How To Make Tinctures
Today I was chatting with Anna, (my hairdresser) and our conversation got around to aching and inflamed joints. And, following a bit of to-ing and fro-ing, we both concluded that the recent cold spell wasn’t helping! Consequently, I shared a few of my herbal tinctures and remedies with Anna.
Eventually, as our conversation carried on, the other customers in the salon started to join in. And, it appeared that we all had the same problem! Which came as no surprise really, as we’re facing freezing temperatures and icy conditions at the moment. So it’s no wonder we were all complaining of sore joints!
Following on from the above conversation, I thought it would be a good idea to share an anti-inflammatory tincture with you. It’s easy to make, you can do it at home, and it’ll soothe your sore, inflamed joints. After all, this time of year is notoriously bad for pre-existing joint conditions. And, let’s face it, we could all use some extra help to make things a bit easier on the old joints.
You can’t beat an alcohol solution if you’re looking for a decent shelf life from your tincture. Which means that you’ll require somewhere between 25 – 40% strength alcohol, and shop bought vodka will do for this purpose. Don’t worry, if alcohol is a problem, you can substitute it with vegetable glycerine. However, if you would like to learn how to make different herbal remedies, such as teas and decoctions, then take a look at this post, ‘Homemade Herbal Remedies’.
Nettle Leaf & Yarrow
Both of the above wild herbs work well together as a tincture for arthritis and inflammation. However, you’ll need to take 20-30 drops on the tongue each day before you see any real results (1 tsp). But, if you find that method of consuming it bitter, then add your drops to a glass of water or fruit juice. The nettles, in particular, are high in boron. And this mineral is excellent for soothing away your arthritic pain or inflammation.
To concoct this tincture, you’ll need to forage for wild nettles and yarrow, using equal measures of both, which in this case, is 150g (each) of the fresh wild herbs and about 500 ml of vodka (40% proof). Once you’ve gathered the herbs, leave them out for a couple of hours, this will allow all the beasties to crawl away. Your next step is to chop them up. Following this, put the herbs in a medium-sized storage/preservative jar and fill with the vodka, leaving a 2cm air gap at the top. But, make sure you completely submerge the herbs in the alcohol. You then place the solution in a cool, dark place for at least 3 – 8 weeks. And don’t forget to give the jar a little shake every day.
Following on from the completion of the above step, strain your liquid through a sieve, lined with a thin cloth. (I use my husband’s old cotton shirts!) Once it’s all passed through, gather the fabric in a ball and give it a good squeeze! And, last of all, pour it into a dark bottle. And, hey presto, you’re done! The finished tincture will last around two years by using this method. However, if you used glycerine in place of the alcohol, then you’re likely to get around six months shelf life from it.
So, there we have it! I hope you enjoyed this week’s post. Let me know how you get on, and I hope you have a great week. Don’t forget to subscribe and never miss a post!
Lots of Love Susan & Caber.