Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Making Your Own Medicine: Tinctures

I have been researching and finally began making my own herbal tinctures on Saturday.

I am currently making Chamomile, Lavender and Ginger Tinctures.

I have gotten many books from the library and read up on things on reliable websites and will share my knowledge with you :)

What is a tincture??
Tinctures are made from soaking herbs in alcohol extracting a wide range of constituents from the herb. Tinctures have a long shelf life, are easily combined with other herbs, easily absorbed into the body, easy to transport, and are very concentrated. 

Why would I want to make a tincture??
Depending on what you are looking to get out of your home-made remedy, you can select an herbs that meets your needs. Tinctures are easy to throw in your purse and keep for a long time. You could always have herbal teething medicine, immune boosters, infection fighters, and fever reducers in your purse!

What about the alcohol base and using them with children??
Dosage is VERY important to follow. As I share exactly which herbs I am making tinctures from, I will share dosage information (FROM RELIABLE SOURCES) as well as different options for giving the dosages to your kids, or even to yourself or another adult. 

Is there something else I can use to make a tincture then alcohol??
Yes. You can use apple cider vinegar. This will extract some of the medicinal properties of the plant, but from what I understand, alcohol is the best. It is not recommended to use white vinegar.

Are there other alternatives to herbal medicine then tinctures??
Yes! You can use infusion (tea) or essential oils (some are NOT to be taken internally however). You can also put herbs in your bath, make creams or rubs out of them (infections, breathing rubs, inflamed joints ect.)

Oh the possibilities are endless, and the research is incredible!! So now...

How To Make An Herbal Tincture:

Things You Need:
100 Proof Vodka
Mason Jar
Organic Herb (Root or Flower) of Choice

(1) Sterilize Jar by boiling it in water. Let it boil for about 5-10 minutes. 
(2) Fill jar with herb of choice a little over 1/2 way.
(3) Fill jar with Vodka. I don't go all the way to the rim. Maybe stop 1/2in from the top.
(4) Put cover on and wait 6 weeks. Shake your mason jar every two days to mix up the herbs it the Vodka. Store in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight.

6 Weeks later...
(5) Drain the alcohol into another jar removing the herbs (with a cheese cloth, small-pored strainer ect)
(6) LABEL!! Remember what it is and when you made it!! You can even make a label with dosage amounts and what that tincture is good for.

Then use it! Get little dropped jars and store some in your travel bags. 

I am really excited about this! Here is a picture of my 3-day old Chamomile and Lavender tinctures.

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