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Non-Alcoholic Tinctures, Alcohol Free Tinctures

Non-Alcoholic Tinctures - Alcohol Free Tinctures

Tinctures are made by extracting and preserving the active ingredients of herbs using alcohol. Most herbal tinctures are alcohol based, but apple cider vinegar and wine vinegars are equally suitable for extracting and preserving the health benefitting properties of herbs. Avoid using white vinegars as they contain too many chemicals used during processing. Tinctures are potent in small quantities and can be carried on the person and consumed easily, anywhere and anytime.

In some cases, a tincture made from alcohol is unsuitable or undesirable as an herbal remedy. These cases include pregnancy, gastric or liver inflammations, and for children or recovering alcoholics. It also includes those who choose not to take alcohol of any kind in any amount. For these people, a non-alcoholic tincture is recommended.

To get started you will need: a bottle of apple cider vinegar; your selected herbs (dried herbs are recommended); a wide-mouthed glass jar with a secure lid; a clean linen or cheesecloth; a strainer; a stainless steel or glass bowl; a funnel; and a dark coloured bottle with a dropper.

Fill the glass jar one-quarter to one-third full of dried herbs, add the vinegar (the vinegar can be warmed to help ease the release the beneficial properties of the herbs), leaving a little space from the liquid to the top of the jar, secure the lid to the jar. If you are using a metal lid, add a sheet of greaseproof paper or plastic wrapping between the jar and the lid to avoid corrosion of the vinegar with the metal. If you leave too much space for air in the jar this may cause the herbs to spoil.

One other method that you can use, before storage, is to blend the herbs and vinegar, this helps the maturation process especially when using larger herbs, harder roots, stems and berries.  

Label the jar with the date, list of ingredients and recommended remedies. Store the jar in a cool dark place for 4 – 6 weeks, checking the maturation process and shaking the jar every couple of days to make sure the herbs completely combine with the vinegar. Place the jar on a large plate in case the liquid overflows in the maturation process.

When your tincture is ready, strain the contents of the jar into a glass bowl or stainless steel bowl, using the cheesecloth or linen cloth inside the strainer, wring out the herbs in the cloth when finished and use herbs as compost or waste.

Pour the strained liquid through the funnel into the dark coloured bottle and seal with a lid. Label the bottle with details of the ingredients, remedies and possible dosages and place in a dark cupboard – avoid direct sunlight on the bottle. When required you can add your tincture to smaller dropper bottles for everyday use and portability.

Non-alcoholic tinctures will usually last up to one-year, and longer if your store in the fridge, whereas alcoholic tinctures will last up to five-years.

Always seek the advice of your doctor before taking herbal medications


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