How to Make Tinctures
Answered by: Richters Staff
Question from: Ray Munn
Posted: Before April 1998

Is there an easy way to make tinctures? What and how much do you use to make the tinctures?

Tinctures can be made using different solvents. The most common is ethyl alcohol, the grain alcohol of alcoholic drinks. Commercial vodka works well. Typically, you infuse one part of herb in three parts of vodka. The portions are measured by volume. This 1:3 volume ratio ensures that there is enough solvent to immerse the herbs completely. When alcohol must be avoided, water can be substituted. Be warned that water is a different solvent and extracts compounds from herbs in different concentrations. The "profile" of active compounds may differ from alcoholic tinctures. Also, it is important to note that alcohol acts as a natural preservative; water extractions can go bad and should be stored under refrigeration. Herbs can be allowed to steep in alcohol for weeks, months, even years. Stirring every few days or weeks speeds the extraction process. Heat will also speed up the extraction process, particularly when extracting in water.

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