Herbal tinctures are the product of steeping herbs in alcohol or vinegar. The liquid effectively extracts the active constituents and oils from the herbs and preserves them. Tinctures made from herbs provide you with something that can be stored for a long time, and you can use them in teas, salves, creams, and other herbal remedies. The fact that they can last a long time makes them very versatile and convenient. If you are using alcohol to make your tinctures, vodka is best, as it has no real flavor and can take on the flavor of the herb more easily. A standard herbal tincture is made from one ounce of dried herbs for every two ounces of alcohol used or one ounce of herbs for every five ounces of vinegar used.
8 oz. dried herbs, cut into small pieces
2 cups of alcohol or 5 cups of vinegar
A large glass jar, large enough to hold all of the liquid
In the jar, combine the herbs and liquid, making sure the herbs are completely covered—this is very important. Store the jar in a cool, dark place for 14 days or more, preferably four weeks. Shake or turn the jar every day, then when ready to use, filter it with a fine cloth or coffee filter. The tincture should be stored in clean, dark glass bottles away from the sun. The tincture is good to use for two years, but vinegar tinctures should be kept in the refrigerator. One drop of tincture is equivalent to a teaspoon of herb juice.
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