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How to Make Your Own Herbal Tinctures


Believe it or not, making your own herbal tinctures is way easier than you think.


Tinctures are thought to have been around since the production of alcohol began, around 12,000 years ago, in places like what is now Egypt, Turkey, and Israel. The Ebers Papyrus is quite possibly the oldest medical text in existence, dating back to circa 1550 BC(and even older by some accounts). The original scroll contains 700 magical formulas and folk remedies that the ancient Egyptians used for everything from pregnancy to broken bones and even covers "channel theory", which is the basis for modern acupuncture.



Benefits of tinctures:

-Safer than pharmaceuticals

Herbal tinctures have a long history of safety. You are in control of exactly which products are going into your body. Side effects and allergic reactions from herbs are very rare.

-Long shelf life

With the proper preparation, tinctures can last for many years. The average tincture made from alcohol can last for up to 5 years!

-Alcohol transport

When you use a tincture made from alcohol, the alcohol acts as a transport agent to rapidly deliver the herbal constituents into the bloodstream.


What you will need:

  • Herbs(fresh or dried)

  • Large funnel

  • 100 proof alcohol(can be made by diluting 120 proof Everclear)

  • 1L wide-mouth Mason jar

  • Masking tape and permanent marker for labeling

  • Mesh strainer

  • Glass dropper bottles

Instructions:

  1. The first thing you need to do is make sure that you have the proper strength of alcohol. You can use anything from 80 proof(40% alcohol) to 120 proof(60% alcohol), but I prefer somewhere in the middle. Since 100 proof is not easy to find, you will need to dilute some 120 proof. Thanks to my incredible chemistry teacher Rushia, alcohol dilutions are now a piece of cake! I'll go ahead and give you the equation in case you feel brave and want to use it and I'll also give you the answer that I have already calculated. If you want to make up a different volume, all you need to do is plug the numbers into the equation and recalculate:)

The formula for calculating a dilution is (C1) (V1) = (C2) (V2) where...

C1 is the concentration of the starting solution.

V1 is the volume of the starting solution.

C2 is the concentration of the final solution.

V2 is the volume of the final solution.

So if we want to make 1L(1000mL) of 100 proof alcohol but we only have 120 proof alcohol:

(120) (V1) = (100) (1000mL)

V1 = 833.33 mL

This means we need to add 166.67mL of distilled water to 833.33 mL of the 120 proof alcohol to end up with 1000mL of 100 proof alcohol


2. It's time to add your herbs to the mason jar. Some people like to do a 1:2 or 1:3 (herb:alcohol) ratio, others prefer 1:4 or 1:5. It really just depends on how potent you want the tincture to be. Dried herbs tend to be more potent so you can use a 1:4 or 1:5 ratio for dried herbs and a 1:2 or 1:3 ratio for fresh herbs.


3. Once you fill the jar with your desired amount of herbs and alcohol, place a piece of wax paper over the opening of the jar and secure the lid on top. Shake the jar vigorously and make sure that all of the herbs are covered with alcohol.


4. Shake jar once a day and you’re tincture will be ready in about 4 weeks.


5. At this point, you can choose to leave the jars as is or... strain the herbs out with a mesh cloth and fill dropper bottles with your tincture.

6. Be sure to store tinctures in a dark place to avoid decreased potency.

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