Do you want to save money on herbal extracts? The global value of plant extracts was $36.5 billion a few years ago in 2017 and it’s expected to grow significantly in the next years. The high demand has made the prices for liquid extracts quite high based on factors like the herb, amount, quality, etc. While you might want to enjoy the benefits of these herbs it’s also a plus when you can save money. One of the best ways you can do that is by learning how to make tincture. In fact, saving money isn’t the only benefit.
What in the world is tincture? This is an herbal extract with a concentrated liquid form. There are various ways to make tincture but it typically it just includes the herbs and alcohol. So, all you’ll really need are the herbs, alcohol, and some patience. In some cases, you’ll need to use the herbal extract immediately. If that’s not the case then it’s certainly practical to make your own tincture. It’s all about knowing the basics like what kind of alcohol to use with which herb. However, like other DIY projects, it will become second nature within time. Practice makes perfect!
What Are Herbal Extracts and Tincture?
Before talking about tincture it’s important to talk about herbal extracts in general. What are they all about? These are super-contracted liquids that involve soaking the herbs in a liquid known as a “solvent.”
The solvent takes the herbal stuff out of the plant. Different kinds of solvents like alcohol and vinegar are used to make herbal extracts.
One of the main benefits of herbal extracts is they’re very powerful since they’re concentrated. So, if you don’t want to drink a whole cup of herbal tea another option is 1-2 drops of herbal extracts.
Can’t a cup of herbal tea be healthy? If you’re just relaxing after a hectic day at your workplace or home, then it’s OK. On the other hand, if you have to drink a cup every hour to treat an illness it can be tougher. In that case, it would be easier just to use the herbal extract.
So why would you want to make your own tincture instead of buying it at the store? The process will make it more difficult than picking up a bottle at the store or ordering from Amazon.
There’s also the fact that the process of making tinctures usually means soaking the herbs for weeks. However, if you plan ahead then you’ll have all the herbal extracts you need when you need them.
If you make your own tincture then there are also some main benefits. For example, you’ll have control of the product’s quality. This could be an issue when buying commercial herbal extracts since there’s no guarantee you’ll be getting good quality.
Then there’s also the ability to save money. All you’ll need are some basic ingredients including the herbs and alcohol. You can save a small fortune since you won’t have to worry about costs for labor, fancy labels, shipping, and so on.
How to Make Tincture
It’s quite easy to make tincture but it’s important to know which steps to take. Here are some of the basic ones:
1. Prepare the herbs
Make sure to remove the plant parts that you don’t need to make the liquid herbal extract. You can do a rough chop to make sure the herbs fit into the jar better. This might also speed up the extraction process since it will be easier to extract stuff from smaller pieces of plant material.
Make sure to use the right herb:alcohol ratio. Use a 1:1 ratio for fresh herbs and a 1:4 ratio for dried plants.
2. Pick a solvent
You have various options like alcohol and vinegar. You can also pick something called “vegetable glycerin.” This is a clear liquid that’s generally produced from different kinds of oil like soybean, palm, and coconut. Veggie glycerin has no smell, mild taste, and syrup appearance.
It’s worth noting that a true “tincture” is made using alcohol. It’s the best option for breaking down herbs like berries and bark. Alcohol takes out stuff like fats, waxes, and some oils. You can pick different percentages of alcohol for different situations.
3. Fill the jar with alcohol
The next step is to fill up the glass jar with alcohol. Then put on the cap and make sure it’s on tightly.
4. Let the tincture sit for weeks
Make sure to wait for this timeframe to get the best results. You should also shake up the jar from time to time. You can also fill up the jar with extra alcohol if you need to.
5. Remove herbs and pour liquid
Make sure to strain it first. Next, pour the liquid into small glass bottles that are labeled. They should have dropper tops.
Key Issues When Making Tincture
1. Tincture Bottle
The “classic” bottle used is a dark glass bottle that’s been sterilized. The dark shade helps to protect the herbs from being damaged by ultraviolet (UV) light. It’s important for the bottle and dropper to both be made of glass. That’s because plastic could cause negative effects when interacting with the tincture’s alcohol.
The tincture bottle’s label doesn’t have to be eye-catching but it should have some key information including plant source, alcohol type/percentage, batch number, date, and instructions.
2. Alcohol Source
When picking an alcohol one of the issues to think about is the type of alcohol you use. Here are some of the options:
- Cane (190+ proof)
One of the most interesting types of alcohol used is vodka. Make sure to pick one that’s 80-100 proof.
Think about the herb you’ll be using when picking a certain kind of alcohol. For example, if you pick an herb with parts that dissolve in water then you should pick a product with a lower percentage of alcohol. Meanwhile, sometimes herbs have parts that require a high level of alcohol. Do your homework!
3. Tincture Type
There’s a wide range of different tinctures you can make. One of the hottest ones is Cannabis tincture. This is made from a chemical in marijuana called CBD. It’s actually THC that causes people to have a “high.” People who promote Cannabis tincture claim it might help with health issues like migraines and anxiety.
Elderberry tinctures/fruit are high an antioxidant that can help keep you healthy. Studies show that elderberries might help with health conditions like inflammation.
Finally, there are turmeric tinctures. This cooking herb has stuff that some experts believe works as an antioxidant. Some studies show turmeric can help with knee pain. So, it’s another reason to learn how to make a tincture.