Herbal Remedies, Kitchen Witchery

How to Make an Herbal Tincture: The Folk Method

Making an herbal tincture is the easiest thing in the herbal world. It is often one of the first projects that a kitchen witch will tackle.

It only takes three things:
herbs, alcohol, and a well sealing jar.

That’s it!

No really, that’s it.

Let me put it into numbered steps just to make you feel a little better about the simplicity of this.

  1. Fill a clean, glass jar with herbs according to the chart below.
  2. Top off the jar with alcohol. Vodka is traditional here.
  3. Seal the jar, label it, and let it sit in a cool, dark, dry place for 6-8 weeks. You can even shake it once in a while to let it know that you haven’t forgotten about it.
  4. Strain off the herbs and reseal the jar. You can also store tinctures in bottles with dropper caps for ease of use.

I told you it was easy. And here’s the best part, if you happen to forget about your tincture and let it sit in that cool, dark, dry place for a VERY long time, it’s still okay. The alcohol is going to preserve the herbs so they won’t go bad. It’s just that after the 6-8 weeks, the alcohol has pretty much extracted everything that it can from the plant matter. The tincture itself will last indefinitely, although it may start to evaporate after a while.

Okay so let’s talk actual measurements here. First, you need to use an alcohol that is 90-100 proof alcohol. All that means is that your alcohol is 50% alcohol and 50% water. That’s important because we want to extract both the alcohol soluable properties and the water soluable properties. We also don’t want the resulting tincture to be so strong as to harm us. I definitely do not recommend using an alcohol stronger than 100 proof without understanding the complex math involved to add water back into the solution. Yes, you can pay someone thousands of dollars to teach you that math, but I prefer to just do things the old fashioned, simple way. Vodka is the traditional alcohol of choice because it doesn’t add much of its own flavor to the mix and it is conveniently the perfect proof.

Next we need to discuss the amount of herb to place in the jar. This is going to be dependent on what type of herb it is. Fresh and dried herbs get treated differently. Also, flowers and leaves get treated differently than roots and berries. Roots and berries will actually reconstitute to almost twice there size. Flowers and leaves…not so much. Resist the urge to push the herbs down to get more in the jar.

Fresh Leaves and FlowersDried Leaves and Flowers
3/4 full to FULL 1/2 full to 3/4 full
Fresh Roots, Barks, and BerriesDried Roots, Barks, and Berries
1/2 full 1/4 full

Don’t be intimidated by the chart. It’s really simple. If you’ve every made homemade vanilla extract, you’ve made a tincture!

To purchase dried herbs, visit the APOTHECARY.

Disclaimer: Please note that I am a not medical professional and everything written here is a product of my own research. Don’t take any advice given here over that of a trained doctor. If you ingest any herbs, always make sure that you’re 100% sure that they’re safe. If you’re pregnant or giving to a child, always consult a doctor before ingesting herbs and plant you aren’t familiar with. Magickal instruction and spells are for personal entertainment purposes only. The desired result/outcome cannot be guaranteed as a result of using any magickal item, and should not be used as a replacement for medical/professional assistance.

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