So many of you have probably not only heard of tinctures, but have already made plenty of your own. I have made them in the past, (I mean MANY moons ago...) and have recently been making them again. I stopped making them because life got busy. However, seeing how easy and inexpensive they are to make and use, it seems silly not to make them. In this post I will show you how to easily double tincture whatever herb or root you are using. I found this technique last winter when I was researching on You Tube on how to tincture again. It makes so much sense, I had to try it myself.
I am using Lemon Balm AND I am tincturing it fresh. I've dried it before and it tastes like pretty much nothing. This is one of those herbs that don't hold on to their essential oils very well. Lemon Balm itself is a calming tonic herb. It was generally used to help promote an overall sense of well-being. It's also soothing and sedative, which is why I'm making some! I plan on using it before going to bed and for those stressful days. I normally use Valerian to help relax, but that stuff makes me VERY sleepy (not good during the day) and I'm figuring that making a tincture formula will help me regulate how much I need as opposed to using an herb in a capsule.
On to tincturing! Get your Vodka, and make it at least 80 -100 proof for the best extractive qualities. I have mine ready to pour...
It's a pretty simple process. Gather your lemon balm, making sure to use the uppermost leaves for the best quality and pack it tightly into a clean, dry, sterile jar. I am using the ever popular canning jar, pint size to be exact. Make sure to macerate or crush the leaves as much as possible to get those essential oils flowing...
On my label, I put the date of when the tincture is done. It's usually four weeks. You can put both start and finish date if you want. I sometimes let it go a little longer. When it's done, you will need to strain your tincture into a clean jar or container. Notice the leaf color change?
Here's a single tincture of lemon balm. I love the nice amber color. This is fine to bottle and use right now, BUT we are going to do this again...!
Here we go with Round #2...top off with more fresh vodka if your tincture doesn't cover the leaves you have in the jar.
Label for four weeks...
Then strain, you know the drill and this is what you get...can you tell which one is the double tincture??!!!
|Single tincture on the left...Double tincture on the right. Amazing!|
Well, there you have it. A double tinctured lemon balm. You can of course, do a triple tincture but I doubt the color will show up much darker on camera. I will definitely triple tincture next summer when my lemon balm is in full swing. To make more of a concentrate for the same amount of tincture is a great idea AND I'm glad I fell across this little jewel of information on You Tube.
Remember too that you can use this technique for all your tinctures; just always start with fresh material. It could be pricey if you are buying the plant material, but if you have your own, like echinacea, valerian, chamomile, peppermint, elderberry...you get the idea. The cost is minimal. (Don't forget to pin this so you can save the "how-to's" for later!)
What's your favorite tincture to make for your herbal medicine cabinet? Blessings everyone!
(Want another great use for Lemon Balm? Check out this post, Tea-licious with Lemon Balm.)
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