Herbal Tinctures

How to Make Herbal Tinctures

Herbal Tinctures
Making Herbal Tinctures. \Ryan McVay / Getty Images

Herbal remedies can be made into liquid tinctures from fresh herbs in six to eight weeks. Grow your own herbs or purchase them fresh from a reputable local grower.

Although dried herbs and barks can be made into herbal tinctures, it is best to use fresh plant matter (leaves, stems, and roots). Dried herbs are are better utilized for healing teas, compresses, and smudging. The blossoms of plants can also be used for making your own flower essences tinctures.

  1. Harvest Your Herbs in the Morning - Snip clippings of your herbs in the morning shortly after the morning dew has evaporated.shortly after the morning dew has dried. Herbs are often the most flavorful when picked before they begin to flower. Snipping back the buds prior to flowering will help keep your herbal plants in their most healthful form. 
  2. Do Not Wash Your Herbs - No need to wash your clipped herbs and it is better not to. Do remove any loose dirt and cut away damaged parts from the plants.
  3. Chop Chop! - Coarsely chop the leaves, stems, and root material. If the plant was in bloom when you harvested it include whole blossoms in with the chopped parts.
  4. Sterilize Glass Jars - Prior to placing your cut blossoms and chopped plant materials into a jars be sure to wash them throughly with soap and hot water. Don't forget to rinse them. You can also choose to sterilize your jars by boiling them on your stovetop or in a dishwasher cycle.
  1. You'll Need a Preservative - Pour a liquid preservative of your choice (brandy, vodka, vegetable glycerine, or apple cider vinegar) over the herb material.
  2. Tighten and Secure Lid -  Be sure to seal jar with a tight-fitting lid.
  3. Label and Date - Label the jar with name of herb and date of preparation.
  1. Storage Place and Time - Store prepared herb jars in a dark cabinet for six to eight weeks.
  2. Weekly Maintenance - Each week visit your preparations and give them a good shake.
  3. Filling the Tincture Bottles - After the storage period strain out the herbs, separating them from the liquid. Pour the liquid into the tincture bottles. Make sure the bottles have been cleaned before filling.

Typical dosage is 15-20 drops from an herbal tincture. However, dosages of herbal remedies will vary depending on the potency of the herb being used, what the healing purpose it is being applied, and the recipient's tolerance to the specific herb.

Reference: The Healing Sourcebook, Herbal Tinctures, David Vennells, O-Books