How To Make An Herbal Tincture

Instructions on how to make a tincture to create your own herbal medicines from ingredients you can trust.

A tincture is an herbal preparation made with alcohol or distilled water and dried or fresh herbs. It is taken into the body by mixing with tea, water or juice. One teaspoon taken up to three times daily should be the proper dosage for any herbal tincture. A tincture is the most effective method of using herbal medicines. Before you begin experimenting with tinctures, be sure you know the medicinal value of each herb you plan to use. You can purchase dried and fresh herbs from your local natural food store, or find an online seller for dried herbs.

To begin, you will need pure grain alcohol (a.k.a.: PGA). You can substitute distilled water or white vinegar if you would like a non-alcoholic tincture. Do not use rubbing alcohol or wood alcohol. To do so would be to create poison, not medicine. You will also need about 200 grams of your dried herb (300 grams, if a fresh herb is used), cheesecloth or unused cloth diapers, mason jars, brown paper and a dark storage area.

Folklore tells us to start preparing our tinctures on the day of the new moon. On this day, put your herbs in a mason jar and pour your tincture liquid (alcohol, vinegar or water) over them. Fill the jar about an inch above your herbs. Seal it tightly so that it cannot leak or evaporate. Now put your tincture-to-be in a dark area. An unused closet or cabinet would be perfect. You may even want to cover it with a dark colored towel. You will need to shake your tincture about the same time each day for about two weeks, or until the next full moon, if you started on the new moon.

When it is time to remove your tincture from storage, take out another mason jar, your brown paper, and cheesecloth or diaper. Cut your cheesecloth or diaper to cover the mouth of your mason jar. Unscrew the lid from your tincture jar, then place your cloth over its mouth. Screw the ring over the cloth, then pour the liquid into the new jar. When you have poured all of the liquid into the new jar, take the straining cloth off the first jar. Take a larger piece of cloth and pour the herbs into it. Now, squeeze the remaining liquid into your tincture. Seal your new tincture and wrap the mason jar in brown paper to keep out light. You should also label your tincture to know exactly what you have and date the label. Store this in a cool dark place. Your tincture should be good for two years.

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