Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Making Tinctures...Homemade Medicine

I used to get overwhelmed when thinking of making my own tinctures, but a friend gave me a step by step and I realized its really very easy.

What are tinctures?

Tinctures are preparations made by allowing herbs to soak in alcohol, vegetable glycerin or cider vinegar. This soaking extracts the medicinal properties from the herbs. After straining the resulting liquid has stronger medicinal properties than an herbal tea.

Material Needed

pint or quart size jars


vegetable glycerin or vodka(at least 90 proof)

warm water if using vegetable glycerin



Today I am making several tinctures using vegetable glycerin. Pictured below are the supplies and process for making a restful sleep/calming glycerin tincture. The herbs I have chosen are chamomile, lavender, lemon balm, catnip, and peppermint. I layered the herbs in a quart size canning jar. Next, I poured very warm water (about 1and 1/2 cups)over the herbs. Using a spoon mash herbs for a couple of minutes. Drain off any excess water. Next, fill the jar with vegetable glycerin. Put lid on and shake the mixture until the glycerin seems thoroughly mixed. Then place a towel in the bottom of a crock pot or large pan on stove. Cook tinctures on very low heat for 2-3 days. When mixture is finished cooking strain and place in blue or amber colored bottles. Store in a cool dark place.

picture of supplies

mashing the herbs with the warm water

cooking the mixture on low

*Remember to strain excess water off of the herbs. The mixture must be at least 60% vegetable glycerin or it will mold.

*If using alcohol, simply place herbs in jar, pour in alcohol and let it sit for 2-3 weeks. Shake daily

Happy Herbaling...


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