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Make your own herbal tinctures

Tinctures are herbal extracts made without the necessity of a heat source, in contrast to teas or decoctions. Typically, tinctures are alcohol-based, using the highest proof vodka you can find. However, white vinegar or pharmaceutical grade glycerin can be used instead, if desired.

You will need:

    - Vodka 
    - A 16-ounce wide mouth Mason jar with lid
    - Muslin (cheesecloth)
    - 4 ounces of fresh herbal material (leaves and flowers)         

To Make:

    1. Place the herbs into the bottom of the Mason jar.
    2. Add enough vodka to fill the jar to about one-half inch
        below the rim.

    3. Cap the jar and screw down the top.
    4. Store the jar in a cool, dark place, away from heat
        and direct sunlight.

    5. After six weeks, strain the contents of the jar through
        muslin or cheesecloth. Discard the herbal material.

    6. Store the tincture in sterile, glass containers. Many
        herbalists like to use amber or cobalt bottles with
droppers for this purpose.


100-proof vodka is ideal, but may be hard to obtain in certain areas. If that’s the case, use 80-proof, but please avoid 190-proof or 151 vodka (i.e., Everclear) since they can damage the liver. Also, if you wish to use organic vodka, two are sold under the brand names of Rain and Square One.

If stored properly, herbal tinctures will retain their medicinal properties for two years.

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