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Tincture Making Made Simple

by Shoshanna Easling

March 2010

I hear all the time how intimidating it is for people to make tinctures or herb concoctions. I have realized over the years that things are only complicated when you are unfamiliar with them. So, I am going to show you, step by step, how to make your own tincture at home. Also, at a fraction of the cost of store-bought tinctures, you can make a year’s supply for your family and be assured of their quality while you are doing it.

In most cases, tinctures are stronger and more effective than other herbal remedies. Vodka or vinegar tinctures are not heated to extract the medicinal properties from the plant. The liquid breaks down the plants properties and preserves them without killing any of the medicinal properties. This makes a more potent herbal medicine. Alcohol tinctures can last a long time. Make sure you keep them out of the light and heat, so they do not lose there properties. Alcohol tinctures are believed to work better than any other kind of tincture, first by extracting the medicinal properties, and then by preserving them.

Tincture Directions: You will need herbs, vodka, and a glass canning jar with a lid

1. Fill clean jar 1/3 full with dried herbs. Choose herbs (herb mix or herbs of choice) for the desired remedy.

2. Add vodka (you can also use rum or vinegar) to one inch from top of jar.

3. Screw lid on tightly. Cover with a dark cloth and put in cabinet, away from light.

4. Shake 3 to 7 times a week. You will see the vodka growing darker in color as the herbs break down and make a tincture.

5. The tincture needs to sit at least 2 weeks. You can let it sit up to six months, but after this time the vodka will have extracted all the medicinal properties from the herbs.

6. When you are ready to pour your tincture up you can use cheesecloth or a clean cotton T-shirt to strain the herbs from the tincture. Holding the cloth, with herbs inside, squeeze all the liquid out, then discard the used herbs.

7. Pour tincture liquid into a colored glass bottle and close tightly with a lid. (If you don’t have a colored bottle, you can wrap the bottle in dark paper or material to keep the light out.)

8. Label tincture with date and contents. Alcohol tinctures are good for 2 years or more.

9. Tinctures need to be kept in a cool, dark place, like a cabinet that is not used much.

Other Tips:

Start making your tincture at the start of the new moon. Two weeks later when it is full you can pour it up. This might sound strange, but the gravitational pull of the moon helps draw out the medicinal properties.

You can use rum instead of vodka. Rum helps hide the taste of bitter herbs. Standard dosage for an alcohol tincture is 1 teaspoon, 1-3 times daily, diluted in tea, juice or water.

You can also make a tincture with apple cider vinegar (use “With The Mother”, available at health food stores) if you do not want to use alcohol. Make it just like a vodka tincture but let it sit 3 weeks instead of 2 weeks. Apple cider vinegar has many amazing properties on its own and mixed with herbs it can make an amazing tincture.

Some mothers use apple cider vinegar tinctures with their children. Vinegar tinctures will only last 6-12 months. After making a vinegar tincture, keep it refrigerated. Standard dosage is 1-2 teaspoons, 2-3 times daily, diluted in tea, juice or water.

Voila!!!! There you go! Intimidation eliminated!

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From our Mailbox

Hi! Just wanted to say I LOVE the smoothie videos, very inspiring. You do a great job. My 8 year old is now making "interesting" smoothies. She wants to make them ALL the time, even if I've already eaten! Here's what she came up with this morning : 1 kale leaf; blueberries, grapes, flax seed, small amount pineapple coconut juice, and 3 ice cubes. I wasn't sure how it was going to taste but much to my suprise, it was REALLY good. We will have to buy some herbs so we can get even more healthy benefits. You are right about teaching kids about good nutrition from an early age. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us and inspiring us to be creative. God Bless. ~Joy

Did You Know?

After childbirth, a mama's body is gearing up for breastfeeding. It also begins a cleansing process as chemicals, hormones, and nutrients are all adjusting to proper levels as before the pregnancy. The liver, kidneys, colon, etc. are all very involved in this cleansing. Herbs that aid in this process are known as liver cleansers and as blood purifiers. Amazingly enough, many of the liver cleansers and blood purifiers also promote milk production. Some of these herbs are: Fennel, Fenugreek, Blessed Thistle, and Dandelion. Most of us may not see the relation between breastfeeding and cleansing. However, God provided the herbs that aid the new mother to get both jobs done. The Mama's Milk Tea recipe was contributed by one of our readers, and includes herbs for after birth.