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Homemade Herbal Tinctures

Updated on February 7, 2016

Herbal Tincture

Calendula tincture in small dark bottles.
Calendula tincture in small dark bottles. | Source

Herbal Drops

Homemade herbal drops from herbs or tinctures are simple and easy to make. Take the dried herb in the form of tea, soak in the alcohol solution and let it sit for a week or more in the solution. Strain and pour into a dark glass bottle.

However, such a simple method of making herbal drops have some advantages, because the market has a lot of different manufacturers of herbal drops and a little bit of quality and effects. First things first, what do you need to know about tinctures and how to make herbal drops out of medicinal herbs.

First, there are the industrial and handmade herbal drops. There are also herbal drops from fresh and dried herbs. There is a big difference between them, what one would say the crucial one.


Commercially-made Herbal Drops

Industrial herbal drops are alcoholic - water extracts of herbs, that are standardized to a substance from the plant, so that it contains the guaranteed amount of active ingredient required. The advantage of industrial drops is that you will certainly get exactly the quantity of active substance which is specific for a plant. We'll take the example of St. John's Wort, which is standardized to hypericin participation. When the pharmacists are making herbal drops in the lab, the alcoholic extract has the required amount of hypericin, and when this level is reached, herbal drops are finished. This is an advantage when you have dried herbs of poor quality, because by adding additional herbs you are strengthening the quality of herbal drops.

You simply cannot produce manually good tincture from low quality herbs, what it is however possible at industrial production of tincture. So this is the reason why the pharmacy standardized herbal tinctures is in order to always produce the required quality. That means in practice, that whenever you buy St. John's Wort tincture, you'll always get it in a given amount of hypericin. It is the advantage of industrial herbal drops, but also its biggest flaw. Because hypericin is not the only ingredient of a medicinal herb, which has over 200 active ingredients balanced in the plant itself.

In addition, industrial herbal drops a smaller range of healing from handmade drops. They have a shorter shelf life, act differently in the body, with strong and sometimes unpleasant taste, color is darker and matt. They are more concentrated and directed towards the effect of the single active substance. Industrial herbal drops are made in a few hours, in the production process, plant is extra processed. That is why it is always recommended handmade drops instead industry tincture.

Soaking

Peppermint tincture.
Peppermint tincture. | Source

Lavender Flowers Whole, Dried Herb, 1 Oz

Home-made Herbal Drops

Homemade herbal drops have milder taste, smell nicer and have more transparent color. They have a natural balance and medicinal substances have a wider range of effects. Homemade herbal drops, if they are well made and well filtered, when stored in a dark place in an adequate dark glass bottle, can last for years and will not lose any of its medicinal properties.

What you need to know and what you should pay an attention when making homemade herbal drops? I'll give you a few useful tips from my experience. General tips for making homemade herbal drops are:

1 The most important ingredient of herbal drops that determines their quality is the quality of the herb - quality dried herbs. If it's fresh-picked, well-dried and properly stored, if there is the active substance inside, if it is collected from healthy soil, free of parasites and disease on the leaves, there will be a good tincture. If you do not have good herbs or if it is old two or three years, you cannot produce high quality tincture.

2 Another important, but not as crucial ingredient is a high quality alcohol, or a means of extraction: brandy, vodka, diluted alcohol. It uses an alcoholic solution 45 to 50 volume% alcohol. The best is grain alcohol some volume, but vodka is often used. The alcohol should be for human use. For some plants, of which the stems, or roots of plant are used for the preparation of drops, the stronger alcohol should be used, up to 60%.

Ethyl alcohol dissolves and extracted a number of important phytochemicals (plant substances) better than water. For example, substance diosgenin from wild yam is only soluble in alcohol but not in the water. Alcohol also maintains a tincture and significantly extends the shelf life of at least five years. Some herbal ingredients such as resins, are better dissolved in such a high percentage of alcohol.

3. Extraction time is very important. Sinking in alcohol varies from plant to plant. . Roots, rhizomes, stem and bark stand in alcohol for more than two weeks, sometimes for more than a month. For example, nettle root, chicory, walnut bark. Flowering plants that have a lot of essential oil in it - sage, thyme, mint, lavender, lemon balm, should not be longer than 7 to 8 days in a tincture. Weed herbs, like nettle, dandelion, marigold, stay up to 10-14 days in an alcohol solution.

In most cases, tinctures are made of fresh plants. Fresh herb is placed into a blender along with the alcohol and mixed thoroughly. This gives a mash, through which alcohol solution reaches the individual cells of plants and pull out all the medicinal ingredients. If you have dried herbs which have to be completely shredded, inexpensive way to do this is with the help of a mortar and pestle.

Vodka

Vodka is often used.
Vodka is often used. | Source

Advantages

  • Herbal drops are fast-acting.
  • Tinctures don't spoil and last for a long time.
  • Herbal drops contains much more valuable medicinal compounds than water extracts.
  • They are practical, easy to care into a travel bag.
  • Making your own tinctures is a cost-effective.

The Jar

The jar must be of glass or ceramic.
The jar must be of glass or ceramic. | Source

Tincture Storage

Tincture can last up to 5 years.
Tincture can last up to 5 years. | Source

Step by Step - How To Make Homemade Herbal Drops

1. Quality alcohol

Most frequently used type of alcohol is Vodka. Vodka is a balanced mixture of clean water and methyl alcohol, odorless, tasteless and colorless. Less frequently are used brandy, whiskey or rum. Whichever type of alcohol you intend to use, pay attention to be 40-50% and for human use.

2. Use appropriate jar

The jar you are planning to use for making a tincture must be of glass or ceramic.Metal or plastic jars can react with the tincture and release substances that can be harmful to your health. So they should not be used. Later you will need a small dark bottle for storage of tincture. The bottle must be well closed in order to prevent intrusion of air. Both containers must be clean and sterilized before use.

3. Preparation

  • Fresh herbs: add fresh herbs up to 3/4 of jar, do not squeeze herbs and fill with alcohol.
  • Dried herbs: add 20% of dried herbs to 80% of alcohol.
  • Powdered herbs: add 4 ounces of powdered herbs to 16 ounces of alcohol

Stir until all bubbles are broken.

4. Seal the jar

Leave it in a cool, dark place. Leave it in a cool, dark place from a week to a month. It is recommended to shake a couple of times a day. Place the jar on a high shelf to keep them away from children and pets. Do not forget to put a sticker with the date and the name of tincture.

5. Straining

When the steeping time is over, strain the tincture as follows:

  • Over a large bowl, place sieve with muslin cloth. Pour the soaked liquid through.

6. Pouring into a bottle

Pour the tincture through a funnel into the already prepared dark bottle. If you are planning to stock for a long time, seal the bottle with wax.

7. Usage and storage

Tinctures can last up to 5 years. Follow the instructions of particular recipe in order to know for how long you can keep the tincture. If you need additional information, consult a qualified herbalist. Keep in mind that tinctures can be dangerous if you are not property introduced with the properties of the herb.

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Tincture Recipes Suggestions

name
ingedients
sinking time
usage
vascular, respiratory, abdominal organs, and chronicle skin diseases
250 gr of Garlic 1l Vodka
14 days
15-20 drops daily before lunch
poor appetite, abdominal cramps
60 grams of wormwood, 10 grgentian root, 10 g calamus, 1l alcohol
10 days
15-20 drops 3x daily
digestive disturbance
4 tablespoon of juniper, 1l alcohol (60%)
10 days
10 drops every morning
digestion
½ cup dried peppermint leaves,¼ cup very finely diced fresh ginger root, ¼ cup dried fennel seeds, 1l Vodka
2-6 weeks
1 tsp can be taken straight or in water as needed
Each time before use of tincture consult with your doctor or specialist.

How to Make Herbal Tinctures

Please Pay Attention

  • Before you begin, read and learn a lot from books and articles or consult with herbalist.
  • You must be 100% sure that you are using the right plant.
  • Do not use plants treated with pesticides.
  • Do not collect herbs near the roadsides or commercial farm fields.

What kind of of tincture would you rather use?

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Homemade Herbal Tinctures

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    • techygran profile image

      Cynthia 3 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

      Some excellent instructions and tips regarding the making of herbal tinctures. There are a couple of phrases that require editing to be clear: The headline just under the ad for the Herb Home Remedy Book should read: "How are commercial (or industrial) herbal drops made?" OR "How commercial (or industrial) herbal drops are made" OR even something like "Commercially-made Herbal Drops". The headline under that could read "Home-made Herbal Drops" OR "Making Herbal Drops at Home". Good job!

    • techygran profile image

      Cynthia 3 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

      You are very welcome... your content is great! I will certainly promote your article when you have made the changes-- I admire anyone who publishes in a language that is not their first language! Keep up the good work!

    • dis-cover profile image
      Author

      Nikolic Predrag 3 years ago from Serbia, Belgrade

      Thank you. Your support encourages me to write further.

    • Pedja Nikolic profile image

      Darko Milenkovic 3 years ago from Novi Sad

      Excellent job dis cover!!! Thanks for sharing this very informative hub. Voted up as awesome!!!

    • dis-cover profile image
      Author

      Nikolic Predrag 3 years ago from Serbia, Belgrade

      Thanks for the very nice comment.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      We grow quite a few herbs and I'm always interested in new uses for them. Thanks for the information.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Homemade tincture sounds best to me and you have created such a helpful hub. I enjoy growing herbs and often I search for the different wild herbs while on my daily walks.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi dis-cover, Great information here. We grow some of our own herbs so I am interested in making herbal tinctures. This is very helpful. Voted up.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      This was helpful and a great use for herbs.

    • dis-cover profile image
      Author

      Nikolic Predrag 3 years ago from Serbia, Belgrade

      @billybuc, @DDE, @Jodah, @FlourishAnyway, thank you my dear friends for the nice comments and support. Sorry for the late reply. Sorry if I'm not an active member of our community, I am currently working 14 hours a day. I hope you understand me. I promise that I will spend more on HubPages in the future. Wish you all the best.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Very interesting! This sounds like fun with all the extra medicinal benefits added. Thank you for sharing this information.

    • dis-cover profile image
      Author

      Nikolic Predrag 3 years ago from Serbia, Belgrade

      Thank you MsDora, your nice comment means to me a lot!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      I plan to do an herb garden some day so that I make some of these useful herb tinctures. Thank you for the information.

    • dis-cover profile image
      Author

      Nikolic Predrag 3 years ago from Serbia, Belgrade

      My father is a doctor, and in the backyard has a small herb garden. A very useful and I can say an interesting hobby. Thank you for the nice comment!

    • justmesuzanne profile image

      justmesuzanne 3 years ago from Texas

      Excellent, thorough and detailed information. Herbs and essential oils are so useful for health, happiness and well-being. I use aromatherapy for myself and my riding mule! :D

      Voted up, useful and awesome! :)

    • Southern Raised profile image

      Melissa 3 years ago from Mississippi

      Great Blog, enjoyed the information. I've always been a huge fan of herbs and now I know a lot more thanks to you.

    • dis-cover profile image
      Author

      Nikolic Predrag 3 years ago from Serbia, Belgrade

      @justmesuzanne Aromatherapy has many benefits to the person being treated. Thanks for the nice comment.

    • dis-cover profile image
      Author

      Nikolic Predrag 3 years ago from Serbia, Belgrade

      @Southern Raised Than you Melissa for the comment!

    • dis-cover profile image
      Author

      Nikolic Predrag 3 years ago from Serbia, Belgrade

      @Southern Raised Thank you Melissa for the nice comment!

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Predrag, I have just planted my herb garden and have found your hub packed full of interesting information, well written and easy to follow.

      Brilliant, thank you.

      Voted up, best wishes Lesley

    • dis-cover profile image
      Author

      Nikolic Predrag 3 years ago from Serbia, Belgrade

      Thank you Lesley for the nice comment. Wish you a beautiful day!

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