How To Make An Herbal Tincture


Holly K. Ross

How To Make An Herbal Tincture

It’s easy to make medicine in your own kitchen from herbs grown in your own garden!

Making A Tincture:

An Herbal Tincture is a method of preserving the medicinal attributes of an herb in such a way will allow you to use the herbs long after their season is gone.  As I have said before, the more herbs you eat, the healthier you will be.  However, at certain times of the year, certain herbs are not available.  

So, by making tinctures, you can use herbs all year round.  Typically, to make a tincture you steep the herb of choice in vodka or brandy for four to six weeks.  Once the herb matter is strained out and the liquid re-bottled, the tincture will keep indefinitely.


The essential oils and herbal essences are soluble in alcohol (drinking alcohol, not rubbing alcohol) making alcohol a better solvent than vinegar for making tinctures.  Once the menstrum (plant material and solvent) has steeped, all the herbal goodness and health benefits of the herbs will be suspended and concentrated in the alcohol.  This concentration is why so little of the tincture is needed in an individual dose.

“While Alcohol is the best choice for a tincture, Rice wine or Apple Cider vinegar work just fine if you have an aversion to alcohol.

Holly K. Ross

There are many combinations of herbs that can be used- select the herbs based on your needs.  Dandelion is an all around great herb with so many medicinal qualities.  I use this herb alone to make a tincture that is taken by anyone feeling “under the weather” to boost the immune system and ward off the colds and flues that tend to go around in the winter.

A small amount- 1/4 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon per day is all that is taken by adults around our house.  When the children were toddlers a few drops in their sippy cups helped battle the snotty noses and colds that came with childhood.

There are many resources on the internet for recipes and several good herbal books that give instruction as to preparation of tinctures.  I like to use Growing 101 Herbs That Heal, by Tammi Hartung.

A basic recipe is:

  • 1 clean 1 pint glass jar with a fitting lid- I like mason jars because they are the workhorse of jars and are easy to find.
  • Approx. 1 cup chopped fresh herb or 1/4 cup dried herb, coarsely chopped.
  • 1 pint of brandy or vodka– use cheap vodka, you are about to ruin it for drinking by adding the herbs so there’s no need for top shelf.


  • Place the chopped herb matter into the jar.
  • Pour Alcohol (or vinegar) to completely cover the herbal matter. If the plant matter soaks up the liquid, add more until all is covered and stays covered.
  • Label jar with contents and date (No, you won’t remember!)
  • Let steep for 4-6 weeks in a cool, dark area, shake every week
  • Strain liquid into a clean, dry jar with lid
  • Cap the bottle, label and throw the used up herbs into the compost pile or chicken coop (chickens love it)
  • Use as needed!
Lion’s Ear blooms in a jar ready to be made into a tincture.
Vodka being poured over the blossoms.
Use a strainer to remove the herbal matter from the liquid.
And, there you go! It’s that easy to make your own herbal tinctures!

This information is not meant to diagnose or treat any disease or sickness. For information only. Do your research and make your own decisions, this is simply what I do for my family.

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