What You Need
• Herb – washed if fresh or clean & dried
• Alcohol – amount will vary to cover total herb quantity
• Optional: for fresh roots – pruners to chop plant material and vegetable brush to clean roots.
• Clean mason jar with new lid (no nicks!)
• Label, permanent marker and clear packing tape
• Amber glass dispensing bottle with polyseal cap
• Stainless steel funnel that fits into dispensing bottle
• Potato ricer or similar implements for pressing out the finished tincture
• Cloth for straining your herbal tincture: choose from muslin, tighter weave cheesecloth, cotton gauze fabric or a clean old t-shirt.
1. Gather supplies & clean everything.
2. Chop plant material finely and place in an appropriate sized mason jar. Smaller pieces of plant material expose more surface area to your menstruum and extract more medicine.
FRESH flowers, seeds, leaves & bark: cover with menstruum leaving ~1 inch of liquid above the plant material.
FRESH roots: cover with menstruum leaving a ~2 inches of liquid above plant material.
DRIED flowers, seeds, leaves & bark: cover with menstruum, leaving ~3-4 inches of
liquid above the plant material.
DRIED roots: place in a mason jar large enough that the roots will fill half the jar and then fill jar almost to the top with menstruum.
The plant material may float, making it challenging to leave liquid on top. Sometimes you can press it down in a few days as the plant material absorbs the menstruum.
3. Place the lid on the jar and label with the following info using a permanent marker:
Common name, scientific name, date, menstruum & proportions
Optional but recommended: location herb was gathered or grown. Lot # (purchased herb).
Cover label with clear packing tape.
4. Keep tincture in a dark cabinet and shake daily for a minimum of 4 weeks. If you forget to shake it a day or two, do not worry. Frequent shaking = potent extracts.
Tips: The tincture can sit for months before straining so, no hurry. . .
After a few days your tincture will be quite strong! If you need medicine immediately, just pour what you need and leave the rest to finish extracting.
6. Strain tincture by placing straining cloth in a ceramic or stainless steel strainer over a glass
container. After most of the tincture has passed through the cloth, the remaining saturated herb needs to be pressed or wrung out. You can use your hands (consider wearing gloves to avoid skin irritation from the strong alcohol. Pour into a labeled bottle and voilà!
Optional: for large batches use an apple cider press, wine press or tincture press.
7. Compost the marc. . . after straining the tincture, the remaining ‘spent’ herb is called the marc. It may be composted with other vegetable compost.
8. Store tincture in an Amber (Boston Round) glass bottle with poly-seal cap to exclude light and make pouring easy. The poly-seal cap is resistant to solvents. Label as outlined above.
Optional: write down medicinal actions on the label as well to help your learning of herbs.
Your finished tincture should contain at least 40% alcohol to properly preserve it.
Alcohol tinctures are flammable so store away from fire or flames, such as near the kitchen stove.
Keep your tinctures out of the reach of small children and always label each bottle!
Store tincture bottles upright. Do not store tinctures in tincture bottles with droppers for more than 2 years as the alcohol will dissolve the rubber in the dropper, contaminating the tincture with plastic compounds. If the rubber dropper top has softened, and/or your tincture smells of rubber, discard
all of it.