02 April 2013

How to Make an Herbal Tincture Part 2

It is a beautiful day today, The skies are clear for a change and the weather is warm, only the breeze is chilly. It hardly seems necessary to worry about fending off illness when it seems that spring is here and hopefully "cold and flu season" is over. But with spring comes allergy problems and the secondary infections that may follow, so we aren't out of the woods yet, it is wise to have your infection fighting medicinal herb tinctures ready at hand.

 In my last post on the subject, How To Make an Herbal Tincture Part 1, I explained how to begin the tincture process. In this post I will show you what to do after the 6 weeks of tincturing is accomplished. During the last six weeks the herbs have been sitting in 190 proof grain alcohol, in a dark place, while the grain alcohol works as a solvent to extract herbal essence from the plant matter. Now the extraction process is complete and the tincture is ready to be poured off and diluted for use.

Items that you will need to bottle up your tinctures:

Finished tinctures
Glass bowl 
Measuring cup or container with pouring spout
Small measuring glass like a shot glass with liquid measure marks on it, (Walmart)
Cheese cloth
One 2 oz. amber bottles with dropper lid per tincture being made. (Mountain Rose Herbs sells them for $1.50 ea. or you can use a recycled  dark glass bottle like a vanilla bottle, but you will want some sort of dropper for dispensing the tincture).
Small glass funnel that will fit in bottle or a squeeze bottle with nozzle, (Michael's may have them in the cake decorating section, I also found a set of 6 at Sam's for about $4)
Sticky backed labels or paper labels and clear packing tape

Put the strainer in a medium sized bowl and line with cheese cloth. Pour the contents of the tincture jar into the strainer and let sit for a few minutes.

Gather up the edges of the cheese cloth, hold them together, with the other hand twist the cheesecloth holding the herbs until contents are tightly drawn up. Squeeze the cheese cloth "bag" to remove any remaining tincture, until it stops dripping tincture. Some herbs are soft and this will be easy to do, other herbs are woody and squeezing the bag will not produce much liquid, if the herbs are woody, just give it a squeeze for good measure and move on to next step. Dispose of the plant material, there is nothing of value left in in it at this point.

For a 2 ounce bottle, pour 1 ounce of tincture in a small liquid ounce measuring glass pour it into your small measuring cup. 

Then fill the measuring glass with one ounce of purified or distilled water and add to ticnture in the measuring cup. This makes a working solution. Stir to mix.

Place small funnel in the 2 oz. bottle and fill the bottle. If you measured carefully, there should still be room for the dropper to fit in the bottle without overflowing. If you want to make sure not to force tincture out when initially fitting the dropper in the bottle, stick the tip of the dropper in the bottle and draw up some of the liquid into the dropper, then let the dropper down into the bottle and screw the top on firmly.

At this point you should label your dropper bottle with the contents and the fact that it is a dilution or "working solution", as well as the dosage to be taken and any warnings that need to be read before using. The rest of the tincture should be kept in the concentrated form, in a jar with a close fitting lid. If possible, store in a dark glass jar, but if that is not available then use a canning jar or other glass jar, label well with the contents and dilution instructions and store in a cool dark place. The tincture concentrate will last a long time (years), if stored properly. The diluted tincture will last a year or longer. I label my bottles and then cover the label completely with clear packing tape, so that any dribbles will not run the info on the label. I reuse my bottle over and over, I just wash them thoroughly and remove the label before reusing.

I hope that you will give making your own herbal tinctures a try. It is simple to do and the tictures will be very helpful in keeping you and your family well!

**In the near future I will be offering tincture kits, which will include everything you need to make your own home made herbal tinctures. As well as other equipment and tools that I have found useful in making my own remedies and cosmetics. I will make an announcement when I have the kits available. If you are interested and would like to have a list of things I will be offering, just leave a comment and an e-mail addy and I will send you a list which will include pricing.** 

Blog Hops this post is linked to:
Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways#67
Wildcrafting Wednesday #14
Home Acre Blog Hop #13
Farm Girl Friday Blog Hop #103
Busy Bee's Blog Hop #11
Farm Girl Blog Fest #28
Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth herbal-link-up-for-bath-body-care-


  1. Thanks for following up your previous post with the final steps! I am eager to try. Just recently my husband had an upper respiratory infection, then my son an ear infection, now it's my turn! And I believe it's all caused by allergies! I am really interested in trying the Yerba Santa; and a pre-made kit sounds wonderful!

  2. Thanks for the comment Magnolia! I relied very heavily on Yerba Santa when dealing with my youngest son's asthma. With the use of the Yerba Santa we were able to control almost all of his asthma issue without the use of steriods or an atomizer. I hope that you feel better soon and please stop by again sometime! Elle

  3. Thanks again for sharing this info at the HomeAcre Hop! See you tomorrow. :) http://blackfoxhomestead.com/the-homeacre-hop/

  4. Nice article.Thanks for sharing this useful info.

  5. Why add the water? You add it to water to take it anyway.

    1. You can use the full strength concentrate if you are adding it to water, but then you need to be certain that all of the water the dosage was diluted in is consumed. I prefer to dilute the concentrate to the dosage strength because I don't add it to water when I use the tincture. I just drop the tincture in a spoon and take it straight, so I don't leave the tincture at 190 proof, it will take your breath away! If giving it to my kids I didn't use a water carrier either, I would use honey or maple syrup, so I didn't want it at 190 proof for them either. The reason I use the 190 proof grain alcohol instead of the 90 proof vodka, when making the tincture concentrate is for the increased solvent action of the grain alcohol. It is more effective at stripping the plant essence out of the cellulose.


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