Making Tinctures – Supplies Needed 17


I have gathered my supplies and I hope you are ready to make some tinctures with me. When making tinctures there are many herbs or botanicals that we can use, just remember this: DRY IS THE WAY TO GO! I’ve collected some items from our blog kitchen and will start with Ground Vanilla Bean, Paprika, Peppermint Leaves, Rose Buds and Petals, Rose Hip Powder, and Alkanet Root Powder. I’m planning on using these for skin toners or refreshers, as well as in foot soaks or the bath. Look around and see what kinds of DRIED herbs or botanicals you have and lets get started.

Supplies Needed:

  • Dry Herbs or Botanicals of your choice
  • Vodka 80 proof or Everclear 190 proof
  • Jars with lids
  • Labels
  • Strainer (to use when the tinctures are done)

Herbs are put in a container and 80 proof Vodka or 190 proof Everclear, both are acceptable liquids. The filled jar is usually left to stand for 2–3 weeks and shaken daily in order to maximize extraction. Tinctures can easily be made in less time, so please don’t feel like infusing for 2-3 weeks is required.  Each dry botanical will help you decide when finished really means finished, you’ll know because the dried herb material breaks down into awful, spent-looking material.

You will start with a clean jar, I’m using some basic pint-sized canning jars with screw top lids. You can use any type of jar or container that you choose just make sure it has a tight seal and that it is easy to add (and remove) any plant material.

Our target fill is 10% dried botanical and 90% alcohol mixture. So weigh the botanical into your jar, now multiply the weight of the plant material by 9 and add that weight of alcohol to the jar. Cap and shake.  Store in a dark cupboard and shake the container once a day. This will help stir the product and allow for maximum extraction. The weight to weight ratio of 1:9 will help your tinctures become as consistent as possible. Each plant material will offer different amounts of extractives that can be given into the alcohol. So keeping a 1:9 is a great ratio to keep.

A note about the choice of alcohol. The higher percentage of alcohol that Everclear offers will allow your tincture to extract more alcohol soluble compounds as well as act like a preservative. So, if I had a choice, I would ask everyone to use Everclear. However, not everyone has Everclear available to them. So, please, adjust for what is available in your area.

Tonya

Weighing Rose Buds & Petals

Weighing Rose Buds & Petals

Weighing Alcohol

Weighing Alcohol

Supplies for making Tinctures

Supplies for making Tinctures

Tinctures in the cupboard. Shake once a day until it's ready.

Tinctures in the cupboard. Shake once a day until it’s ready.


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17 thoughts on “Making Tinctures – Supplies Needed

  • Janet Schreiner

    Now I know what to do today on this rainy cold day.
    Thank You for all the good ideas!
    Janet Schreiner

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  • KinkyWitch

    For those that don’t want to use alcohol to make a tincture, glycerin can be used instead, right? I know the potency might not be as strong as using alcohol, but alcohol isn’t an option for me.

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    • Tina

      Nope. Tinctures are alcohol extractions. If you don’t desire to use alcohol for extracting then you are limited to oil and water extractions. Glycerin is a water extraction. There is nothing wrong with oil or water extractions but they will not hold the same compounds as alcohol extractions. The target is to use a carrier that removes the beneficial materials from the plant. In this process we use alcohol that can be consumed because we may use the alcohol directly on the skin as in a toner and we don’t want to add toxic materials if we don’t need to. Isopropyl alcohol can be used but please CLEARLY mark the container showing it is a toxic material. We are not advocating drinking or alcohol consumption but we do know that alcohol can be a good carrier when we need the tool to work for us. Don’t turn away from making your own. We will be doing oil and water extractions on the blog soon. This will be a great learning process for everyone.
      Tina

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      • KinkyWitch

        Interesting. I thought I’d taken a class where glycerin was another method of making a tincture but it’s been awhile. Good to know!

        Looking forward to the oil and water extractions too ^.^

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  • Robin M

    Thank you for the wonderful post. I have been eyeballing the amount of dried herbs in the tinctures I’ve previously made so I appreciate the 1:9 ratio information.

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  • Cindy

    Just a note additionally, some herbs have specific extractives; their properties extract in one medium better than other, so you need to know what the proper menstruum is for extracting the herbal properties. Also, sometimes the metal lids will react with the herb, so I either line my bottles with plastic or use a plastic lid to protect the valuable things inside. Cindy

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  • Kam

    I cannot wait to see what the tinctures are used for. I am really interested in home remedies that are plant based. This sounds like it is going to be lots of fun.

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  • Leilani

    I know how to use infusions in soaps and lotions, looking forward to how you use the alcohol based tinctures.

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  • Canfield Crafts

    Would it be possible to make this using good quality Perfumer’s Alcohol? What I mean is, would it break down more of the good stuff than drinkable alcohols?

    Thanks! 🙂

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    • Tina

      No, in this case alcohol is alcohol and it is the solvent properties we are looking for.

      We are using drinkable alcohols because we want the finished product quick, easy and simple. In our soap labs we don’t often have room for pails of alcohol when 2 to 10 ounces of material might need to be made. Just wait till we get to the recipes that use the tinctures! It is awesome!!!

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      • Canfield Crafts

        Cool! That’s good to know. I was wondering because we’re going to be stocking up on Perfumer’s Alcohol in the very near future, for making perfumes/colognes to sell. But we pretty much don’t have any drinking alcohol in the house, LOL! Thank you so much for the tip! 🙂

        -Cheyenne

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  • Judith

    Some things to remember:

    1) If one is intending to sell a product containing tinctures in the US, the BATF requires you to use perfumers’ alcohol or other denatured alcohol. Vodka or everclear is strictly verboten. Stop-sales and fines apply. And let’s not even talk about selling medicinal tinctures.

    2) Tinctures will make soap seize.

    3) A few days to a few weeks is not usually enough time for the sharp scent of alcohol to be replaced by the scent of the ingredients being tinctured. Perfumers are by necessity patient folk.

    4) Alcohol in a tincture does not make a lotion using a tincture self preserving.

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