An herbal tincture or extract is commonly used for various ailments and therapeutic purposes by rubbing it on the skin or taking it as a supplement. To make a tincture, it is recommended you use a good alcohol base like vodka or rum and a high quality herb or blend of herbs. Other items needed are glass jars or bottles with lids and cheesecloths. It is easy to make a tincture, as it requires minimal ingredients to extract the powerful health benefits of various herbs and plants.
The first step to make a tincture is to gather the desired herbs, roots or plant ingredients to infuse into the alcohol base. About an ounce worth of fresh or dried herbs is preferred for making a single herb tincture. If blending different herbs together, it is advised to make sure that each plant is nontoxic and non-irritating if the tincture will be ingested or rubbed onto the skin. Many people prefer to gather their herbs on the new moon or the full moon for spiritual purposes, but there is no scientific evidence that this aids the tincture's benefits.
The herbs are first placed in a wide-mouth glass jar. Alcohol, such as vodka, is poured over the herbs, filling the jar to about one-third full. The jar is then stored in a dark place to avoid heat or light.
A 100 proof alcohol is used most often, as this strength will be powerful enough to extract all the benefits from the herb quickly and will provide a more powerful result. It is important to shake the mixture to envelop the herbs into the alcohol solution. It is also suggested to shake the jar every day, twice a day for two weeks to ensure that the alcohol and herbs are always blended together for proper extraction.
After about two weeks or longer, depending on the desired strength of the tincture, the alcohol solution is strained through a cheesecloth and into another clean glass jar or bottle. To make a tincture last, it is important to store the mixture in a cool, dark place. Most people use tinctures as herbal medicines and place a few drops in their teas or under their tongues. Other uses for tinctures include rubbing on the skin for acne or skin disorders or smelling the aromas for therapeutic value.