Tinctures preserve herbs and have a long shelf life.

Tinctures preserve herbs and have a long shelf life.

Tinctures

Ingredients

A clean glass jar (at least pint size) with lid
Consumable alcohol like vodka or rum- at least 80 proof (or apple cider vinegar or food grade vegetable glycerine)
Herbs of choice (I get mine here or grow my own)

Directions

Also called an extract (in fact, the same process is used to make real vanilla extract), alcohol tinctures are the most common type and the easiest to make.

First, pick which herbs you plan to use. Here are three examples:

- Chamomile Tincture (promotes restful sleep and good skin)
- Digestion Tincture (helps with nausea and heartburn)
- Sweet Dreams Tincture (also helps promote sleep)

Fill the jar 1/3 to 1/2 full with dried herbs. Filling half full will make a stronger tincture. Do not pack down.

Pour boiling water to just dampen all of the herbs. (This step is optional but helps to draw out the beneficial properties of the herbs)

Fill the rest of the jar (or the entire jar if not using hot water too) with alcohol and stir with a clean spoon.

Put the lid on the jar. Store the jar in a cool/dry place, shaking daily, for at least three weeks and up to six months. (I usually leave herbs for six weeks)

Strain through cheesecloth and compost the herbs. Store the tincture in colored dropper bottles or clean glass jars.

Notes

The standard adult dose we take is 1/2 to 1 teaspoon up to three times a day as needed. Kids usually get 1/4 to 1/3 of the adult dose.

For children, pregnant women, or those not wanting to consume alcohol, it can be poured into a hot liquid like tea to evaporate the alcohol before consuming.

NOTE: The alcohol can be evaporated before use (see below) or a tincture can be made in the same way using apple cider vinegar, though it will need to be stored in the fridge and will only last 3-6 months.