If you take a moment to look at our modern society very closely, you will start to see that although the field of medicine is amazing, it seems to have it’s flaws. One flaw that seems to be more in the spotlight nowadays is prescription medicine. It seems that a large majority, if not more, are more inclined to prescribe medicine that focuses on healing your symptoms instead of healing the causes.
The reason why I am getting into this somewhat is simple. Although alternative medicine, which in a way shouldn’t be called alternative medicine in the first place. (Wasn’t alternative medicine, primary medicine at one point?) Anywho what I am getting at is that although modern medicine works wonders, there are typically too many side effects that in some cases are so numerous, that it doesn’t make up for curing your one ailment.
Creating at home medicines, tinctures, salves, syrups and teas are great ways to alleviate ailments, if not, at least, help one to stave off many diseases. My wife and I have focused on home remedies from natural sources for the past couple of years and haven’t had to go to the doctor or emergency room since we started to make the shift to more natural medicines that boost our bodies own natural healing without the side effects.
What the heck is that?
Some of you may be wondering, what the heck is a tincture? Well, it is quite simply really. A tincture is a very concentrated liquid of herb extracts, which is some of the most popular ways to take herbal medicine internally. They are typically very easy to make and they go down easy, not to mention that they have a very long shelf life.
Most tinctures are actually made with alcohol as a type of solvent. Be aware, though, the amount of alcohol you will be consuming when utilizing your tincture is incredibly small (1-2 tsp per day). If you want you do not have to use alcohol, in fact, some people prefer to use vegetable glycerin or even apple cider vinegar instead. Be aware, though, tinctures that do not use alcohol are not as potent or strong, but they do work and are preferred for the use of children and other people who are sensitive to alcohol.
If you do plan on using alcohol as your solvent you will need to select one that is 80-100 proof. Just for additional information, “proof” is a measurement of the actual alcohol content of a spirit; half of the proof is the percentage of alcohol in the spirit. The rest of the spirit is water.
There are actually several different methods for making tinctures. This particular method, however, make just as fine a tincture as any that can be made in a lab, and it’s much easier and fun to do. All that is required to make a tincture with this traditional method are alcohol (or vinegar or glycerin), herbs, and a glass that that is equipped with a tight-fitting lid. As an additional heads up before we get into the instructions, you can use dried or fresh herbs, but if you choose to use fresh, you may want to fresh-wilt them first to allow a little bit of the moisture to evaporate.
- First, you will want to chop your herbs up fine, and place them in a clean, dry glass jar.
- Secondly, you will want to pour enough alcohol over your herbs to completely cover them by 2-3 inches, next sealing the jar with your tight-fitting lid. For a heads up if your herbs decide they want to float, it’s not unusual, you will just have to make sure that they get tired and float back down which may take a day or two. Check to see if you need to add more alcohol to reach that 2-3 inch margin. It helps to set a tic mark on your jar as a reminder of where your 2-3 inch mark is.
- Now you are ready to place your jar into a warm, sunny spot to allow your herbs to macerate for 4-6 weeks, ensuring that you give a good shake every day to keep them on their toes. At this point, you may be asking why do you want me to shake the bottle? Well, it actually helps the solvent mix thoroughly with the herbs and prevents them from settling on the bottom of the jar.
- Finally, it has been 4-6 weeks and you are ready for the last step, strain the herbs from your liquid, and then pour the rest into a clean glass jar that is also equipped with a tight lid. Store your jar in a cool, dark place. An alcohol-based tincture can keep for many years whereas a glycerin tincture will keep only for about 2-3 years, and lastly, a vinegar-based one will last about a year.
Now that you have your tincture ready, you can use it the next time you get sick! In your life travels have you come across a different way to make a tincture or way to make it better? If so then we would love to hear all about it in the comments below!
Sources: Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs 2012, P. 39-40