Generally the ratio used is 1:5, which means 1 gr. of herb to 5 ml. of menstrum (liquid they are in, usually alcohol). Vodka is good for most tinctures. We then macerate the herb in the menstrum for 10 to 14 days. I strongly recommend leaving them longer. A good time to start it is on the new moon & complete on the full moon. Some people like to use a blender to grind the herbs. I prefer to cut the herb as fine as possible and not blend. Shake the tincture 2 to 3 x a day. When the tincture is ready, strain it through fine cotton or strong cheese cloth and press it by hand. Label it with name, date, quality and batch number.
Exercise 2 Making a Tincture: Alcohol Extraction
Dried Herb 1:5 Ratio 40% Menstruum
Purchase yourself a bottle of Vodka.
Get six ounces of an herb that you use regularly.
Measure out 30 fluid ounces of Vodka and pour into a large mouth jar.
Powder, grind or cut up fine the six ounces of herb.
Now add the herb to the alcohol.
Put on a tight leak prove lid and seal.
Label the tincture.
Leave in a convenient place where you can shake it twice a day.
Make sure that all the herb is submerged in the alcohol. Depending on the herb you choose you may need to add a little more Vodka if it all gets absorbed. You want some fluidity and washing motion when you shake it.
After two weeks minimum (some can be left for months) strain through silk or fine cheese cloth.
Bottle and label. You now have your own tincture.
Keep a file card on your procedure and make notes on what you might do differently next time. Experiment with leaving the herbs in different lengths of time for varying strengths.
Make small batches of as many herbs as you can to gain experience (the best teacher). Use small jars. Practice makes good medicine. Keep clear notes.
FRESH HERB TINCTURE RATIO:
determine by weighing amount of fresh herb that fits into jar finely chopped measure amount of alcohol needed to cover the herb with 1 inch over top of herb divide weight into volume to establish ratio many books suggest
a 1:2 Ratio which we find unrealistic for most herbs
MENSTRUUM: % depends on herb
SATURATION TINCTURE: amount of herb that will fit into established amount of menstruum
GLYCERINE TINCTURE: 6 parts vegetable glycerine\4 parts water 6 parts vegetable glycerine\3 parts water\1 part alcohol Use glycerine mix in place of Alcohol
Use same instructions as fresh tincture but use apple cider vinegar as menstruum. Buy a high quality organic vinegar. For nutritive herbs like Nettles, Horsetail, Alfalfa or Red Clover you can make a saturation vinegar. Don’t worry about proportions, just add as much herb as will fit and still allow the liquid to move around. Make small batches of a lot of different herbs. Experiment!
We make these the same way as tinctures.