How To Make a Herbal Tincture

What you'll need

MEASURES: Use 200g Dried Herb to 1 Litre 25 per cent Ethyl Alcohol (if using Brandy, or similar 40 per cent spirit, add 37.5cl of the spirit to 60cl of water to have 1 Litre of 25 per cent)

Clean, sealable 2 Litre Jar

Clean 2 Litre Jug

Dark, medicine bottle Buy Bottle

DOSE: 1 Teaspoon up to three times a day. Dilute with a little water.

Some herbs contain elements that are not easy to extract with hot water and also they might be vulnerable in heat. A tincture is the concentrated extract of a herb, made by mixing it with alcohol, which is normally 25 per cent volume, and water. The alcohol preserves the power of the herb for up to two years. Tinctures produced commercially are made using Ethyl Alcohol but you can use brandy or vodka at home (never use industrial or isopropyl alcohol because they are poisonous).

Pour your herbs into a jar and then cover them with the alcohol. Put a lid on the jar and put it away in a cupboard, away from sunshine and not too warm. Leave it there for two weeks but sometimes shake the jar to mix the contents.

After two weeks, pour the liquid through a very fine strainer, jelly bag or muslin, into a jug. Pour all the mixture into the strainer and squeeze it to make sure all the liquid comes out.

Finally, you can now pour the strained liquid into a medicine bottle, ideally one with dark glass to protect the mixture from sunlight, and store in a cool dry cupboard. Don’t forget to label your tincture so you know what’s in it.

NB a tincture is a strong concentrate and therefore should be used for short periods only. Don’t use more than recommended and don’t be tempted to increase the dose. If you are in any doubt about taking a tincture you should consult a medical or herbal professional. Never give a tincture to a child, breastfeeding mother or if you are pregnant. Once you’ve made your tincture keep it out of reach of children.

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