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I just recently took a 3 hour class on tinctures. Oh my! The herbalist who held the class did a good job but 3 hours just wasn't long enough. Someone would ask a question and she would smile and answer as succinctly as possible, but she also said she could spend an entire day talking about a single area of the general topic at hand. I'm sure she could! I have a couple of books and have been thumbing through them but it doesn't take long to feel overwhelmed with information. There's just so much to digest. However, the thought of making my own medicine is greatly appealing to me. I made two tinctures while I was at the class and I really want to take advantage of springtime and harvest some herbs to use later. I especially want to concentrate my efforts on dandelion root and leaves since it has so many uses and it is very easy to find......my yard will be full of them. Hmmmm.....I used to think that was a bad thing. I also need to pay closer attention to the weeds around my home as they are likely to be in my book and can be useful. It certainly makes me look at things differently now.
I went out and bought some 100 proof vodka for the tinctures and already have some jars and lids, although I think I need some smaller ones to add to my collection. I also just ordered some eye dropper 1 oz jars. I also have to get my cheesecloth out and find a small funnel too. Although, I have some time since apparently the tincture should sit/soak for at least a couple of months for best results.
I would like to know if anyone out there makes tinctures on a regular basis and if you have any suggestions for a newbie in the area. I'm in awe of herbalists and wish I knew more about the topic. I'm working on it, but as I said....it is a bit overwhelming.
You've taken the right steps. Tinctures are a great way to get self sufficient. Here's a few tips from our experience.
Get a really good potato ricer. One with cast handles not the stamped ones. This is to squeeze out the mass of herbs and get all the good stuff.
Buy several yards of cheese cloth at a fabric store. The little packs you buy at the grocery are way too expensive.
Make sure you have pint jars to store the tincture as batches are usually too big for the dosage eye dropper bottles
Find a cool dry DARK place to store the jars and get some really good labels.
Some active ingredients are alcohol soluable others need distilled water or a combination of the two. A bit of research is in order
Adding a bit of alcohol to water soluable tinctures is needed as a preservative.
Julie Brunto-Seal & Mathew Seal
Herbal Remdies (Visual Reference Guides)
Asa Hershoff, N.D. & Andrea Rotelli N.D.
Just a few eh there's also the Classic Culpepper's Herbal
You'll find a lot of remedies for constipation, female aliments & stomach troubles as these were VERY common in the old days
when these remedies were in common use
We planted a medicinal garden as the herbs can get expensive. We've had a lot of fun researching what to plant and doing the gardening
Almost all of the herbs are also lovely perennial, annual or biannual plants. It's worth the research and work just for the pretty flowers
and plants. It's also extremely inexpensive
Learn to forage for things like Elderberry. Flowers of this plant and the dried berries are super anti virals
There are tons of others. I sat at our kitchen table with DW a couple of years ago and had to stop at 125
things growing on our little 8 acer place.
Check out abandoned farmsteads (of course get permission) many old farm wives planted herbs for medicine
Some things like golden seal & ginseng are threatened learn what is and how to harvest properly. Ginseng
harvesting requires a liscense her in Minnesota as it does many other places. Check with your local authority
Have fun it's a great thing to do
I love medicinal herbs as well, and would say that Michael Moore's books are excellent.
I grow many of my own, and purchased a GPS unit with geotagging for foraging herbs. I tag where I find them (often in the off-season) so that I know where to get them the next year, then note when they are blossoming so that I remember to go at that time the next year. This really helps with my foraging because you use different parts of the plants for different purposes. With my medicinal garden it is easier because I can just walk outside. One thing I would say is that having a greenhouse is nice because some of the more useful ones (and edible ones) I keep year round, but I grow huge amounts of my utilitarian ones in the summer and process them in early fall.
Learn everything you can, anytime you can, from anyone you can - there will always come a time when you will be grateful you did. ~ Sarah Caldwell
There are 2 good books by Rosemary Gladstar.
Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner's Guide
https://www.amazon.com/Rosemary-Gladsta ... inal+herbs
Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health: 175 Teas, tonics, oils, salves, tinctures, and other natural remedies for the whole family
https://www.amazon.com/Rosemary-Gladsta ... PHVGHZTVKE
There is also Simple Ways of Healing by Pamela Taylor, ND. Wonderful book. It does focus on the "whole" body, much like Chinese medicine, of which I have a rather large collection as well. But is truly a great book. My acupuncturist is actually the one that mentioned it to me.
https://www.amazon.com/Simple-Ways-Heal ... of+healing
I am very interested in all of this, too. The only "tinctures" I've made is putting vanilla beans in vodka to make my own vanilla and for others as gifts.
However, medicinal tinctures interest me as well. I've experimented with homemade salves, which worked well, and I expect I'll do more of that in the future. Right now I am spoiled because there are a couple folks around here who do it as well, so I just buy from them.
Thanks for the links to the books!
One quick comment on recipes, regardless of what source you are using, get a small notebook and keep a log on what you do yourself, even if you followed the 'book' recipe to a T. Keep track of what worked for YOU and what didn't. Soak times, what you used, uses and effects, etc. Everyone is different and tracking what you do and how it turned out, will help in long term success.
I make a different kind of tincture. I learned this from the older generation of migrant farm workers. They place cannibis in alcohol and let it site in a dark place for three weeks.
They then dump/strain the plant material, and use the liquid on their joints after a long day in the fields. Soothed their aches.
I made a huge mistake, I was a young deputy sheriff. I would find these guys tincture/ medicine, and pour it out, cuz it was against the law. I had a group of the "elders" approach me one day, asking to talk.
This group asked me to hear them out and I did. They explained the how, why, and history of their tincture.
I told them it was the law, but I would work with them. I never poured a tincture jar out ever again.
I use those wise old Mexicans formula these days. I use "ever-clear", and cannibis, in the same soaking jar for three weeks. I then rub it on aching joints, for medical benifits. Don't laugh, it really works.
Does yours turn a rich green color or "are they" using too many leaves? Swamp
People rarely notice what it right in front of their eyes. The Da Vinci Code
I make and use elderberry tincture. Dried berries and everclear (or high proof vodka). Later mixed with raw local honey. Good for cold and flu season. A tablespoon or a shot a day helps prevent.
This year I made fire cider. Apple cider vinegar based tincture of several herbs/spices. And cut with honey. Sweet, spicy and strong. Supposed to immune supporting.
Goldenrod tincture is supposed to be good for seasonal allergy. My hay fever isn't bad enough to swallow that nasty stuff.
Happiness makes up in height for what it lacks in length.
Swamp, yes the tincture is green, I don't have an exact formula, I just fill a ball jar 3/4 full with cannibis, and fill to the top, Everclear, alcohol. Some folks slow boil the mixture." I usually use the shake or cut off veg material. I've used just buds before, I personally can't tell the difference when applying it externally on my joints."
Another thing I do is, mix cannibis, and coconut oil "organic", at low temps on the stove, I then apply the cocanut oil infused with cannibis into cupcake holders, those paper ones. I gift all of this stuff to the elderly, and Vets. I'm amazed at the amount of 70/80/90 year olds who understand the benefits. The other use for this coconut butter is making eatables, cookies, brownies, etc etc. I've never had much luck making eatables, I find it very difficult to regulate the THC content.
Some eatables are just right, and some are crazy high THC. I'm reluctant to make eatables for others.
I took an old navy buddy to Seattle earlier this week. I gave him a few Bags of bud. He has Parkinson's, and has the brain implants, dropped him off, he went home where his wife made brownies for him. He called and told me my cannibis was way to strong. Which is true, it 27.5 THC, via a certified lab test results.
All I could do was laugh. I've told him multiple times to only eat 1/4 of a browny, and wait, to determine medical benifits, if it's not enough, eat another 1/4 of the browny. He eat an entire brownie. When Bob invests cannibis, he stops shaking completely, for most of the day. If I hadn't seen the results for myself, I would not have believed it. I have a few Parkinson's patients I help out. Each has the same results after eating, or smoking. It's a miricle in my mind.
One of the issues I've had has been in the manicuring of the buds. I manicure all the vegetation off, but don't cut any of the tri combs or crystals off. That's medicine, the industry standard is to trim the bud down to a tight marketable bud.
For my stated application I see zero needs to cut roughly 1/3 of the tri combs off, as I don't market this stuff, I gift it to those in need.
I've found both formulas to work well after rubbing either the tincture, or the coconut butter on a stiff or aching body joint.
Swamp if you need help let me know. I'm always willing to help.
Thank you all so much for your very helpful replies! I have some books (some of which were listed in this thread) that I need to sit down and read. It's just really hard to do that this time of year when it's such a busy time. Thanks for all the recommendations!!
The GPS idea is a great one. I actually do this when going out looking for morrels, so this certainly make a lot of sense.
I also love the suggestion on keeping a tincture journal. I can see where that would come in very handy.
As far as the marijuana tinctures, at this point I'll just have to take your word for it. Until it is legal in my state, I won't touch it. Although it is interesting and certainly worth keeping in mind. I have a family member with Parkinsons.......I should pass the info along. Maybe it would be worth it for that person to get a medical marijuana card....although I know this person won't smoke it. Perhaps the edible versions would help?
I think I need to concentrate on getting an herb garden started. Any advice on the best herbs to get and where to get them? I'm thinking mostly using large planting pots to get started with and then perhaps moving them into a garden later.
Depends on what you think you would need, really, as far as what herbs to grow. My neighbor couldn't live without cilantro, but I don't grow it because 1. we almost never use it, and 2. she grows so much of it, if I did need it I'll just pluck a few leaves there.
I also wanted to grow things that would be beneficial for the rabbits and chickens.
I think mints, parsley, basils, nasturtium, calendula, sage, rosemary would probably be some good choices to start. There is a book called Herbs and Spices: The Cook's reference by Jill Norman that is pretty good and I combined this with some of my medicinal herb books to see what I could get the most out of. I think it is a good idea to start things in pots, you can get them going well before putting them out into the wild
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