinegar is good to use when you are giving this to children or to people who don't drink. This tincture can last between 6 months to 2 years. Herbs can be either fresh or dried. You can use one herb or multiple herbs to make a tincture.
How to Make a Tincture
I don't measure my tincture but if you wanted to measure then it would be one part dried herb in grams to 5 parts menstruum in milliliters. With dried herbs, you will be using more liquid than herbs because they will expand. Put your dried herbs in a sterile mason jar then pour the menstruum over the dried herbs. Make sure the liquid is covering the herbs. Cover and then give it a shake. Store in a dark and cool place away from light. You don't have to shake it every day unless you want to. I shake my tincture at least a couple of days a week. The tincture will be done between 4-6 weeks. You will know when it's done when they have a nice color and they taste and smell like the herb you are using. When it's done the place a strainer over a sterile empty mason jar and pour the tincture into the strainer. Make sure all the liquid is drained from the herbs then either throw away the herbs or use it for compost. You can then pour the liquid into dropper bottles and the label. Use it when you need it.
This video is on how to make a lemon balm tincture. Lemon Balm is good tension, exhaustion, stress, anxiety, as a sleep aid, for grief and mild depression, when you are gassy or bloating, helps stimulate the appetite, it is helpful for tension headaches, muscle tension, and menstrual cramps.
I am not a doctor or a naturopath so before using this tincture you should consult with a doctor. This herb may interfere with some medications so it is better to check before using.