Updated: Jul 12
Tincture. Some of us have heard the word before but have no idea what it means. Some have never heard that word in their lives. And then there is that small percent of the population that knows that a tincture is a liquid extract of an herb. How do we get a concentrated liquid extract, that is effective though?
When we want to put an herb into our body, there are a few different methods to go about that action.
-The first, and easiest way, is to simply eat the plant. Which is what we do when we chop fresh basil or oregano and add it to our food.
-The second way (which plays to our modern medicine ways) is to swallow a pill (capsule) which has powdered herb inside of it. (Which is great for taking ill tasting bitter herbs, to bypass the taste receptacles in the mouth.)
-The 3rd way is to take your herbs via Tea or infusion. When you make a tea with your medicinal herbs, you are really only getting the chemical constituents that are water soluble.
-And our 4th method is to take an herbal extract (Tincture). Tinctures are concentrated. This is how we make ours at the Apothecary
The method of making a tincture is:
~Chop or grind plant material into the smallest particles.
~Fill a jar half way full of herbs (recipes will vary depending on the herb in use).
~Fill the rest of the jar with a mixture of alcohol (not rubbing alcohol) and water. The ratio of alcohol to water varies depending on which herbs are used and if they are dry or fresh.
~ Let sit for 4-8 weeks in a cool dark place and shake daily.
A tincture is make by soaking the herb in an alcohol/water mixture, so that all of the chemical constituents in the herb can be transferred into the liquid. Some are soluble in water and some are soluble in the alcohol. This way you are getting the full spectrum of constituents a plant has to offer. You can also buy tinctures with no alcohol in them. They are made with either Vegetable Glycerin or Vinegar; but, they may not be as effective as one made with an alcohol base. Because a tincture is concentrated, you only have to take between 10-60 drops verses a whole cup of herbal tea.
Tinctures are taken orally. The best method is to put the dosage under your tongue for quick absorption; however, may not always be the most pleasant way. If the tincture has a higher amount of alcohol, it may burn. Some tinctures say to dilute in water. That does cut out the alcohol burn, nor disguise the unpleasant taste of the herbs.
My favorite method is to take my dosage and drop it into a small glass (shot glasses from your college days are a great size), and then fill the glass (1oz) with a strong flavored juice. This way I am able to take all my daily tinctures all at one convenient time.
Most local herb, vitamin, or supplement shop carry tinctures so you should e able to find them quite easily, and it may open your world up to a whole new way of natural healing. The best selection that we have to offer from Wisconsin home grown or wild crafted herbs is right here at our shops and online.