How to Make an Herbal Tincture
Make your own herbal remedies!
Tinctures can be made at home in just a few weeks.
I make a variety of tinctures for myself, my family and my friends. I love the sense of self-sufficiency that comes out of making my own medicinals. There are a variety of opinions and methods for making tinctures. I’m going to share what I do.
Getting the medicinal qualities of the herb
The medicinal parts of plants are drawn out by both water and alcohol. By using 80 or 100 proof alcohol, you actually have a liquid that is part water and part alcohol – perfect for drawing out the medicinal constituents of the herb.
Making tinctures is simple:
- Purchase good quality, organic herbs
- Get a one-quart glass jar
- Buy 80 or 100 proof alcohol (vodka is a standard)
- Commit to shaking the mixture once or twice a day while the tincture is soaking.
- Once the tincture is ready, you just strain it, saving the liquid, and store it easy!
Step by step instructions:
I am making a tincture of the herb Astragalus, also known as “Huang Qi” in Chinese. The part of the plant that is used is the root. I purchased my organic Astragalus root from the Starwest Botanicals.
Here is the dried, cut astragalus:
Step 1. Put the dried herb into a clean glass jar:
Step 2. Pour alcohol into the jar:
Step 3. Cover and label with herb and date:
Step 4. Shake your mixture once or twice a day. Store this mixture in a cool, dark place.
How long do you let the mixture soak?
For roots and barks, I soak everything for 6 weeks.
For twigs and leaves, 4 weeks.
The concept is that heavier parts of the plant need a longer time than the lighter parts. These times are my times, other herbalists will recommend longer or shorter times.
Step 5. Strain off the plant material – SAVE THE LIQUID – this is the medicinal product that will be used later.
Step 6. Put the liquid tincture back into a clean glass jar and label it with the name of the herb and the date.
Tinctures can be poured off into smaller bottles for easier use and transport. I put tinctures into 2oz. dropper bottles.
What is the dose of herbal tinctures?
The usual dose of a tincture is 25-30 drops two times a day as needed.
This is an average dose for many types of herbs.
In order to know how much of an herb to use and what to use it for, consult a qualified herbalist.
References and Resources:
The Herbal Medicine Maker’s Handbook, by James Green, is an excellent text for making all types of herbal products.
Organic Herb Supplier:
Organic Astragalus Root