Tinctures are simple herbal preparations that you can easily make in your own kitchen with commonly found ingredients.Almost any plant can be tinctured. You can save a lot of money by making your own, because tinctures can cost 8 to 10 dollars for each 1-oz. bottle if purchased in a retail store. Tintures are not as strong as an essential oil or a flower essences, but stronger than flower water
Common herbs that are made into tinctures include echinacea for its antibiotic properties, ginger root or turmeric for their anti-inflammatory effects, valerian root for aiding relaxation and promoting sleep, and many others. This is important to know when you're planning on using herbs such as echinacea because the amount of tincture you need to take for a cold or flu over a ten day period can easily add up to 4 oz. or more.
Fresh herbs are stronger and are preferred by herbalists, but dried herbs also provide the active ingredients you need for a good tincture. "Cut and sifted" dry herbs are preferred over powdered herbs. Place your herbs into the jar, fill with the liquid of choice, and then tightly cap the jar. It's always a good idea to label the jar with the name of the herb and the date you prepared the tincture.
Shake up your mixture and allow it steep in a cool, dark place for four weeks. Try to remember to shake it up every day.
At the end of four weeks, strain, or decant, your tincture. Depending on the consistency of the herbs you used, you can use a strainer, cheesecloth or a nylon stocking. Place your strainer, cheesecloth or stocking over a second clean jar and pour the contents of your completed tincture into the strainer. To get the maximum amount of liquid from the wet herbs, press it with a spoon, or put it through a food mill or tincture press. Label your tincture and store it in a cool, dark place. It will last indefinitely if you seal your jar tightly.
Dosages of tinctures vary. If you want to promote your good health, you can take one or two droppersful of a tincture such as nettles on a daily basis. If you are fighting an infection or other illness, use more: for example, for colds, take at least three full droppers of echinacea three times every day until your symptoms are completely gone. Taking very small amount of tinctures will not be effective-the practice of taking minute amounts of an herb comes from homeopathy and is not correct for this type of preparation.