What You Need to Know about DIY Tinctures
Posted on June 27 2022
For those looking to create their own herbal remedies, tinctures are a great option to try as they are easy to make with the use of a botanical infuser. They have a great level of concentration which contributes greatly to their high potency. Here's a beginners guide on making and using DIY tinctures.
What are Tinctures?
Tinctures are a powerful extract made from the active components of herbs, gotten through a soaking process. The soaking process involves the combination of herbs and a base liquid like food-grade alcohol, glycerin, or oil. The plant matter is then extracted after a couple of days to get a liquid melded with several herb compounds ready for dosage and consumption. Tinctures have multiple health benefits along with their comfortable consumption while offering a pretty intoxicating experience.
How are Tinctures used?
Tinctures are typically placed under the tongue for rapid assumption before swallowing. After using a dropper to deposit the liquid under the tongue, allow it to sit for about 30 seconds before swallowing it. The sublingual method of using tinctures is effective because of the absorbent tissues in the mouth called oral mucosa—a lining that absorbs the tincture and administers its properties to the bloodstream directly within 10 to 15 minutes without going through the stomach or liver.
How Long does it Take for the Effect of Tinctures to Kick in?
The effects of tinctures will kick in within 15 to 30 minutes if you use the sublingual method of usage before swallowing. Swallowing the tincture without allowing it to sit under the tongue for 30 to 45 seconds will reduce the efficiency as the body won't absorb it properly.
Can You Cook with Tinctures?
The formulation of the tincture will determine whether or not it can be used to cook. Exposing certain decarboxylated tinctures to high heat can burn them away and make them lose their potency. However, you can add a picture to a cooked dish by adding it to the sauce or dressing of the meal.
How to Create Your own Tincture
Tinctures are quite easy to make at home with the needed equipment, ingredients, and a little patience. What you need are the herbs, a botanical infuser, and plastic wraps. You'll also need alcohol as a solvent to help extract the active compounds of the herbs to create the tincture. You can make use of any type of alcohol, but vodka seems to be the best choice because of its neutral flavor.
A tincture can be made with dried or fresh flowers as well as fruits like berries, bark, or leaves. Common herbs used for tinctures include thyme, rosemary, turmeric, lavender, white willow, and elderberry. After choosing the right herbs, weigh the herbs to measure the tincture strength. For dried herbs, fill your botanical infuser with herbs till it is half full. If you’ll be using fresh herbs, fill the botanical infuser with the herbs till it's ⅔. For berries and roots, fill the infuser kit with ½ or ⅓ of the ingredients.
- Place the herbs in the infuser normally without packing them down
- Pour enough alcohol to it to cover up the ingredients
- Set the temperature to 130°F
- Set the timer to four hours. You can also select the eight hours option to achieve a tincture with a complex flavor profile
- Strain the liquid into a glass jar
- Store in a cool place