What is a tincture and how do I make one?

Heilpflanzen pflanzliche Oele

A tincture is a concentrated liquid extract of herbs. Typically, it is made by soaking herbs and other plant parts in alcohol for some time to extract the active ingredients. Alcohol is considered an excellent solvent because it is food grade and can remove plant components (such as resins and alkaloids) that are poorly soluble in water. After about a week, the herbal mixture is filtered and the plant parts are removed, leaving the concentrated liquid.

How do I make a tincture?

Tinctures can be made from a single herb or a combination of herbs. They are made from fresh or dried leaves, roots, bark, flowers and fruits. Which part of the plant is used depends on the type of plant. Herbal tinctures are sold in some drugstores and grocery stores, as well as online. But, of course, you can easily make them yourself:

 

  1. Carefully separate parts of the plant
  2. Roughly chop the herbs
  3. Fill the jar with alcohol and herbs, close tightly and let it stand for weeks
  4. Store the tincture in the dark or keep it away from light
  5. It should be shaken regularly and the jar refilled with alcohol as needed
  6. Filter the plant material and pour the liquid into a small, labeled glass bottle

 

If dried herbs are used to make tinctures, a common ratio is 1 part dried plant material to 4 parts liquid (1: 4 ratio). When fresh herbs are used, a usual ratio is 1 part plant material to 1 part liquid (ratio 1: 1).

Oreganoöl in einer Pipettenflasche

How high should the alcohol content be?

A mixture with an alcohol content (should be ethyl alcohol, rum, brandy, vodka) of 15 percent and 25 percent will last a long time. It will be enough to extract the essence of the plant. Higher alcohol content will not extract more juice from the plant and less alcohol can cause rot. Therefore, using the specified alcohol will ensure that the tincture works well.

Application of tinctures

Since there are a variety of different tinctures, the areas of application are different. Tinctures can be used internally as well as externally. They can be taken pure 2-3 times a day with 10-50 drops each time, added to hot water or tea, or used by rubbing them on a specific area of skin. Tinctures can be dabbed on pure, used as a compress, or added to bath water or creams. Taking tinctures can relieve intestinal inflammation and stomach ailments. In addition, it is used for nervous disorders, sleep problems, kidney-bladder problems, cardiovascular problems, respiratory disease, hormonal disorders, metabolic and digestive weakness and much more.

Effects of tintures

Tinctures are very diverse and have different effects depending on the tincture. Here are our TOP 5 tinctures listed and their effects:

1. Comfrey tincture

The field of application of comfrey is very wide, bruises, sprains, fractures, inflammatory joint diseases. The most important ingredient in comfrey root is allantoin. It has wound cleansing effects by stimulating secretion on the wounded area, which promotes the drainage of cellular fluids from the wound. At the same time, pathogens such as bacteria are removed.

Together with the mucilages of comfrey root, allantoin supports the formation of new cells of both skin and bone tissue.

2. Arnica tincture

Arnica, which looks similar to calendula, grows in the mountains and is very strong and intense in its action. Caution is advised in its use, as it can be irritating and can cause allergies. However, those who can tolerate it can see the benefits of the plant in musculoskeletal injuries and inflammation, among others. It provides better healing for oral mucositis, gingivitis, tonsillitis, pharyngitis due to its antiseptic, antibacterial, circulatory and wound healing effects.

3. Lapacho tincture

Lapacho comes from South America and is a traditional remedy, which was already applied by the Incas for infections and skin diseases. Due to fungicidal, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, it strengthens the immune system and counteracts colds and aches. It is applied externally for a variety of skin diseases, such as psoriasis, herpes or wounds.

4. Horse chestnut tincture

They are the seeds of the chestnut tree and shiny fruits of autumn. Horse chestnut is very popular and well-known among adults because of its vaso-strengthening properties. Astringent, hemostatic, blood purifying and antispasmodic effects of horse chestnut help with varicose veins, arteriosclerosis, hemorrhoids, ulcers, wounds and many other venous diseases.

5. Calendula tincture

Calendula has been forgotten for a long time, but Calendula is one of the ancient medicinal plants that is now used in modern herbal medicine. Its healing effect on wounds and its anti-inflammatory effects on skin and mucous membranes have been confirmed again and again.

Important ingredients include triterpene saponins, flavonoids and essential oil. These have wound-healing and anti-inflammatory effects. Studies have also confirmed other effects of the plant: Calendula has antiviral and antifungal effects (virucidal and fungicidal) and counteracts microorganisms (antimicrobial).

What should you look out for when making tinctures?

For tinctures, it is important to use sterilized dark amber glass bottles. Dark glass protects plants from light. The bottle and pipette should be made of glass, as plastic may interact with alcohol. The longer the tincture infuses the more effective it becomes. Also, you need to pay special attention to the dosage to avoid side effects such as dry skin, for example.

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