Foraging for Gumweed and Feverfew along the Pacific Coast of Vancouver Island and picking Mullein from my garden has become a favorite activity. Picking the flowers, leaves and digging the roots to make remedies is a creative passion! It is also a way to connect with the live ingredients that go into the healing remedies I will have on hand to take for acute and preventive care. I believe that handling the plants that one will take as a tincture will increase the benefits of it. One immediate benefit is the cost. It is cheaper to make tinctures than it is to buy them.
A tincture is a remedy that has integrated the healing properties of fresh plants preserving and concentrating these qualities in liquid form. I believe, tinctures can be effective and that energetically they are more in alignment with our own bodies electrical system.
Picking Fresh Ingredients
In making my tinctures, I use fresh ingredients. This makes it a seasonal activity and I pick the flowers and leaves all during the growing season. Occasionally I dig the roots when it doesn’t negatively affect the patch that is growing. I leave a greater amount growing than I take.
Materials and Recipe
I use sterilized dry Mason jars (any size) and fill them just above 3/4’s full with the fresh flowers, leaves, or roots individually or a combination of leaves and flowers. I do not combine flowers or leaves with the roots in tinctures and I do not combine plants. I purchase Vodka with a highest grade of alcohol content (80 and above) or use apple cider vinegar to pour over the plant material in the mason jar. I pour enough to cover it completely and then add some more. To begin with the plant material expands while it absorbs the liquid before it shrinks.
Each day I jostle the jar a few times to provide some movement through the plant materials. Some suggest letting this sit for 5 to 6 weeks in a sunny window before filtering and decanting. I have set it in a sunny window except through record heat waves. I monitor the heat and if it is too hot I do put them in a cooler place.
I let them set 6 weeks and then use cheesecloth and/or a coffee filter to strain them. On occasion I strain them more than once as a fine dust like material needs to be captured from the tincture. I strain them into a sterilized mason jar.
*Filtered plant material – I use the filtered plant material as a skin wash or bath infusion before discarding.
I store the alcohol based tincture in a cool cupboard and the apple cider vinegar in the fridge. The alcohol based tincture will last a few years and the apple cider vinegar 3 to 6 months.
Adults – 5 to 10 drops or 1/2 to 1 teaspoon – 3 times a day
Children – 1/2 the adult dosage
*Alcohol tinctures can be added to hot water to evaporate the alcohol before drinking
Traditional uses and properties of herbs are for educational purposes only. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Every attempt has been made for accuracy, but none is guaranteed. Any serious health concerns or if you are pregnant, you should always check with your health care practitioner before self-administering herbs.