Crafting 11 – Making Tinctures

Tinctures are alcoholic herbal infusions. I make mine with fresh herbs and either Sake, Gin, Vodka or good Brandy. Tinctures will contain the herbal constituents which are soluble in water and alcohol. Never make them from pure alcohol as that is extremely toxic.

I make quite a lot of tinctures. My favourites are Hawthorn (NL: Meidoorn) tincture and Motherwort (NL: Hartgespan) tincture. When you begin using tinctures, it is very tempting to tell people the medical benefits of tinctures but remember the information about about making claims from the ethics and legality unit.

To make a tincture, simply fill a clean glass jar to the top with carefully picked herbs (such as Hawthorn flower clusters and a few Hawthorn leaves). Then fill the jar again with vodka, brandy or whatever strong spirit you choose. Check that you fill all the way to the brim. Herbs that are left uncovered will be exposed to any air and will quickly spoil. They need to be completely submerged in the spirit. Check for bubbles of air and top up if needed. I leave my tincture like this, labelled, in a cupboard for at least 6 weeks.

Freshly made, hawthorn blossom tincture.

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