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Making Herbal Tincture: Part 2

Homemade Vervain Tincture

Homemade Vervain Tincture

In my last post I talked about the advantages of making herbal tinctures and gave instructions on how to start your tincture brewing. If you have followed the first part of the instructions you should now have a pot containing a liquid that contains all of the goodness of the herb and the leftover plant matter.

So now what we want to do is squeeze all of that lovely tincture out of the mixture in the jar and label it up ready for when your health needs it.

As always, keep hands and equipment clean and keep herbs separate and well labelled. It is very important that you know exactly what is in a bottle and that it is of good quality.

Needed:

  • A bowl (large enough to hold all of the tincture and herbs).
  • A piece of muslin cloth.
  • A tincture press (optional).
  • A jug.
  • Brown glass bottles or brown PET plastic.
  • Labels.

Instructions:

Vervain Tincture Pulp

  1. Rinse the muslin cloth and boil it in a saucepan to make sure it is properly clean.
  2. Line the bowl with the muslin cloth then tip the contents of the jar into the bowl.
  3. Gather up the corners and edges of the cloth together so that the herbs are collected together in the middle and the liquid drains into the bowl.
  4. Squeezing Out the TinctureSqueeze as much of the liquid into the bowl as possible. Twisting the cloth up can help. It is very useful to use a tincture press to help get all the tincture out (see below).
  5. Tip the tincture from the bowl into the jug, and use the jug to fill the bottle.
  6. Label the bottle straight away, making sure to put the name of the herb, the ratio of dried herb to water (such as 1:4 – 1 gram dried herb to 4 millilitres of liquid), the date you made it, and you can also add the strength of the alcohol used.
  7. Store it in a cool dark place to help it keep its potency for longer.

Tincture Presses

It is quite difficult to squeeze all of the liquid out of the herbs by hand and as much as half the tincture may be left still trapped in the plant material. What is more, the liquid left trapped in the pulp can be the stronger tincture. So this is why a tincture press really helps. Unfortunately tincture presses can easy cost a hundred or a couple of hundred pounds. You can however make one for £10-20! I followed the instructions on Practical Primitive to make mine, altering it slightly due to not finding the exact parts needed (see the picture below). It works pretty well! If you have any questions about making your own like mine leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to help.

Tightening the tincture press so as to squeeze out the most herbal tincture.

Tightening the tincture press so as to squeeze out the most herbal tincture.

So how did you find making your tincture? Share your experiences or any questions you may have in the comment section below.

Best wishes,
Mark

 

Mark Jack BSc(Hons) MNIMH is a medical herbalist practising in Chepstow, Newport and Monmouth. For more information check out his website at http://markjack.co.uk/.

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