Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Supplies: Make your own Herbal Tinctures

If you're like me and have bought various types of supplements online over the last several years, you might want to start thinking about more efficient ways to deliver those herbal remedies with a fraction of the cost.  Actually, it's not just about the money, but more about the quality and the absence of hidden, mysterious, unwanted ingredients, binders, etc. Think about it...  Do you really know what all is in those supplements that you commonly buy online or at your local health store?

I'm dividing this subject into two parts.  The first subject, on this post, is entitled "Supplies: Make your own Herbal Tinctures."  The second subject, which I'll write next on another post, will involve the supplies you will need to make your own herbal capsules - which is the method I prefer.

Personally, I never use tinctures since I don't mind taking numerous amounts of herbal capsules daily. However, when the tinctures are made with alcohol, the potency of the herbs will last a long time, to say the least.  Oh, that reminds me, some of the folks that are against alcohol often choose to use vinegar as the tincture base instead, although it will not be as potent nor will it last as long, but whatever floats your boat.  Alcohol is well-known for its ability to extract those beneficial compounds from the whole herbs at a more effective rate, but that is another subject entirely.  But for those worried about alcohol extracts, fear not.  You would only be consuming a few drops of the diluted stuff and it wouldn't even register on the scale of drinking.

Now that we have gotten the intro out of the way, let's move on to the supplies that you will need.  You will need mason jars (or something similar with a lid) to store the initial tincture mixture.  You will need 100 proof alcohol (vodka) or for a weaker tincture you will need vinegar or water to add to the vodka (why would you do that?).  Most people mix about 1 to 2 cups of whole crushed herb for every 1 to 2 cups of 100 proof vodka for most herbal tincture recipes.  You will mix this in a mason jar and let it set for about 6 weeks or thereabouts.  Every day or two (at least once or twice a week), make sure to shake it around a bit to help with the extraction process.

When your mixture is ready, you will now need a strainer, a tiny funnel, and some little tincture bottles with the dropper thingy.  You first pour the mixture through a strainer and into another jar, which will be your pure, filtered tincture that you will be using.  Now, you just need to funnel it into the dropper bottles.  Depending on what type of herb it actually is, you use the tincture daily or whenever needed by simply adding several drops of the extract into water or whatever beverage you like to add it to.  Yep, simple as that.  As you can see, it really doesn't call for a lot of supplies.  It just takes several weeks to extract the herb into the solution, but that's not a big deal.  Tinctures are mainly for convenience anyway, but, like I said before, I'd much rather supplement my diet by taking the whole herb in capsule form; cheers!

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