How to make your own tincture
This page is a broad approach to tincture manufacturing intended to help the readers understand enough to make strong tinctures. We want to be able to eliminate some of the mystique behind tincture making at home. You may not have a tincture press but the little amount you will love doing it at home won’t cost as much as buying herbal tincture for as much as 15 dollars per ounce. In addition, you can use your remaining tincture as the herbal tea you just need to burn off all of the excess alcohol and then drink it within 24 hours. Once the alcohol is removed spoiling process begins rapidly.
- Using fresh herbs that are cut and shifted do a good job, but I prefer to use powdered herbs they produce a better tincture.
- You need grain alcohol and purified water. The common brand of pure alcohol to get is “Ever clear”, and can be purchased at nearly any liquor store. Depending on the herb being used you normally want to mix a 50/50 solution of alcohol and purified water to put your herbs into. Any source of purified water is ok.
- Another option is to use a vegetable glycerin. They are sweet to the taste but the disadvantage is that it’s not as efficient of a solvent as alcohol, and therefore won’t extract as much plant virtue.
- You will need a good jar that has a sealing lid. Mason jars are preferred.
- Each herb has a different need when it comes to what solvent works best for that particular herb. Some herbs do best with a 60% alcohol/ 40% water ratio. Some need only 20-30% alcohol. For the present purposes, purified water and alcohol at a 50/50 ratio will work fine with almost anything.
- Mix two pounds of herbs to one gallon of liquid. (50/50 water & alcohol) That means that if you want to make a quart of tincture that you will want to use a half a pound of herb. Or, likewise, if you want to use a pound of herb, then use two quarts of liquid. Simply apply the rule to whatever amount you wish to make, or improvise on your own. We have found that using 3 quarts of water/alcohol mix with 1 1/2 pounds of herbs works great, as it all fits well inside a one-gallon jar.
1) Combine all elements into a mason jar. Make sure that you have a good sealing jar. –Test it first with some water.
2)If you are using powdered herbs, (recommended).mix all alcohol and herbs up completely, if vigorous shaking doesn’t do it take the lid off again and stir it up, then shake.
3) Let this sit for at least a month, shaking it daily. Two months would be even better. If you forget to shake it for a day or two, it is no big deal, but the more you shake it the less likely it will be to clump up, and the better will be your tincture.
4) Now comes the hard part…. Separating your tincture.
a) The way this is done is with a tincture press. For the home tincture maker, it is impractical for you to consider purchasing a regular tincture press, as they are all quite expensive around 100- 600 depending on quality. Instead of doing that we will recommend some alternatives.
b) Pour the “menstruum” or solution in a jar, into a cloth, and squish out as much tincture as you can. Be forewarned, it can be messy. Then take the remainder and put it in a centrifugal juicer such as an Acme, or Omega, and spin out as much as you can.
c) Put together a press using household items. The main idea is to have a can with holes in the bottom, a cloth bag, and something to fit inside the can. You line the can with the bag and place the tincture in the can then press with the item you chose to fit in the can until all the solution is out the bottom of the can in another container.
d) I formerly advised making a tea from the pressing remains, but it could be very bland and impotent since the alcohol stripped most of the potency from the herb. Store your tincture in a dark place, or in a dark bottle, or both. It should last for many years this way before it significantly loses its potency some say as much as 20 years.