Thursday, April 10, 2014

Tincturing Herbs

Tincturing herbs is so incredibly simple that it hardly needs a post all it's own.
Yet I continue to see all those little bottles at the health food store on the shelves with a price tag on them in upwards of $15 for two little ounces.
"People must just not know" I tell myself.
You can tincture your own herbs at home for much less than the price you'd pay at the store. Especially if you grow, or wildcraft your own.
But even if you don't, you can always buy your herbs from an herb store such as Mountain Rose Herbs or the Bulk Herb Store.
So, you've got your herbs. Now all you need is some vodka and a glass jar with a lid. That's it. Really.
Here I am making Elderberry (Sambucus nigra) tincture.
My supplies?
Dried elderberries
vodka (any will do)
a 4oz mason jar with lid
Fill your jar 1/2 way with dried elderberries and pour in vodka to the top. Place the lid on the jar and give it a good shake.

Allow the herb to sit in the vodka for a minimum of two weeks, four is better, shaking every few days.
After that time, strain it out, squeezing out all the extra tincture, and pour into dropper bottles. I get mine from here.
Add the leftover herb to your compost bin.
Label and date the bottle so you remember what's inside and when it was made. The self life of tinctures is quite long. Up to 5 years!
You can tincture any herb. If you're using fresh herbs, allow them to wilt a day or so before adding them into your jar to remove extra water.
If you're just getting started with herbs and want to learn more may I suggest two great resources? is always helpful for reference and information. They even have tutorials!
And my all time favorite herb book (so far as I haven't read them ALL) is Matthew Wood's Book of Herbal Wisdom.


barbaradougherty126 said...

warning: Newbie here....what would you use the elderberry tincture for and how exactly would you use it? Thanks, Bobbi

Unknown said...

Thanks for this information. So where did you get your elderberries? Did you get them from the link you gave or did you dry them?

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