Monday, February 25, 2013

More info on Tinctures and Herbs

I wrote a post titled "What is a Tincture?" Explained.  I realized after a few tincture recipe posts that not everyone is familiar with tonics, tinctures and salves. These are simple herbal remedies.

The most simple explanation of a tincture is an herbal extract.  I love the Fresh Basil Tincture we made! Ever made Vanilla Extract using vanilla beans and vodka?  It's that simple.  Or is it...

Rosemary Tincture
Herbal tinctures can be dangerous if you don't know which herbs cannot be ingested but instead used in a salve, or that chamomile should not be taken while pregnant.  Luckily, the world wide web AND the library are fantastic resources for beginners.

The good news is that many of the most common herbs (especially those you cook with) have wonderful health benefits and are safe to use both in your food as well as tinctures.  Still not sure about herbal remedies?  Do you drink "sleepy time tea" or some other commercial form of tea?  That's an herbal remedy!

Oregano and Rosemary both contain anti-bacterial and anti-oxidant properties.
Basil is great for inflammation.
Thyme has disease fighting nutrients.
This is just the beginning of what these herbs have to offer our bodies and Tinctures are a way to extract the goodies!

Herbal Kit
Now for the bottom line...saving money!  If you look at your local "health food store" you will find tinctures.  Most are $10-$40 per ounce.  Online it is the same story plus shipping.  Pictured is a special "kit" I put together to get started on your tincture.  
It includes a jar, herb (you choose), a filter to strain out the herbs, labels for your jars AND a 2 ounce dropper bottle with label.
Add your "base" of alcohol or glycerin and you've got 5-24 ounces of homemade tincture (depending on the recipe!
Earlier this month I purchased a large bottle of 100 proof vodka for $17.  I then made 6 tinctures using 2 ounces of herbs and 12-16 ounces of vodka and I still have more vodka left (maybe for 2 more).

Let's do the math
Tincture Kit (2 ounces of herb) from Mary's Basics $19.75
Shipping $6
16 ounces of 100 proof vodka (approx)  $2.14
Total spent for 16 ounces of Tincture  $27.89
Homemade: Total spent for 2 ounces $3.49

Online store selling 2 ounces of Rosemary Tincture  $15.39
Shipping $6
Store-Bought: Total for 2 ounces: $21.39

Chamomile Tincture Kit
HUGE savings!!!  Plus, with the Tincture Kit you have the Jar, Strainer top and  detailed Instructions to make more! Kits ship within 24 hours (except weekends and holidays) via Priority Mail.

Not sure about the alcohol contentThe alcohol in a tincture can be evaporated out by adding the drops to almost boiling water and swirling until cool. Although a glycerin base tincture has a short shelf life, it can be used instead of alcohol for those who prefer an alternative.

If you have additional questions please feel free to ask.  I am not a professional herbalist, just a health-conscience, DIY girl sharing the knowledge I learn.  Thanks for stopping by!

Depending on the day I'm linking at these Fabulous Parties!


Becca Acker said...

Thanks for sharing this educational info at A Humble Bumble, Mary. :)

Kerry Fountain said...

What great information. I have been curious about tinctures but was scared to make something - you know just in case I did it incorrectly. I love the kit you offer. I will definitely keep it in mind for the future and will have to try this out sometime.

Thanks for linking up to our Healthy Tuesdays Blog Hop! You always have such awesome information, I have learned a ton from you.
Kerry from Country Living On A Hill

Ladies Holiday said...

I bet they smell divine.

Thanks for sharing on the Photo Friday blog hop- we hope to see you next week.


joan robertson said...

Lovely post! I do so like herbs, Rosemary is one of my favorites! Please post lots more like this!

Anonymous said...

Wow, Mary, I had no idea the savings was so major! I'm going to look in my herbs and decide which tinctures to make now!

Thanks for sharing at the Blog Fest! Always a pleasure to find your posts in the list!

~Kristi@Let This Mind Be in You

Lisa Lynn said...

Thanks so much for sharing this on The HomeAcre Hop, Mary! Hope to see you tomorrow! :)