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  • John Hance, Herbalist

All About Tinctures

On my website you will find that the majority of my in-stock products are tinctures. If you don't know what that is, let me enlighten you. A tincture is a suspension (or solution) of the active ingredients of herbal plant material in alcohol. It is the best way to preserve the the medicinal properties of the plant for long periods of time. If stored correctly, tinctures will last and remain efficacious indefinitely. Decades for sure....theoretically, forever!

To make a tincture, all you need is liquor and the plant material you intend to use, as well as a mason jar to put it in during the maceration. You should make sure your plant material is healthy, not damaged, bruised, rotting, or over-ripe, etc. Put the plant material in the mason jar (typically quart or half gallon size), cover the plants with the liquor, and let it sit (macerate) for 6-8 weeks. It's always a good idea to give your tincture a violent shake (gasp!) every day...or twice a day, or ten times a day, or whatever! This increases cell pressure and greatly improves the depth to which the alcohol can penetrate the cellular structure of the plant material and extract the goodies you're after. That all leads to greater potency. Then, after abusing (oh! the horror!) the plants thus for 2 months, you filter it out (using some cheesecloth) and put the li