Updated: May 24, 2019
So what exactly is a tincture? The simplest definition is a medicine made by dissolving a drug in alcohol.
Example: “the remedies can be administered in the form of tinctures”
In this definition, the “drug” is an herb.
When making a tincture, you are using alcohol to extract the medicinal properties of the herb.
For some, using alcohol to make tinctures isn’t possible, so the best substitute is Apple Cider Vinegar.
You do not use water in a tincture. Water will make it rancid.
The purpose of a tincture, is to preserve the medicine so that it has a much longer shelf life. Tinctures are also much more potent than using the herb alone. A tincture made using alcohol can last for at least 3 years. Most of the time, they will last even longer.
This is a great solution to keeping herbs that you don’t often. Dried herbs generally only have a shelf life of about 2 years, so making an alcohol tincture will keep you from having to waste them. Using apple cider vinegar, a tincture will usually only last a maximum of 6 months.
You are never supposed to use fresh herbs because of the water content, and always make sure your jars are clean, and completely dry, before adding your herbs.
There are some items that you will need for making tinctures. Herbs, of course, are the most important.
We have a selection of organic herbs in our store's Herbs section:
The other basic supplies needed are the following:
✧Mortar and pestle (for large root herbs)
✧Pint sized jars
✧Alcohol or apple cider vinegar
(Without alcohol - Use APPLE CIDAR VINEGAR)
✧Dropper bottles (for bottling tinctures)
*Here are some links to Amazon for supplies, if needed.*
Cheesecloth - http://a.co/d/ayttkVn
Jars - http://a.co/d/hEhTFEw
Bottles - http://a.co/d/9JW1Eqv
Mortar and pestle - http://a.co/d/3FRdaWA
When making your tincture, you will add your herbs, and just enough alcohol to cover the top of them. The herbs should be completely submerged. The jar lid needs to be tightly closed, and the jar stored in a cool, dry, dark place.
About every 2 days, the jar needs to be shaken a few times. If after a week or so, the liquid is below the top of the herbs, you can add a little more. Always make sure you label the jar with the type of herbs used, and the date started.
Tinctures take 4 to 6 weeks to be ready. I usually leave mine for a full 6 weeks.
HERBS SHOULD NEVER BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR ANY SERIOUS PHYSICAL, OR MENTAL AILMENT THAT REQUIRES MEDICAL ATTENTION! ALWAYS CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR.
HERBAL TEAS AND TINCTURES SHOULD ALWAYS BE AVOIDED DURING PREGNANCY.
Tincture definition from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tincture
Magical Herbalism by Scott Cunningham