What is a tincture?
A tincture is a liquid extract made from herbs. They can be extracted using alcohol, vegetable glycerin, or apple cider vinegar.
A tincture is made by steeping an herb in alcohol to extract the herb’s medicinal properties. Alcohol takes on the flavor and sometimes the aroma, as well as the nutritional and medicinal properties of the herb, and generally changes color. Is it likely that you had a tincture recently, possibly in the form of cake, cookies, or whipped cream? Yes, vanilla extract is a tincture.
Just as vitamins and nutrients are obtained through food, it can also be done regularly through tinctures.
- Tinctures are quick and convenient. They are easy to store, easy to carry, and easy to swallow. A few drops of tincture in a glass of water or tea, or just on the tongue, takes just one second.
- They are powerful. They are easily assimilated by the body and offer a higher concentration of medicinal properties than dried herbs.
- They are durable. Tinctures have a much longer shelf life than fresh or dried herbs. You can use your dried herbs after a year of drying, some within 8 months, to make sure they are fresh and potent. Tinctures, on the other hand, when prepared properly, can last 5 years or more. They are a great way to preserve the medicinal properties and health benefits of fresh and dried herbs.
Some herbs are very bitter or bad tasting. Herbs like horehound, feverfew, and blessed thistle, to name a few, are very bitter, and many find them unpleasant to drink as tea.
Tinctures can be diluted in water, tea, or juice to dispel the bad taste, giving you the benefit of medicinal value without the acidity.
Lastly, tinctures are easy to make!
Problems in commercial supplementation.
These are some of the problems we are facing with commercial supplements today:
- Many vitamin supplements are made with synthetic vitamins and minerals, which are not well absorbed.
- Many are made with stearates, which bind with nutrients, making them less well absorbed(especially the gummy varieties).
- Many are out of balance (certain nutrients “compete” in the body and one prevents the absorption of another).
- Many can be dangerous in isolation, leading to a deficiency of another vitamin.
They are not “live” foods, and they do not come with enzymes and other factors that increase absorption rates.
Honestly, it is very difficult to take most vitamins and supplements and be doing it right. You don’t know exactly what you need or what you’re deficient in (unless you get expensive blood tests, but who does that?).
One does not know if taking certain vitamins will cause a deficiency in some other nutrient or if what one is taking is even necessary.
There is an answer to this. Herbs are very rich in nutrients, and since they are in plants, these nutrients are found in a balanced and synergistic form.
Adaptogenic herbs are known to help balance and support the body gently, without any side effects (which some herbs can have). These herbs are safe to take daily, and are well absorbed by the body.
The best way to carry this is in a tincture, specifically a glycerin tincture. Alcohol is not safe to drink every day (especially for children) and it does not extract vitamins and minerals very well. Glycerin does. The result, when tinctured, is a super multivitamin herbal concentrate.
A tincture is a super concentrated herbal solution. The herbs are placed in alcohol, vegetable glycerin, vinegar, or even a sugar solution and allowed to stand.
Its properties are extracted into the liquid, then the liquid is strained and the herbs are discarded. Different liquids have different properties of their own, so which one you decide to make into a tincture is important.
Glycerin is an excellent substance for many reasons:
- Child Safe (Alcohol Free).
- Safe if it is in large doses, if necessary.
- Sweet taste and easy to drink.
- Dissolves vitamins and minerals in plants very well; it does not dissolve alkaloids and medicinal compounds either.
How to make a multivitamin tincture with herbs?
The following formula is safe for children and pregnant women (always speak with your healthcare professional). It is very easy and quick to make, and it is sweet, so children take it with pleasure.
The herbs for this tincture are rich in the following nutrients:
- Vitamin B complex (B-1 to B-9, including folic acid).
- Vitamin C.
- Vitamin K.
It is an ideal way to obtain vitamins. For best results, take with fermented cod liver oil, so that the fat-soluble vitamins are properly absorbed.
How to do it:
This is the formula (to make a quarter):
- 6 C for alfalfa.
- 6 C for dandelion.
- 3 C for catnip.
- 3 C nettle.
- 5 C of spearmint.
- 2 cups of vegetable glycerin.
- 2 cups of filtered water.
Basically, add all of these herbs to a 1/4 glass jar, add the glycerin and water, and shake to mix.
Tinctures should set for 6 weeks. There are ways to heat them up and make them in a few days, but I think the medicine should come out slowly. Fortunately, you don’t have to do anything with them during this time – just let them sit in a cool place away from direct sunlight.
When your tincture is ready, all you have to do is pour through cheesecloth and squeeze some of it to get all the liquid from the herbs (this is important as some of them will still be in the herbs).
Pour the strained liquid into a jar (preferably dark glass) and discard the herbs.
The dose is one teaspoon a day for children and one large tablespoon for adults. If you are in seasons where the defenses are lowered more, take an extra dose.