I received some comments on a previous post asking for instruction on how to make tinctures. I don't have pictures to share - but it truly is so simple. I think the instructions will be sufficient.
I use two methods. One alcohol is based and the other glycerin based. I will share with you both methods here. You may use any combination of herbs in either base. The glycerin is sweet and adds that characteristic to the tincture which is often a very nice feature, especially when making remedies for children or those who can not (or should not) consume alcohol. Glycerin requires added heat to extract the properties from the herbs, while alcohol does not. Alcohol just needs time and warmth is helpful.
Crock Pot Glycerin Tincture
1. Line the bottom of your crock pot with a hand towel.
2. Fill pint jar(s) half way** with dried herbs (or packed full of fresh).
3. Pour (pure) boiling water over the herb, just enough to cover. Fill the rest of the jar with vegetable glycerin. Put the lid on and shake well.
4. Put the jar standing up on the towel in the crock pot. Fill the crock pot with boiling water, about 3/4 way of the side of the jars.
5. Put the lid on the crock and and set it to the lowest setting (warm). Let it steep for 3 days.
6. When the time is up. Take it out, let it cool enough to handle it. Strain, squeeze and press all the tincture out of wet herbs. Bottle it in a glass jar (dark glass if possible) and store it in a cool dark place. (A cupboard is good.) Be sure to date and label your tincture.
** If using dried roots or barks, only fill jar 1/3 with herbs. They swell significantly and need more space.
Passive Alcohol Tincture
1. Fill any size jar half full of dried herbs of choice or packed full of fresh herbs.
2. Pour alcohol of choice over the herb to the top of the jar. (The higher the proof - the greater the pull it will have. My favorite is grain alcohol it doesn't have the fumy effect of other alcohols. I like Brandy for Elderberries. However, you can use vodka, bourbon, rum etc.)
3. Cap and shake well. Put in a dark warm place for 6 WEEKS. I like to do mine from new moon to full moon (a month and half later) when I can. Shake as often as you can. Daily would be best, but I am doing good if I remember weekly.
4. When the time is up. Take it out, let it cool enough to handle it. Strain, squeeze and press all the tincture out of wet herbs. Bottle it in a glass jar (dark glass if possible) and store it in a cool dark place. (A cupboard is good.) Be sure to date and label your tincture.
It's that simple. The old and natural ways ARE simple. It is one of the reasons why I love them.
This post was shared at Wild Crafting Wednesday.