How to Make Herbal Tinctures

Herbal tinctures are liquid herbs. They are made by aging an herb in alcohol or apple cider vinegar, resulting in a more potent herb that is easily absorbed and used by the body.

Herbal tinctures are sometimes called extracts rather than tinctures.

Herbal tinctures can often be purchased at a local or online health food or herbal supply store. Some combination tinctures can be purchased, but usually you'll find single herbs available in this form instead. An example that's become popular in recent years is Tea Tree Oil. When you buy this herb, it comes as a liquid in a small brown bottle and usually has a dropper attached to the lid for easy use.

When herbs are aged in alcohol, the drinking kind of alcohol is used, not rubbing alcohol. Something such as 190 proof Everclear is said to be an excellent alcohol to use for creating herbal tinctures. Some people don't like the idea of making herbal tinctures with alcohol though, particularly if they plan to use the remedies for children and babies, so Apple Cider Vinegar can be used instead.

Herbal tinctures made with alcohol are considered stronger though, because the alcohol extracts more of the herbs properties than the vinegar does.

You'll need either dried or powdered herbs to create your own tinctures. You can use single herbs, or create a custom mixture based on your needs.

If you're using dried herbs, you'll need about eight ounces per pint of vinegar or alcohol, and roughly four ounces of powdered herb per pint of liquid. If you mix two or more herbs together of course, you'll want to measure the combined herbs, not add 4-8 ounces of each.

Mix the powdered or dried herbs with your liquid in a bottle - you can simply buy your vinegar or alcohol in pint bottles to keep things simple, then put them herb into that bottle. Shake the bottle at least twice a day for about two weeks. If you used powdered herbs, your tinctures will be ready in about one week instead.

You can use a similar technique to create herbal oils instead. To make oil versions though, you'll use virgin olive oil and about two ounces of dried or powdered herbs.

Simply add your herbs to a pint of olive oil, then sit it in a warm place for at least four days. You can speed the process up by using the stove if you'd like though. Combine the herb and olive oil in a pan or double boiler, and heat it gently for two to three hours. Then press the oil from your herbs, and add a little bit of Vitamin E to the mixture as a preservative, then store the herbal oil in a glass bottle in your refrigerator.

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