DIY – Herbal Tinctures (part 1)

As a neophyte to herbalism, I’m only just discovering tinctures.  I’ve been taking a St. John’s Wort tincture for my anxiety and I can tell that it makes a difference.  The one drawback is that those little one-ounce bottles are exxxxxxxpensive!  Making your own herbal tinctures isn’t hard, and they are far more economical than going to Whole Foods and buying the manufactured ones yourself.  To see how to start your own tinctures, read on!

I decided to start with two herbs that help with anxiety – St. John’s Wort and Lemon Balm.  I ordered them for Mountain Rose Herbs, and these 8 ounce packages will make dozens of bottles of tinctures for very little cost.  I’m literally saving hundreds and hundreds of dollars by making these myself.  Other things you will need are: vodka, either 80 or 100 proof, and pint sized glass jars.  I chose to buy the wide-mouthed ones as they make it easier to pour.

So here’s what you need to get started:

IngredientsFirst, open your bags of herbs and jars.  Then, spoon each of the dry herbs into a separate jar, filling them half full.

The jars are half full!Next, open the bottle of vodka and slowly pour in the vodka, filling each pint-sized jar up to the rim.  This picture was taken only seconds after I poured in the alcohol and, as you can see, the vodka is already changing colors.  Make sure to use a spoon and completely submerge the dried herbs at the top, ensuring everything gets evenly soaked.  You don’t want anything to mold!

Ready for lidsFinally, put the jar lids on tight and label them.

Ready to work their magic!Now I will store them in a spot free of direct sunlight for at least the next six weeks.  They need to be shaken daily in order to keep the mixture moving and ensuring nothing gets stagnant.

After six weeks, they will be ready to strain and bottle.

For Part 2, go here.






10 thoughts on “DIY – Herbal Tinctures (part 1)

  1. I started buying my tinctures from a friend who is a Master Herbalist. They are pricey, especially when taking them daily. I’ve been reading on herbs in the hopes of making my own tinctures so this blog post is well timed for me. Thanks.

    • I will eventually be a master herbalist! And during this phase of the year, I’m going to be making a lot of tinctures and giving them away. It should be fun!

  2. Just be careful not to get a lot of sun while taking St. John’s wort. It has a tendency to take a toll on your skin! I was told to keep covered (hat, long sleeved shirt and long pants) when out in the sun! But you are right, herbs are 100% better!

    • Thanks for the tip! I usually don’t have much to do with sunlight. lol. I work the night shift so I’m sleeping during the brightness of the day and go outside just as light is waning. Even on the weekends, the darkness is my friend!

    • I haven’t thought about capsules yet. I know that I was taking store-bought, mass-manufactured St. John’s Wort capsules and they were useless. Have you tried to take your tincture in a little bit of tea? I was adding it to my tea but now I just add it to a small bit of water and gulp it down. It works so quickly that, for me, that unpleasant taste is worth it!

  3. Pingback: DIY – Herbal Tinctures (Part 2) | At the corner of 14th & Oak

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