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May 23, 2011
Herbal tinctures are definitely among the most commonly used and most effective herbal preparations. Tinctures are actually concentrated liquid herbal extracts, which include three main ingredients: dried herbs, pure alcohol (possibly vodka, brandy, rum or other solvent) and spring or distilled water. However, some people prefer preparing alcohol-free tinctures using apple vinegar or vegetable glycerine as a primary solvent. Herbal tinctures are very potent and strong, that is why the best way to use them diluted in warm water, fresh fruit of vegetable juice and so on.
There are several ways of making your own herbal tinctures. All of them are very easy and no special skills or abilities are required. Making your own herbal tinctures is a great chance to get in touch with nature, learn new things and get closely involved in your own health. It is also important that making your own herbal tincture is a way cheaper alternative to buying it from a herbal shop or other retail store. Other advantages of preparing and using herbal tinctures include the opportunity to use special formulas and control the quality of the product you are going to use for your health.
So, what you are going to need for preparing a herbal tincture is: fresh or dries herbs (powdered or cut), the solvent (alcohol, vodka, apple cider vinegar or whatever you find best), ceramic or glass wide-mouth jar, muslin or other similar type of cloth for draining, some markers and labels. First of what you need to do is placing the necessary amount of chopped or dry herbs into a jar and adding as much of the solvent as necessary to cover your herbs up with it completely. Continue pouring until the solvent rises for 1-2 inches above the herbs. Then, cover the jar up with a tight lid and place it to a dry and dark place so the herbs can macerate.
For receiving a higher quality herbal tincture, it is recommended to shake the jar every day. Usually, the maceration period lasts for 4-5 weeks, but there can be variations depending on the material and herbs you are using. When your tincture is ready to bottle, you should strain the herbs from the liquid using muslin or a strainer, and pour the tincture into a dark color glass bottle or jar. Squeeze the muslin or the herbs in order to extract the remaining liquid.
Therefore, your herbal tincture is ready for being used and stored. Close the storage container with a cap or a stopper, do not forget to label your bottle. Keep your herbal tinctures in a dry cool place, out of the reach of children. If stored properly, herbal tinctures can be used for quite a long period of time: from 4-5 years to almost indefinitely. Remember that for preparing herbal tinctures it is recommended to use the formulas of 2-4 herbs, but not more. Also, when preparing your herbal tinctures or other herbal remedies, it is very important to be in a great and positive mood, to have fun, rely on your intuition and never be afraid of some little experimentation.Author Info: Hi! My name is Carla and I am a 5th year medical student at HYMS. I am interested in alternative medicine and I have done months researching the topic of herbal medicine. Besides, I like interviewing people and learning more about their experiences with one or another type of herbal treatments. I am willing to contribute to this site with my knowledge, and I would be happy to help you out to the best of my ability with any specific questions or problems related to alternative medicine.