Tincture Definition and Instructions

Beaker filled with alcohol and lavendar (lavendar tincture)

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A tincture (tinc·tureˈ/tiNGkCHər) is an extract of a sample into a solution. Usually, the word tincture refers to an alcohol extract, although other solvents may be used. Tinctures most commonly are used to prepare extracts of plants, such as vanilla, lavender, and cannabis. However, the process also works with animal samples and nonvolatile inorganics, such as iodine or mercurochrome.

Typical Tincture Preparation

  1. Place herbs in a container.
  2. Cover with an alcohol solution containing 40% ethanol, or a higher concentration. Vodka or Everclear are popular choices. Denatured alcohol is not suitable for tinctures to be taken orally.
  3. Seal the container and let it sit for 2-3 weeks, shaking the jar every now and then to ensure a good extraction.
  4. Filter out the plant matter. Save the liquid (the tincture), keeping it in a dark-colored bottle, away from direct sunlight and heat.