It’s very easy to make your own herbal tinctures. Depending on what you’re looking for you can completely customize the recipe.
You might have had an “Underberg” with a heavy meal.
Or you might have taken some herbal tinctures for some health concern.
You might be surprised, though, how easy it is to make your own.
Of course, you can buy herbal tinctures. Since they can be very pricey, I prefer to make my own. Making your own is very inexpensive!
What are herbal tinctures?
Many herbs have health benefits. For example, dandelion is mostly know for its liver supporting properties. Or you might have taken some echinacea to support your immune system.
You can extract those health benefits by “soaking” herbs in alcohol. Alcohol essentially draws out the components, such as resins and alkaloids.
What can you put in your herbal tincture?
You can use any herb and any part of the herb for your tincture. Naturally, you can use the root, the stem, the leaves, and the flowers.
Most of the herbs you would find in teas you can use for herbal tinctures. You could even use the herbs from the tea bags for your tincture. However, I suggest you get very fresh, dried herbs for the most benefit.
How to make herbal tincture?
Now, it couldn’t be simpler: you just put your chosen herbs into a glass jar and pour the alcohol over it. Then you let that sit for anywhere from 3 weeks to 6 months with an occasional shaking of the jar. I like to let mine sit for about 6 weeks. After that, you strain the herbs, and there you have your herbal tincture.
What if I don’t want to use alcohol?
If you’re not consuming alcohol or making this for children, you can use vinegar or glycerin for this purpose.
What is a basic recipe?
You can do your own research into what health benefits you’re looking for. For example, you might like to make something to alleviate your cough. You might want to make an herbal tincture to support your immune system. Or something for urinary tract health.
A good starting point is a ratio of 1 part herbs to 4 parts alcohol. I just eyeball things and often my tincture are way stronger.
It’s so simple! All you need is
an empty glass jar (I always keep empty jars around, see here)
alcohol (vodka, rum, gin, brandy)
How to make Digestive Bitter
In this post, I am showing you how to make an herbal tincture for digestive support. Therefore, they are often also called “digestive bitters”. You might have heard of Swedish bitters.
Start with high quality herbs. Ideally, you grown your own. Unfortunately, I don’t have all those herbs in my garden so I buy them. Well-sorted grocery stores, food coops, or herbal stores will have them. You can also buy them online (www.mountainroseherbs.com) or amazon.
I chose: burdock root, orange peel, dandelion root, dandelion leaf, yellow dock, ginger, and milk thistle.
Now, you can use all of these, add some additional ones, or focus on only a few of them.
Put all your herbs into the glass jar and pour the alcohol over them. Make sure the herbs are well covered. Put a tight fitting lid on the jar. Clearly label your jar with the date, what it is, and maybe the ingredients.
Simply let this mixture sit for anywhere from 3 weeks to 6 months. Occasionally, give it a good shake. Most of the time, I let my tinctures sit for about 6 weeks.
After that, you pour the tincture through a strainer. You can compost the herbs. Now you can store your strained herbal tincture in any glass jar. Ideally, you use a small bottle with a dropper.
What is the dosage?
Of course, the dosage depends a bit on your ratio of herbs to alcohol. If you go with a 1:4 ratio (herbs to alcohol), you can use about 1/2 to 1 tsp about 3 times a day or as needed. Since I often make mine stronger, I use a bit less.
If the taste of your herbal tincture is too strong, you can always dilute it in some water or juice.