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How do you feel about herbal medicine?

Making tinctures Vote_lcap8%Making tinctures Vote_rcap 8% 
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Total Votes : 13

Making tinctures Empty Making tinctures

Post by Medicine Mom on Thu May 07, 2009 12:21 pm

"An herbal tincture is an alcoholic extract of an herb."
The alcohol dissolves the active component of the herb.


To make your own, place enough fresh or dried herb in a canning jar to fill it 3/4 full. Add enough vodka (100 proof) to the herb to fill the jar completely. Cover the jar with a cloth or loose fitting lid and allow the mixture to stand in a cool dark place for 10 - 12 days. Do not use a tight lid as some less experienced herbalists will try to tell you. Herbs will release gases, especially when fresh. The mixture needs to be able to vent or the build up of gas can break the container. Strain the liquid through a paper coffee filter and discard the spent herb. The recovered liquid should be bottled in a dark glass container and labeled for use. Tinctures made in this manner have a shelf life of up to 20 years, when properly stored.


Last edited by Medicine Mom on Mon May 11, 2009 12:31 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Making tinctures Empty Re: Making tinctures

Post by Marie on Thu May 07, 2009 11:15 pm

I voted 'it complements mainstream medicine', but maybe I should have voted "I wish I knew more"... cuz I do Smile
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Making tinctures Empty Re: Making tinctures

Post by 7dawn on Fri May 08, 2009 6:48 am

I haven't voted. I lean more towards it is the only way to go, but on the other hand my husband is on an insulin pump so we are a bit stuck there and then there are times I think just give me drugs! Very Happy


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Making tinctures Empty Re: Making tinctures

Post by Sonshine on Fri May 08, 2009 12:29 pm

I voted that I wish I knew more. Fortunately we have a couple of herbalist on the forums, so I'm sure they'll be willing to teach us quite a bit.
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Making tinctures Empty Tinctures

Post by Parsons Wife on Fri May 08, 2009 10:15 pm

"Cover the jar with a cloth or loose fitting lid and allow the mixture to stand in a cool dark place for 10 - 12 days." In my classes, (Rosemary Gladstar) they recommended 6 weeks for medicinals with a shaking every day. I don't think I've ever decanted after just 10-12 days. It's interesting to learn that every "teacher" has a different method. Of course, to add to that, I would never recommend anything other than glass to make or store a tincture.

I will enjoy this sharing of knowledge Smile
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Making tinctures Empty Re: Making tinctures

Post by Sonshine on Fri May 08, 2009 10:30 pm

Parsons Wife wrote:"Cover the jar with a cloth or loose fitting lid and allow the mixture to stand in a cool dark place for 10 - 12 days." In my classes, (Rosemary Gladstar) they recommended 6 weeks for medicinals with a shaking every day. I don't think I've ever decanted after just 10-12 days. It's interesting to learn that every "teacher" has a different method. Of course, to add to that, I would never recommend anything other than glass to make or store a tincture.

I will enjoy this sharing of knowledge Smile

I figured you and Medicine Mom would enjoy sharing with one another. I know both of you have a lot of share with us and teach us. I'm excited about this, since that's where I'm focusing my learning on right now. See how good God is? Sent us not one, but two herbalists to teach us. bounce
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Making tinctures Empty Re: Making tinctures

Post by Medicine Mom on Sat May 09, 2009 12:45 am

Parsons Wife wrote:"Cover the jar with a cloth or loose fitting lid and allow the mixture to stand in a cool dark place for 10 - 12 days." In my classes, (Rosemary Gladstar) they recommended 6 weeks for medicinals with a shaking every day. I don't think I've ever decanted after just 10-12 days. It's interesting to learn that every "teacher" has a different method. Of course, to add to that, I would never recommend anything other than glass to make or store a tincture.

I will enjoy this sharing of knowledge Smile

I usually leave mine for at least 2 weeks, often a month or more. I have read~repeatedly~ that after 4-6 weeks there is no benefit to leaving it longer. I only use glass.

My dispensing bottles come from Specialty Bottles.
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Making tinctures Empty Tinctures

Post by Parsons Wife on Sat May 09, 2009 1:56 am

I took my Herbal arts studies through Rosemary Gladstar who is a proponent of six weeks. After reading your posting, I looked through other texts that I have to see what they had to say. Admittedly, I used most everyone else for reference and not study. Here is what I came up with, which does help me to re-think my own processes a little further, (though I would still feel leaving longer won't hurt a thing, which I'm sure you'd agree). I really appreciate your insights and am interested in your favorite authors and if there are more indepth courses you would recommend that aren't so costly:

Gladstar: 6 weeks
Tierra: 10 days
Weed: 6 weeks
Rodale: 10days
Rose: 10 days for plant materials ~ 8 weeks for barks and roots
Christopher: 10 - 14 days shaking 3 times a day

Christopher also makes a distinction between the menstrum used whether alcohol/vinegar or glycerin. I would think that there would be a difference between them, though my experience with glycerins is, admittedly, elementary at best.

Now a question ~ do you have info on making gels? I've been trying to find a good recipe for a comfrey gel, not salve and thus far, have not been able to find one.

Blessings, Janet
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Making tinctures Empty Re: Making tinctures

Post by Feather on Thu May 21, 2009 7:33 am

Parsons Wife wrote: <snip>
Now a question ~ do you have info on making gels? I've been trying to find a good recipe for a comfrey gel, not salve and thus far, have not been able to find one.

Blessings, Janet

Comfrey (and several other mucilaginous plants) will make it's own gel (mucilage) if you infuse it in oil. You place whole, dried comfrey leaves in clear, light vegetable oil and infuse it as I described in the oil extraction topic. https://christianhomesteader.forumotion.net/herbs-f32/extracting-oils-from-herbs-t435.htm

The mucilage will extract out of the plant and settle in a big glob of gel at the bottom of the jar. When the extraction process is completed you gently lift out the herb material with a straining spoon, then tilt the jar and drain off the remaining oil for other use, then empty the jar out over cheesecloth to catch the blob of gel. Bottle that up separately and refridgerate.

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Making tinctures Empty Re: Making tinctures

Post by Parsons Wife on Thu May 21, 2009 7:37 am

Is there a preservative that will keep it from having to be refrigerated? I know vitamin E will keep things for a while, but I've had a few things go rancid and would hate for that to happen with this. I hadn't thought of it's mucilaginous properties having bearing.. Thanks for the info.
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Making tinctures Empty Re: Making tinctures

Post by Feather on Thu May 21, 2009 7:51 am

Good question. No, there's no natural preservative that I know of. Even Vit. E oil will eventually go rancid after awhile if left at room temperature. I guess you could experiment by floating some gel in vinegar as a preservative, but I'm not sure if the vinegar would break it down - I've never tried that. I do know that alcohol will break it down, so I don't recommend that.
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Making tinctures Empty Re: Making tinctures

Post by Parsons Wife on Thu May 21, 2009 8:00 am

I suspect vinegar, as an acid would do the same. Hmmmm.... I may just stick with the ointments. They're pretty easy to work with. Blessings Smile
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Making tinctures Empty Re: Making tinctures

Post by Feather on Thu May 21, 2009 9:24 am

Just one last comment here about preservation of tinctures, infusions, ointments, salves, balms, oils, etc. If the herbwife knows she will be making lots of sensitive medicines from herbs then it is worthwhile investing in a small second-hand bar fridge that can be reserved for keeping the medicines in. All pharmacies and doctors offices use them for good reason. Even alcohol tinctures will keep longer if kept in a cold dark place. If electricity and refridgeration is not available then another alternative is a cold root cellar or a water cellar crock partially immersed in a spring house.
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Making tinctures Empty Re: Making tinctures

Post by Medicine Mom on Thu May 21, 2009 10:48 am

Tinctures will last for 20 years or more without refrigeration, so I will not bother refrigerating. In fact, I have a bottle of capsicum in my purse at all times.

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