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 Making Herbal Tinctures

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PostSubject: Making Herbal Tinctures   Mon 12 Jul 2010, 10:47 pm

Assemble the Tools and Ingredients

  • Fresh herbs: Growing your own herbs from seed or
    plants is easy. Read the article on seed germination to
    grow your own herbs.

  • Vodka or other grain alcohol: 80 to 100 proof
    works best. The alcohol works as a preservative. When
    making herbal tinctures, it’s important to use only
    grain alcohol such as vodka.

  • Glass jar with tight fitting lid: An old jelly
    jar, baby food jars, or spaghetti sauce jars work fine.
    Make sure that the jar is sparkling clean. Use only glass
    jars. Metal or plastic may interfere with the properties
    of the herbs or leach chemicals
    into the tincture, creating a foul or ‘off’

  • Kitchen strainer, cheese cloth, or baking parchment
    to strain the tincture.

  • Bottle with dropper tip: While a bottle with an
    eyedropper-type tip is optional, most herbal tinctures
    are taken as drops added to water. Storing the tincture
    in a bottle with dropper makes it much easier to measure
    the dosage precisely. You can use any clean bottle with a
    tight-fitting cap or lid if you don’t want to
    purchase special bottles to store the tincture.

  • Stickers and a pen to label your jars.

Create the Tincture

Making herbal tinctures requires only about an hour of
preparation, but approximately three to six weeks for the herbs
to infuse into the alcohol base.

Wash all kitchen equipment, utensils, glass jars, cutting
boards and tools in hot, soapy water. Always wash your hands
thoroughly before and after working with herbs to ensure that no
bacteria from your hands contaminate the final tincture. While
the alcohol will most likely kill the bacteria, why take chances?
Prevention is the key to making long-lasting, pure tinctures.

Step by Step Guide to Making Herbal Tinctures

  • Step One: Organize Your Tools

    • Clean and dry the equipment.

    • Lay out your tools (strainer, jars, markers,
      etc.) in the kitchen.

  • Step Two: Prepare the Herbs

    • Clean fresh herbs

    • Discard bruised, stained, or discolored leaves
      and stems.

    • Use only the freshest herbs for the best results.

    • Cut or chop the herbs in a food processor,
      blender, or with a sharp knife.

  • Step Three: Make the Tincture

    • Place the chopped herbs into your glass jar.

    • Use only one type of herb in each jar.

    • Cover the chopped herbs with the alcohol. Be sure
      to cover the herbs COMPLETELY with the alcohol.
      Any herbs exposed to air and not covered with
      alcohol can become moldy or rot, making the
      tincture unusable.

    • Label the jar with the name of the herb and the
      date prepared

  • Step Four: Age the Tincture

    • Place the jars in a cool, dark area to age.

    • Wait three to six weeks.

  • Step 5: Decant the Tincture

    • Strain the tincture through the kitchen strainer,
      cheesecloth or parchment.

    • Discard the leaves and stems.

    • Pour liquid into bottles.

    • Label and date the bottles.

    • Enjoy your tincture!

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