What is an herbal tincture and why use them?
If you are looking to use your herbs primarily for their health benefits, then this is the best way to preserve them while maintaining their medicinal value. Preserving your herbs and other various plant matter in alcohol is what’s known as the folk method of making tinctures. It is an manageable method for concentrating and preserving your herbs to reap their healthful benefits. All you have to do is add your plant matter to a mason jar about 1/2 to 2/3 full and then fill the remainder of the jar with a high proof grain alcohol, typically I use 90-proof clear alcohol to showcase the color that the tincture develops while steeping. Keep your tincture out of the sun and everyday for 4-6 weeks (depending on the herbal tincture you’re making) shake the jar in order to saturate all the herbs and prevent any kind of bacterial growth or molding. When you’re finished with the steeping process, you can strain your tincture well and store it either in its original mason jar or in dropper bottles. For a more comprehensive guide to making tinctures, you can visit Mountain Rose Herb’s Guide to Making Tinctures for greater details. So without any further delay, here are 8 different tinctures that you can easily make at home to support your health and well-being!
1. Cinnamon Tincture
Cinnamon is such a rejuvenating spice. Cinnamon tinctures are an easy recipe for beginners and it steeps rather quickly with little plant matter. Not only can a cinnamon tincture be used for baking to flavor various recipes, but it is also an excellent base ingredient for making a homemade mouthwash. It works wonders for freshening breath! Cinnamon is anti-inflammatory and contains antioxidants. It will help to fight off colds, the flu and other various infections. It is great for helping to boost energy and support the immune system. Cinnamon is also wonderful for increasing yang energy.
2. Clove Tincture
Clove is also another excellent yang-boosting spice that can be used as a base for a mouthwash. I prefer the clove mouthwash over the cinnamon because it creates a tingling sensation. Clove is a great spice for a wide variety of dental care purposes. Not only can it numb the pain of a toothache by chewing on whole cloves, but it is a powerful breath-freshener. The essence of clove can also keep nausea at bay which makes it a great multi-purpose tincture. Clove tincture can be diluted in water to create a anti-acne toner for the face and taken daily to fight off seasonal colds.
3. Dandelion Root Tincture
Dandelion is perhaps one of the most prolific and beneficial plants. Typically considered a common weed, the whole plant can be used for medicine from its flowers to its leaves to its roots. Dandelion root in particular is a great supplement for cleansing the liver, purifying the blood and supporting the digestive tract. It can also benefit one’s mood by bringing a sense of peace and calm to its user. Dandelion root is a diuretic and can also be used to increase the appetite, so it serves as a wonderful supplement to help detox the body. It will help to filter out the toxins while stimulating the appetite for healthier foods.
4. Elderberry Tincture
If you are looking to boost your immune system then look no further. When taken daily, elderberry tincture prevents colds, the flu, viruses, and cancer. It has loads of antioxidants, which helps to keep the body at optimum health. As far as tinctures go, elderberry has a wonderfully pleasant taste. I like to put 10 drops or so in a cup of hot water and a spoonful of raw honey to taste. Elderberries also have anti-inflammatory properties which can help to alleviate general body pains when taken consistently.
5. Garlic Tincture
Garlic is anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and contains antioxidants. It is a powerhouse of health. Garlic tincture can be diluted with water and applied to the ear canal to help cure ear infections. It can be sprayed onto fungal infections that occur on the feet. It supports healthy digestion and has even been shown to prevent cancer cells. The reason why I love a garlic tincture is because it keeps the garlic raw (maintaining the medicinal properties) and can be used to flavor foods and savory drinks (bloody mary anyone?)
6. Ginger Tincture
Ginger is always my go-to remedy for nausea and indigestion. Its spicy sweetness soothes the stomach and helps to increase the appetite. I also tend to use ginger to help soothe a sore throat and it has always been quite effective for me. It is a powerful antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory properties making it great for soothing sore muscles, but it must be taken daily to be most effective. Ginger can lower cholesterol, prevent colds and the flu, and may even be effective in fighting the growth of cancer cells. I tend to keep a bottle of ginger tincture in my purse at all times, because it is such a handy health supplement.
7. Oregano Tincture
Oregano is an easily overlooked herb, but it has served me well as a multi-use medicine. Not only does it help to alleviate menstrual cramps (always a plus), but it also helps to regulate a healthy gastrointestinal tract. Oregano is anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal which helps to support the immune system and keep our body’s natural yeast levels in check (again, promoting healthy digestion). Oregano tincture can be used as a mouthwash to promote throat and sinus health, and it is also a good toothache remedy!
8. Rose Tincture
Rose is a powerful tool to fight eating disorders and its essence has been used for centuries to promote self-love and passion. Rose has anti-depressant qualities which can be useful when utilizing its scent as aromatherapy. When made into a tincture, it can also be used as a base for creating homemade perfumes. Rose tincture can also be taken daily to help to curb the appetite and promote healthy eating patterns. Roses are antiseptic and can be beneficial for a herbal first aid kit. It will also serve to kindle positive feminine energy.