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How-To


Make a Glycerite

Glycerites (tinctures/extracts made with glycerine) are syrupy liquids that provide an alcohol-free alternative to the more popular alcohol tincture. Glycerine has a sweet taste but doesn't affect sugar levels. It is preferred by children over an alcohol or vinegar tincture. We normally mix our glycerites with alcohol tinctures to reduce the sweetness. Honey can also be used in place of glycerine.

As with all remedies, directions for making glycerites vary from one book to another. We make ours by filling a jar 1/3-1/2 full of herbs (1/2 full makes the brew stronger). Add just enough hot water to get the herbs wet and fill the jar to about 1/2 inch from the top with glycerine. After closing the jar tightly, place it in a crock-pot with a small towel underneath to keep the jar from breaking. Fill the crock-pot with water up to the top of the jar (not touching the lid), and leave it on the lowest setting for 3 days, keeping the glycerine hot but not boiling, and add water as necessary.

After about 3 days, carefully strain the hot and sticky herbal mixture through a cheesecloth into a glass container. Squeeze the herbs a bit, pour a small amount of boiling water over them, and then discard them. Close tightly and label the glycerite tincture. We have kept and used our tinctures for several years.

By the way, if your crock-pot gets too hot on the lowest setting, the herbs will smell like they are burning and turn dark and strong smelling within 24 hours. This will not ruin the glycerite, but it does speed up the process and may not be quite as effective as a slow heat. We have a crock-pot that gets too hot, so after about 42 hours, we go ahead and strain the mixture and it is just fine. You can also water bathe the herb/glycerine mixture by placing the closed jar in hot water on the stove for 3 days. The idea is to break down the herbs so that the properties are released into the glycerine. You have succeeded when the mixture becomes dark and strong smelling.

The following books have been our best references on making our own tinctures at home over the years:


From our Mailbox

First, I just want to say, thank you. I have made a few orders from BHS, and have been just thrilled with the herbs and books. My husband thinks it's great too. I have only been doing the "herbal thing" for a few months, and was actually excited for one of the kids to get sick, so I could try a few things out on them. Well, recently, all 4 of our children caught the flu, and I treated them using herbs, probiotics, baths and poultices. They recovered SO quickly! The next week, hubby got a cold and I asked him if I could mix something up for him. He said that after seeing how the kids responded to their herbal treatments, that he would take anything I had to give him! Well, I made what we have since dubbed 'the powerhouse' ( Echinacea, goldenseal, Yarrow and Cayenne), and that cleared him up right quick! Thank you so much for helping me to be confident and take responsibility for my family's healthcare.

Sincerely,
~Kjersten H.


Did You Know?

Cayenne powder has been used by researchers in Antarctica to help them bear the extremely cold temperatures. The cayenne powder is sprinkled into their boots before putting them on. As the powder slowly comes in contact with the skin through the socks, it will draw blood to the feet, thus bringing much needed warms to the extremities. The one draw back is the red powder stains light colored socks. From our readings, it seems the stained socks were a small price to pay for the great benefit of being able to feel your toes after a little while out in the blistering cold! After trying this on a number of occasions during the winter near Lake Superior, I'm also convinced the stained socks are worth it.