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Aloe

Tinctures

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I've been making tinctures for a couple of years now. Most of them are herbal remedies, a few are for magical purposes. All of the ones in this picture are just home remedies.

 

On the top left is dried hops, I use them when making beer, and for sleep drafts.

Next is a wild lettuce tincture in vodka, wild lettuce is a mild pain reliever, contains a very small (legal) amount of opium.

Third is a stinging nettle in vodka tincture, stinging nettle helps when I have allergies, and also contains a ton of vitamins and nutrients.

Fourth is a habanero tincture, the capsaicin (sp) is a pain reliever and also a general "pick me up" as it's supposed to thin the blood and get it flowing better. Always seems to work for me. :)

 

On the bottom shelf left is a wild yam cream, made with coconut and vitamin E oil, I use it for hormone balancing when I feel like I need it.

Next is a horsetail shavegrass tincture in vodka, shavegrass has a high amount of silica which is good for the hair, nails and bones.

Third is a yellow dock tincture, yellow dock is bitter and reported to be a blood cleanser.

Fourth bottle is magnesium oil, I bought this, didn't make it myself. lol

Fifth is a mullien tincture, I use it for a pain reliever and sedative.

 

As you can tell there are many many more in this cabinet, and this is my small herb cabinet. I keep my prettier bottles for the tinctures that I intend for magical purposes, and use the plain ones for home remedies.

 

Since this is a public forum - I'll add my disclaimer that the things described are what I use these herbs for, all my information may not be accurate and if you hurt yourself with them don't blame me. :rolleyes_witch: I'm sure this is not necessary for members here, but since anyone from the public can see this...

post-729-0-73785100-1294091752_thumb.jpg

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How do you actually make your tinctures? I know that its an herb steeped in alcohol but is there a particular way that you do it? Herbalism has been my scholarly interest recently and Ive been experiementing with teas and reading. I've been wanting to do tinctures but haven't yet as I have no liquer in the house ( we both dont drink........often :vhappywitch: ) and often forget. Also, when you use them, is there a certain number of drops you take for all things, or do you use a different amount of drops depending on the properties of the tincture? I know you are not a doctor and can not "prescribe" a certain number of drops of this or that for various things. I just want to know your experience and research on what number of drops is appropriate and what is too much.

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Whiterose,

 

Scientifically we know that some herbs' chemical constituents extract better in water and some better in alcohol. You'd need a huge chart (like the one I have) and then have to use grain alcohol & distilled water. A pain for personal use.

 

The folk method of making a tincture will get you something decent. One ounce (by weight) of dried herb to ten ounces (by volume) of either good-quality vodka or brandy. (I know many use the cheapest stuff they can find but those can be adulterated and if you're taking them for medicinal purposes, you want a 'clean' tincture.) Crunch the herbs a bit to expose the pores before you add the liquor. Some herbs will absorb all the liquid. This is OK. Simply add some more until the liquid is about 1/4" above the herbs. Steep for 10 days to 2 weeks, shaking at least once every day. Strain well (a coffee filter for the final strain works great) and pour into a sterilized bottle. The 'standard' dosage is 15-30 drops in a full glass of water or juice 2-3 times per day. Start with the lower amount for at least 2 weeks to see if there's any effect before increasing and only increase 5 drops at a time. Less is better!

 

Mountain Witch

Master Herbalist

(and a plug - the above and more can be found in my book)

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Whiterose,

 

Scientifically we know that some herbs' chemical constituents extract better in water and some better in alcohol. You'd need a huge chart (like the one I have) and then have to use grain alcohol & distilled water. A pain for personal use.

 

The folk method of making a tincture will get you something decent. One ounce (by weight) of dried herb to ten ounces (by volume) of either good-quality vodka or brandy. (I know many use the cheapest stuff they can find but those can be adulterated and if you're taking them for medicinal purposes, you want a 'clean' tincture.) Crunch the herbs a bit to expose the pores before you add the liquor. Some herbs will absorb all the liquid. This is OK. Simply add some more until the liquid is about 1/4" above the herbs. Steep for 10 days to 2 weeks, shaking at least once every day. Strain well (a coffee filter for the final strain works great) and pour into a sterilized bottle. The 'standard' dosage is 15-30 drops in a full glass of water or juice 2-3 times per day. Start with the lower amount for at least 2 weeks to see if there's any effect before increasing and only increase 5 drops at a time. Less is better!

 

Mountain Witch

Master Herbalist

(and a plug - the above and more can be found in my book)

 

Thanks. I'll try that. Looked at your site too. Might be getting some herbs sometimes soon. The hubby wants to restock our tea making herbs. Your site might work well because I'm over in SC, not too far. Master Herbalist huh? Cool. I bet you have a great garden....

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Whiterose,

 

Scientifically we know that some herbs' chemical constituents extract better in water and some better in alcohol. You'd need a huge chart (like the one I have) and then have to use grain alcohol & distilled water. A pain for personal use.

 

The folk method of making a tincture will get you something decent. One ounce (by weight) of dried herb to ten ounces (by volume) of either good-quality vodka or brandy. (I know many use the cheapest stuff they can find but those can be adulterated and if you're taking them for medicinal purposes, you want a 'clean' tincture.) Crunch the herbs a bit to expose the pores before you add the liquor. Some herbs will absorb all the liquid. This is OK. Simply add some more until the liquid is about 1/4" above the herbs. Steep for 10 days to 2 weeks, shaking at least once every day. Strain well (a coffee filter for the final strain works great) and pour into a sterilized bottle. The 'standard' dosage is 15-30 drops in a full glass of water or juice 2-3 times per day. Start with the lower amount for at least 2 weeks to see if there's any effect before increasing and only increase 5 drops at a time. Less is better!

 

Mountain Witch

Master Herbalist

(and a plug - the above and more can be found in my book)

 

What she said Whiterose. :) If I'm dealing with a particularly potent herb or one that has side affects, I get out my books and charts and buy high quality alcohol and make it exact. But if it's just a tincture that I'm going to be using regularly for something like sleep or for vitamin/nutrient purposes, I just stick some herb in the jar and add some water and vodka and let it sit. Sometimes I don't strain them until I'm ready to use them (occasionally this will be a couple of months longer than the steep time called for) and I've never had a problem with leaving the herb in there for extended amounts of time.

 

I've also made tinctures with apple cider vinegar, and vegetable glycerin for my 4yo. The vegetable glycerin ones take a little more work since the herb is extracted through heat for those.

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I bet you have a great garden....

 

Not as great as I'd wish. My bad hips prevent me from doing much any more and this spring I'll be downsized from 42 feet in diameter for the main garden to about half that.

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Not as great as I'd wish. My bad hips prevent me from doing much any more and this spring I'll be downsized from 42 feet in diameter for the main garden to about half that.

 

 

Wow. Still bigger than mine was. When I was in NY I had a very small one but at least I got to grow my own lavender and pepermint.

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What she said Whiterose. :) If I'm dealing with a particularly potent herb or one that has side affects, I get out my books and charts and buy high quality alcohol and make it exact. But if it's just a tincture that I'm going to be using regularly for something like sleep or for vitamin/nutrient purposes, I just stick some herb in the jar and add some water and vodka and let it sit. Sometimes I don't strain them until I'm ready to use them (occasionally this will be a couple of months longer than the steep time called for) and I've never had a problem with leaving the herb in there for extended amounts of time.

 

I've also made tinctures with apple cider vinegar, and vegetable glycerin for my 4yo. The vegetable glycerin ones take a little more work since the herb is extracted through heat for those.

 

 

I have apple cider vinegar. Are the tinctures made with that as potent as the ones made with the alcohol?

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I have apple cider vinegar. Are the tinctures made with that as potent as the ones made with the alcohol?

 

I haven't compared the same herbs tinctured with ACV vs. Vodka, so I'm not sure honestly. Maybe Mountain Witch can tell us? The one's I've done with ACV definitely worked, but as to whether they would have worked better done with vodka, I couldn't say.

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Neither tinctures made with ACV nor glycerites (the term for tinctures made with glycerin) are as medicinally-potent. You just don't get all the chemical constituents extracted. That's one of the reasons glycerites are good for kids. If I have a client who is averse to the use of alcohol in any form (like a Muslim) then I usually do ACV. Like Aloe said, making a glycerite is a royal pain.

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Like Aloe said, making a glycerite is a royal pain.

 

Especially when you burn yourself on the jar... lol

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Just love this thread............This is deffo something I wish to improve my knowledge on....

 

I have a few herbal books an stuff illustrating use of herbs both Magickal an medicinal. But could anyone of you learned peeps recommend a book detailing the preparation of herbs for medicinal an thereputic use?

 

keep threatening to make something up for B/F so he gets a decent nights sleep. Made him up a "bag" but he says it stinks :rolleyes_witch:., I have dried wild lettuce , hops , valerian. But no idea how to prep them properly or even if combining will kill him or something (think I actually like him, so dont want to do that. Plus they lock u up for that sorta thing) .....so think its best left untill I know more about what I am doing.

 

:wickedwitch:

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keep threatening to make something up for B/F so he gets a decent nights sleep. Made him up a "bag" but he says it stinks :rolleyes_witch:., I have dried wild lettuce , hops , valerian. But no idea how to prep them properly or even if combining will kill him or something (think I actually like him, so dont want to do that. Plus they lock u up for that sorta thing) .....so think its best left untill I know more about what I am doing.:wickedwitch:

 

The first thing to do is figure out why he's not getting a good night's sleep. If it's physical or environmental, those issues need to be solved before trying anything medicinal - herbal or otherwise.

 

And yes, valerian stinks ... I think it smells like dirty gym socks. That particular herb is best taken as a capsule 30-60 minutes before bed. If you want to make up a dream pillow, find out which aroma(s) make him melt into a pile of goo ... in other words, they relax him. Use those herbs. Other herbs you might try internally as a 'tea' are chamomile, scullcap or passionflower (the first two are mild sedatives, passionflower stronger). 1 teaspoon dried herb to 1 cup hot water, steep 10 minutes. Drink 30 minutes before bed.

 

I'm currently working on book #2 which is going to be a 'recipe' book - herbs or combinations thereof for certain situations, both medicinal and magical. For medicinal information, books by David Hoffman, Andrew Chevallier or Susun Weed are excellent.

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Just love this thread............This is deffo something I wish to improve my knowledge on....

 

I have a few herbal books an stuff illustrating use of herbs both Magickal an medicinal. But could anyone of you learned peeps recommend a book detailing the preparation of herbs for medicinal an thereputic use?

 

keep threatening to make something up for B/F so he gets a decent nights sleep. Made him up a "bag" but he says it stinks :rolleyes_witch:., I have dried wild lettuce , hops , valerian. But no idea how to prep them properly or even if combining will kill him or something (think I actually like him, so dont want to do that. Plus they lock u up for that sorta thing) .....so think its best left untill I know more about what I am doing.

 

:wickedwitch:

 

Like MW said valerian smells HORRID and tastes awful too, but I still tincture it, mainly because I don't have the equipment to make my own capsules and tinctures are cheaper for me to make than buying capsules.

 

I didn't combine anything with my valerian when I tinctured it. I made a glycerite for my 4yo to help them sleep, it's got passion flower, chamomile, hops, and catnip.

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I'm currently working on book #2 which is going to be a 'recipe' book - herbs or combinations thereof for certain situations, both medicinal and magical. For medicinal information, books by David Hoffman, Andrew Chevallier or Susun Weed are excellent.

 

Your book sounds great since it covers both sides, cool...

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The first thing to do is figure out why he's not getting a good night's sleep. If it's physical or environmental, those issues need to be solved before trying anything medicinal - herbal or otherwise.

 

And yes, valerian stinks ... I think it smells like dirty gym socks. That particular herb is best taken as a capsule 30-60 minutes before bed. If you want to make up a dream pillow, find out which aroma(s) make him melt into a pile of goo ... in other words, they relax him. Use those herbs. Other herbs you might try internally as a 'tea' are chamomile, scullcap or passionflower (the first two are mild sedatives, passionflower stronger). 1 teaspoon dried herb to 1 cup hot water, steep 10 minutes. Drink 30 minutes before bed.

 

I'm currently working on book #2 which is going to be a 'recipe' book - herbs or combinations thereof for certain situations, both medicinal and magical. For medicinal information, books by David Hoffman, Andrew Chevallier or Susun Weed are excellent.

 

Another tea you can do is Chamomile and Lavender sweeted with honey. It helps me sleep. But like MW you should find the cause so you can correct it. A tea will help but it is better to get the body's natural rythym back in sync.

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Neither tinctures made with ACV nor glycerites (the term for tinctures made with glycerin) are as medicinally-potent. You just don't get all the chemical constituents extracted. That's one of the reasons glycerites are good for kids. If I have a client who is averse to the use of alcohol in any form (like a Muslim) then I usually do ACV. Like Aloe said, making a glycerite is a royal pain.

 

 

How long will each type keep and how many drops for ACV tinctures? I think I will start with this kind as I have that on hand.

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How long will each type keep and how many drops for ACV tinctures? I think I will start with this kind as I have that on hand.

 

Depends:

 

On the vinegar you use (commercial is pasteurized but organic is better). Pasteurized will keep longer than organic.

 

Storage conditions: cool, dark (dark bottle a plus) is best. Don't use a metal cap/lid - the fumes from the vinegar will 'eat' the metal. Refrigerated they can keep for up to six months. In the bathroom medicine chest - maybe a month or two.

 

Straining: if you leave any herb residue in there at all, they'll spoil faster. Use a coffee filter for your final strain (be patient, it takes awhile). If it still looks like there's something in there, strain with a coffee filter again.

 

Glycerites will keep 12-24 months, depending on the glycerin used (there are several types on the market).

 

Dosage is still 15-30 drops 2-3 times a day (or before bed if you're making a sleep tincture) until you find what works for you.

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Storage conditions: cool, dark (dark bottle a plus) is best. Don't use a metal cap/lid - the fumes from the vinegar will 'eat' the metal. Refrigerated they can keep for up to six months. In the bathroom medicine chest - maybe a month or two.

 

 

I can attest to this! I made my first vinegar tincture the same way I do my vodka's, in a canning jar, and the lid rusted away. Lesson learned. lol

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Anyone recommend a supplier of bottles?????????????? in the UK or a place that will ship here.

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Anyone recommend a supplier of bottles?????????????? in the UK or a place that will ship here.

 

I order mine from Mountain Rose Herbs. They are in the U.S., but will ship internationally. I have had very good experiences with them.

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Guest Chatters

Hi Aloe

 

Thanks for starting a great and informative thread. I've been learning about herbs for a few years now, but still sooooo much to learn, up to now I have simply made teas and put them in my food. Learnt a lot about growing them too. This year I would like to attempt to make tinctures. However as I am still very much learning about herbs, I want to start with the utmost caution. I plan to grow rosemary, mint, lavender, thyme, basil, chamomile, nettle, dandelion - grow wild and sage. I have already regularly grow basil, lavender, mint, thyme and dandelion and nettle. I have tried all of these in teas and often put them food. I have found that I have to be careful with nettle as for some reason nettle does not agree with me - makes me sick, however a little bit in tea is fine.

 

Anyone have any advice about tinctures in regards what would be best to start with first?, I don't drink alcohol very much and would prefer to use something like vinegar or glycerine instead

 

I have recently ordered some herbs from Gaia's Garden. I had ran out of my own dried herbs, will let you know what they are like when they come :smile:

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