Tinctures Aren't Tricky

Have you ever heard the word "tincture" and wondered what it was?  When you hear the word tincture, do you think of some voodoo practicing nerd in the basement of their home, chanting over something that looks like a makeshift distillery?  Well, stuff that preconceived notion deep into the "never to be thought of again" crevice of your mind because this is one of the simplest connections you can make to help cure what ails you.  Let's be honest here.  We all have at least one friend who's child could have all the colors of the rainbow streaming from their nose, and they would still bring their little slimy ass over to your house to visit.  They come up to your front door hacking and coughing with snot bubbles and a dust cloud of day-old death lingering like Pigpen from Peanuts.  Because you are a great friend you let them in, but the entire visit you are trying to hash out in your mind whether you or your little roots will end up with SARS.  This is when a tincture could come in handy for many reasons.  Health benefits being first of course, and secondly, it's made with Vodka which you will need to survive the visit (I kid).  In all seriousness, tinctures are a great way to deliver what you need into your system relatively quickly, and without having to drink a lot of anything in order to do so. 

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What is a Tincture Exactly?

A tincture is a liquid extract made of herbs that are usually made with some form of clear alcohol.  I use Vodka, but some people use Gin.  An alternative would be apple cider vinegar or vegetable glycerin but I personally do not have experience in using those, so I'll stick with telling you what I know.

What You Need To Get Started

  • A dark glass bottle or jar with an airtight lid (UV rays aren't good for herbal remedies)
  • Vodka, Brandy, Gin (Clear alcohol) 
  • Herbs, roots, berries (depending on what you need)
  • Time (the key here is to do it before you need it)
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 I'm going to start with a simple recipe to boost your immune system just to get your feet wet, and once you feel comfortable, try making something for nausea, the sniffles, headaches, or something that you may feel you need on a regular basis.  The shelf life of tinctures is LONG, so it's good to have what you need on hand.  Turn your kitchen into your own little tincture lab if you want.  Now let's mix it up, shall we?

  • 3 Tsp dried echinacea
  • 1 Tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 cup dried elderberries
  • 80 proof Vodka (your alcohol should always be at least 80 proof)

Combine all of your herbs into an 8 oz jar.  Fill the rest of the jar with Vodka and seal tightly.  Put your future tincture in an area of your kitchen that doesn't get direct sun and let it sit for 1 month.  Strain out your herbs and return to the same container or if you prefer to add it to smaller containers so you can share your magic with others, it's entirely up to you, so long as it's airtight and dark in color.

Dosage: 1/4-1/2 Tsp for Adults and half of that serving for kids.  Now, for parents that don't feel comfortable giving their children 1/4 tsp or less of alcohol-based tinctures, the glycerin or ACV may be something for you.  It's a personal preference for everyone.

If you have any questions about tinctures for different ailments, feel free to email me and I will do my absolute best to help, and if I can't, I'll send you in the right direction.  The good thing about kitchen witches is that we always have a posse.  I want those of you interested in making your own tinctures and herbal remedies to feel the power in being able to create something that can keep you well.  Empower yourselves with knowledge and put that knowledge to work. Live, Love, and Grow Roots!