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Making Herbal Tinctures

Updated on September 9, 2014

What Is an Herbal Tincture?

Throughout history, people have used herbs for their medicinal benefits. An herb, by definition, is simply a plant that is known for it's aroma, flavor, or medicinal benefits. Did you know that the active ingredients in many pharmaceutical drugs come from plants?

Herbs can be used for treating various ailments. There are many ways to use herbs, cooking, personal care and cosmetics, teas, infusions and tinctures. Herbal tinctures are the most concentrated plant extracts and are the most like medicine of all the at home herbal preparations. Herbal tincturing is at home medicine making.

How Do You Make an Herbal Tincture?

A brief description of herbal tincture making is to chop the plant material to expose plant to a menstruum. Mentstruum is simply a liquid used to extract the medicinal components of the plant. Cover the plant in the menstruum and allow it to sit for 2 weeks. The mixture should be in glass a glass jar and shaken daily. At the end of 2 weeks the herb is strained from the menstruum and discarded. The menstruum has absorbed the medicinal components of the plant and has become an herbal tincture. Herbal tincture should be stored in dark glass bottles with a dropper.

What is Menstruum?

Menstruum is general vodka, when making a true herbal tincture. Vinegar can be used, it is safer than alcohol, but is less effective at leaching out the medicinal components of the plant. When tincturing dried herbs, water is mixed with the vodka or alcohol. The ratio of vodka or vinegar to water depends on the plant material being used. For that reason, I always recommend consulting a recipe specifically for the herb being tinctured.

General Recipe and Ratios for Making Vodka Herbal Tinctures

General Recipe and Ratios for Making Vinegar Herbal Tinctures

Herb Specific Recipes

Herbal Tincture Recipes

As I mentioned above the amount of water and vodka or vinegar in an herbal tincture depends on the herb and whether it is fresh or dried. I have gathered a collection of the BEST tincture recipes for several commonly used herbs. Each of the recipes contain information on the medicinal uses of the herb and dosage information.

Arnica Herbal Tincture Recipe

Cayenne Herbal Tincture Recipe

Dandelion Root Herbal Tincture Recipe

Garlic Herbal Tincture Recipe

Lemon Balm Herbal Tincture Recipe

Stinging Nettle Herbal Tincture Recipe

Herbal Tinctures Herbs
Herbal Tinctures Herbs

Are Herbal Tinctures Safe?

Safety of Herbal Tinctures

Herbs are commonly consumed and as herbal tea drinkers can tell you, they are generally safe. As with any plant, you must know what it is before you consume it. So, if you are purchasing your herbs at a health food store, and the herbs are being sold for consumption, they are no more dangerous than a tomato at the supermarket. The problem with herbs purchased at a store, is that they have generally been stored much longer than a homegrown herb and have lost much of their potency and benefits. Homegrown herbs are much more colorful, aromatic, flavorful, and potent. If you are considering growing your own herbs, you must know what you are doing. Never eat anything that you are not certain you can positively identify.

Another factor that plays into the safety of making herbal tinctures is the amount of herb consumed. Herbal tinctures increase the potency of an herb and preserve the herb at the same time. Anything in excess can be dangerous, so do not overuse an herbal tincture. A few drops of tincture goes a long way, follow the dosage guidelines carefully. Novice herbalists, and herbal tincture makers, shouldn't give tincture to children if they are not sure what they are doing.

Dried Herbs - Herbal Tincture Alternative
Dried Herbs - Herbal Tincture Alternative

Herbal Tincture Alternatives

Other Method of Take Herbs Besides Tincture

If making herbal tincture sounds like to much trouble, or you prefer the herb in a more natural form to reap their benefits. Two of the easiest ways to do this are by making herbal tea, also known as decoctions and infusions, and taking the herb in it's whole form. Some herbs may be too bitter, or unpalatable in their whole form, so you can grind them up and place them in capsules to make herbal pills also.

Herbal Tincture Comments

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    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I've been putting together a group of lenses about various aspects of herbalism. I've lensrolled this one to http://www.squidoo.com/herbal-remedies-at-home and have also given it a link there.

      If you'd like a picture and a longer description added, please let me know.

    • profile image

      CureCandidaNaturally 7 years ago

      I think natural cures are fantastic and would much rather use herbs to cure something than use chemicals.

    • profile image

      Obscure_Treasures 6 years ago

      Very cool gift ideas! great lens, great suggestions.

    • profile image

      Gift-Guide 6 years ago

      The best part of natural cure is there is no side effects.

    • ChrisDay LM profile image

      ChrisDay LM 6 years ago

      Thanks for sharing your experiences

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Great information on using herbs for many things, I love to use lavender in foods, teas and for soaking in my bath.

    • profile image

      DebMartin 6 years ago

      Thanks for the info. I am definitely going to make some tinctures. Nice to have the bottle resource too. I'm off to visit your Forager's Harvest Blog. I'm quite the forager myself. Thanks.

    • profile image

      the-herb-mistress 6 years ago

      Good info here. Lensrolling to several lenses.

    • howtocurecancer profile image

      howtocurecancer 6 years ago

      Blessed by a SquidAngel.

    • howtocurecancer profile image

      howtocurecancer 6 years ago

      I am a SquidAngel and your lens is featured here in my top ten lenses top 10 holistic alternative remedies

    • Tamara14 profile image

      Tamara Kajari 5 years ago from Zagreb, Croatia, Europe

      I'll be getting back to this great lens for sure. Squid Angle blessed :)

    • cherriebombetsy profile image

      cherriebombetsy 5 years ago

      This is awesome, I have always wanted to learn how to make tinctures. I also want to grow my own herbs in the spring! Thanks for sharing this info, bookmarked, liked, and shared!

    • PNWtravels profile image

      Vicki Green 5 years ago from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA

      Great information about making your own herbal tinctures - most interesting and blessed!

    • GreenfireWiseWo profile image

      GreenfireWiseWo 4 years ago

      Great information. Thank you.

    • Wendy Gillissen profile image

      Wendy Gillissen 4 years ago

      Great information, thank you! I will be making nettle tincture soon! :-)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      thanks for the info for people to know how simple it is to cure your ailments from the wild. and thank you for turning people on to Buhner at the end, he is wonderful.

    • profile image

      oiloflife 4 years ago

      Thanks for the great information. I am going to try.

    • PuttinUpWithSuzy profile image

      PuttinUpWithSuzy 4 years ago

      I've had some tincture recipes that I've been dying to try! You have posted some that sound good as well. Can't wait to try them.

    • MelloKnitty LM profile image

      MelloKnitty LM 4 years ago

      Thanks for this info - making tinctures is surprisingly easy! :)

    • TapIn2U profile image

      TapIn2U 2 years ago

      Lots of natural home remedies to be found right in your own kitchen. Fantastic lens! Sundae ;-)

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