How To Make Your Own Herbal Tinctures At Home

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Herbal Tinctures


There is no real limit to the different herbs you can use to make tinctures. Tinctures are alcohol extractions that are extremely easy to prepare and even easier to use! We take a look at the best herbs to use when starting out making tinctures. Read on to find out which ones come highly recommended.

There are thousands of herbs available that have been tested by both time and science. Many have medicinal actions and carry the potential to assist us with a wide array of conditions and disorders. Some of them help us to relax and take the edge off stress and anxiety. Others give our immune systems the boost they need to overcome a cold or cough.

Whatever herb is being used, there are always quite a few options when it comes to methods of intake. Herbal tea is one of the easiest ways, but it isn’t exactly the most potent. Herbal tinctures, on the other hand, offer a method of preparation that makes them quite potent and concentrated.

Alcohol As A Solvent

A tincture is essentially a type of herbal extract that uses alcohol as a solvent to absorb the active constituents of the herbs in question. Many other types of herbal extracts use water, vinegar and glycerin as ways to obtain the desired molecules. What makes a tincture a tincture, however, is the inclusion of alcohol. Alcohol, especially the stronger stuff, does a good job of preserving the ingredients. Additionally, it typically extracts more of the desired elements of the plants than other methods.

Tinctures are fun to make and also add a degree of self-sufficiency to our lives. Making your own tinctures gives you the power and drive to start learning about the benefits of certain herbs and how to use them. Knowing what herbs are best for you could even make you less reliable on some types of over-the-counter medicine. Tinctures are fast acting extracts that come in unique forms to initiate specific benefits.

HOW TO USE AN HERBAL TINCTURE

Dropping Under The Tongue

Tinctures are quite flexible in their method of intake. The end result is usually a dropper bottle filled with the herb-infused alcohol. This can be taken straight by dropping under the tongue where it will be rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream. Alternatively, tinctures can be infused into soups, smoothies, juices and even put into teas. There is no real limit on how to use a tincture, just be very mindful of the dosage. Luckily, many plants have a safe dosage threshold.

Also, be sure to talk with your doctor about the herbs you wish to take before you start a new regimen. This is especially true if you have any diseases, disorders or are taking medications of any kind.

THE BEST HERBS FOR TINCTURES

As mentioned, there are so many herbs out there which sustain an incredible spectrum of outcomes. Here are our suggestions for the best herbs to start out using in your tinctures.

CHAMOMILE

Chamomile Tincture

There are two types of chamomile used in tinctures, German chamomile and English chamomile. This herb has been utilised by different cultures for hundreds of years for a multitude of reasons. Chamomile is known to ease an upset stomach, assist with sleep, reduce swelling and combat bacteria. Other traditional uses of the herb include relief of chest colds, minor wounds, psoriasis, eczema and skin rashes. Further conditions that chamomile appears to be effective for are depression, anxiety, allergies, ulcers and haemorrhoids.

Additionally, chamomile has been shown to be a good source of antioxidants, compounds that help to prevent oxidative stress caused by free radicals that can result in DNA damage. The herb is also associated with good heart health due to the high level of flavonoids found within. Flavonoids are compounds linked to lower levels of coronary heart disease.

Chamomile is reported to help with digestive health and can be used to treat conditions such as gas, motion sickness, diarrhoea and indigestion.

CATNIP

Catnip Tincture

Catnip is usually associated with the strong, mind-altering effects it produces in cats. Aside from this, catnip has proven health benefits for humans. The flowering tops of this herb have been used to make medicine and traditional uses of catnip include application for conditions like insomnia, anxiety, migraine, headaches, colds, respiratory infections, hives, fever, indigestion, cramping and more.

Catnip is especially helpful at relieving stress and enhancing sleep. The same property that causes cats to get high also acts as a sedative. Therefore, catnip can assist with cases of stress and anxiety, especially for those who struggle to fall asleep at night.

As well as being a medicinal herb, catnip contains many beneficial nutrients in the form of vitamins and minerals.

With this in mind, catnip may also carry unwanted side effects depending on pre-existing conditions. Always conduct research beforehand and ask you doctor for more information.

PEPPERMINT

Peppermint Tincture

Peppermint is plant that grows abundantly and will gradually take over a garden if allowed. Peppermint has traditionally been used for colds, coughs, inflammation, sinus infections, nausea, vomiting, morning sickness, irritable bowel syndrome, gas and stomach upset.

Peppermint extracts are also commonly invoked for headaches, muscle and nerve pain, itchiness, allergic rashes and bacterial and viral infections. This herb is also employed to combat heartburn and spasms caused by endoscopy.

Peppermint has also been associated with weight loss, as some of its active constituents have been linked to appetite reduction. Peppermint is also used by some individuals to reduce symptoms brought on by stress. Apparently, it can help to reduce blood pressure, lower body temperature and help a person to unwind.

LEMON BALM

Lemon Balm Tincture

Lemon balm is a perennial herb and a member of the mint family. The leaves feature a pleasant lemon aroma and are used to makes teas and extracts. Lemon balm has historically been employed to relieve digestive issues, vomiting, menstrual cramps, headaches and toothache.

Lemon balm is widely recognised to have a potent calming effect which is thought to be beneficial for sleep problems, anxiety, ADHD and high blood pressure. Lemon balm is even exploited as an aromatherapy herb for people with Alzheimer's disease.

Lemon balm has been shown to maintain impressive antibacterial activity. Studies even show it to be effective against Listeria monocytogenes and Staphylococcus aureus.

WHAT DO YOU NEED TO MAKE A TINCTURE?

Making a tincture isn’t that complicated and doesn’t require any specialised or expensive equipment. You will simply require your herbs of choice, a few glass jars, a piece of cheesecloth, good quality alcohol, dropper bottles and a sharp knife to chop the herb up.

HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN HERBAL TINCTURES?

Now that you have all of the equipment, it is time to proceed with making your very own tincture. When preparing a tincture, strict measurements aren’t necessarily required. Many herbalists use the folk method, involving a more relaxed and traditional approach of estimating amounts by eye.

First thing’s first, start to chop up your herbs on a clean and open work area. Once you have done this, fill one of your glass jars about ⅔ full with the plant material. Next, fill the same jar up to the top with alcohol. The higher the percentage of alcohol used, the more compounds that will be drawn out of the plants. The typical alcohol percentage used for most tinctures is between 40 and 50 percent (80-100 proof).

Place your jars in a cool, dry and dark storage space. Shake them several times a week to mix the contents. Also, refill the jar with alcohol if any appears to have evaporated. Be sure to keep the jar filled and sealed to prevent any mould or bacteria from entering.

Within a period of 6 to 8 weeks, your tincture should be ready to bottle up. Pour it through a cheesecloth and into a jar to separate the liquid from the solid plant matter. Now, pour the tincture into dropper bottles to administer it easily and efficiently. Don’t forget to attach labels to your bottles stating what herb is inside and what date the tincture was made. You can also add dosage information, alcohol percent and any other information you would like to provide.

Luke Sumpter

Written by: Luke Sumpter
Luke Sumpter is a journalist based in the United Kingdom, specialising in health, alternative medicine, herbs and psychedelic healing. He has written for outlets such as Reset.me, Medical Daily and The Mind Unleashed, covering these and other areas.

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