The 10 Most Useful Herbal Tinctures

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.

This summer why not make some or ALL of these 10 incredibly useful herbal tinctures and keep them in the house for when you really need them? Don’t worry! Tinctures are really easy to make and even easier to use. If you’ve not made one before you can learn how to make a herbal tincture here.

Most herbs can be made into tinctures and their properties can be preserved for longer by the alcohol used, but it’s also true that some herbs are particularly suited to being made into a tincture. Here we’re going to take a look at which herbs are the best to make into a tincture and are useful to keep close at hand for common ailments, cuts and bruises, relaxing or an instant detox! In no particular order:

1. A drop of Echinacea tincture is most effective if used at the onset of a minor cold or illnesses to boost your immune system and help your body shorten the duration of the illness. You can also dilute Echinacea tincture and put in a spray bottle to make an effective sore throat spray.

2. ‘Chamomile‘ is known in Germany as ‘alles zutraut’ which means its good for everything! Chamomile tincture can be used up to three times per day as a mild relaxant, to help get off to sleep, and for pain relief, including the pain of menstrual cramps and headaches. You can even soak a clean cloth in a few drops of diluted tincture of Chamomile and apply it to a cut or burns for a soothing compress.

3. The oils in Rosemary are made up of chemicals that are anti-oxidant and in some cases have proved as effective as commercial food preservatives. Rosemary tincture can be taken internally with water to fight infection or bacteria, or to prevent minor food poisoning and can also be applied externally on minor cuts and grazes. Rosemary tincture’s aroma is strong enough to act as a decongestant and can help relieve congestion caused by colds and flu.

4. Peppermint tincture is certainly a useful addition to your herbal medicine supplies. Peppermint tincture can be taken to treat indigestion and other common stomach ailments. It can also be rubbed in to the skin to ease a mild headache and can relieve minor muscle aches and pains.

5. Traditionally Ginger is an important herb in the treatment of colds and flu and it may have powerful antibacterial and antiviral properties. Ginger tincture can make a soothing drink that can reduce inflammation in the body and increase circulation as well as relieving digestive problems such as gas, bloating and nausea.

6. Thyme is widely used as an expectorant and as a relaxant of the respiratory tracts to calm a hard to shift cough or persistent sore throat. Thyme tincture can be mixed with warm water and honey to make a soothing syrup but it can also be applied externally as an antiseptic on minor wounds.

7. Lavender is nature’s most popular and effective stress-reliever. For a restful sleep and to help with relaxation or stress relief, a spoonful of tincture in a glass of water or even added to your bath, works wonders.

8. Calendula (also known as Marigold flowers) tincture is most effective if applied topically to minor cuts and scrapes to promote the bodies natural healing abilities. You can apply the tincture to a cotton swab and apply directly to the wound, or you can add it to a cream-based salve.

9. Dandelion root’s diuretic properties make it useful for a wide-range of ailments including the bloating associated with pre-menstrual syndrome, weight control and high blood pressure. Dandelion root tincture, when taken internally with water can stimulate the functions of the large organs such as the kidneys and the liver and is often used in herbal weight loss programs.

10. Milk Thistle is most effective when made into a tincture and taken a few drops up to three times a day. Milk Thistle is widely used to treat alcoholic Hepatitis and can help repair liver cells damaged by alcohol and other toxic substances by stimulating protein synthesis. Milk Thistle tincture has also proven helpful to those suffering from IBS and high cholesterol.

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