Tinturas

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Fuente de la info: Guide Tinctures extracts


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Tinctures are concentrated herbal extracts that have alcohol as the solvent. If you are using water, vinegar, glycerine, or any menstruum (solvent) other than alcohol, your preparation is an extract – not a tincture. Although, there are exceptions to every rule and sometimes an acetum is defined as "a vinegar tincture" in the tomes.


Herbal Tinctures…

  • Tinctures are concentrated herbal extracts.
  • Alcohol is the solvent. You can use any spirit you like, but I prefer something neutral like vodka so I can taste the herb.
  • They can be taken straight by the dropper or diluted in tea.
  • They can be made with fresh or dried flowers, leaves, roots, barks, or berries.

How much plant material to use?

Fresh Herbal Material: Leaves & Flowers

  • Finely chop or grind clean herb to release juice and expose surface area.
  • Only fill the jar 2/3 to 3/4 with herb.
  • Pour alcohol to the very top of the jar. Cover plants completely!
  • Jar should appear full of herb, but herb should move freely when shaken.

Dried Herbal Material: Leaves & Flowers

  • Use finely cut herbal material.
  • Only fill the jar 1/2 to 3/4 with herb.
  • Pour alcohol to the very top of the jar. Cover plants completely!

Fresh Herbal Material: Roots, Barks, Berries

  • Finely chop or grind clean plants to release juice and expose surface area.
  • Only fill the jar 1/3 to 1/2 with fresh roots, barks, or berries.
  • Pour alcohol to the very top of the jar. Cover plants completely!
  • Jar should appear full of herb, but herb should move freely when shaken.

Dried Herbal Material: Roots, Barks, Berries

  • Use finely cut herbal material.
  • Only fill the jar 1/4 to 1/3 with dried roots, barks, or berries.
  • Pour alcohol to the very top of the jar. Cover plants completely!
  • Roots and berries will expand by ½ their size when reconstituted!

Alcohol Percentages

40% – 50% (80-90 proof vodka)

  • "Standard" percentage range for tinctures.
  • Good for most dried herbs and fresh herbs that are not super juicy.
  • Good for extraction of water soluble properties.

67.5% – 70% (½ 80 proof vodka + ½ 190 proof grain alcohol)

  • Extracts the most volatile aromatic properties.
  • Good for fresh high-moisture herbs like lemon balm, berries, and aromatic roots.
  • The higher alcohol percentage will draw out more of the plant juices.

85% – 95% (190 proof grain alcohol)

  • Good for dissolving gums and resins – but not necessary for most plant material.
  • Extracts the aromatics and essential oils bound in a plant that do not dissipate easily.
  • The alcohol strength can produce a tincture that is not easy to take. Stronger is not always better!
  • Often used for drop dosage medicines.
  • Will totally dehydrate herbs.

Store your tincture in a cool, dry, dark cabinet. Shake several times a week and check your alcohol levels. If the alcohol has evaporated a bit and the herb is not totally submerged, be sure to top off the jar with more alcohol. Herbs exposed to air can introduce mold and bacteria into your tincture. Allow the mixture to extract for 6-8 weeks.

Now it's time to squeeze. Drape a damp cheesecloth over a funnel. Pour contents of tincture into an amber glass bottle. Allow to drip, then squeeze and twist until you can twist no more! Optional: Blend herbs into a mush and strain remaining liquid. Keep extracts in a cool, dark place and your tinctures will last for many years.