We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Tincture?

Michael Pollick
By
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A tincture is an alcohol-based derivative of a fresh herb or other natural plant material, used primarily as an alternative medicine or dietary supplement. Few mainstream pharmaceuticals still offer medicines in this form, although this method is still popular among herbalists and homeopathic practitioners.

One of the main problems faced by early pharmacists was drug potency. Many drug compounds were mixed by hand at the drugstore and sold to patients soon afterwards. The drugs in powdered form often lost much of their potency within a few days or weeks. Tinctures, however, could remain potent for several years.

The alcohol, glycerin or vinegar used in a tincture added stability to the concentrated chemicals found in the herbs. Although hundreds of herbs and plants could survive the process, the most common formulas involved chemicals like laudanum, mecurochrome and iodine. An opium-based anesthetic called tincture of paregoric was also very popular in the late 19th century.

Because the list of ingredients is small and the process very straightforward, many believers in herbal medications make their own tinctures to this day. These are considerably cheaper than their commercial counterparts, and they remain potent for up to two years. To prepare an herbal tincture, you will need a supply of dried, powdered or fresh herbs; a clean wide-mouthed jar; cheesecloth or muslin; and a supply of vodka or rum.

Place the herbs inside the jar and pour enough vodka or rum to cover them completely. Continue to pour the alcohol until you've reached the halfway point of the jar. Place a lid on the jar and store it in a dark, cool place for up to two weeks.

Shake the jar at least once a day. The alcohol should draw out the essence of the herbs. After two weeks, carefully strain the tincture through a cheesecloth or muslin into another clean jar and store it in a medicine cabinet. Most recipes call for one tablespoon to be consumed at mealtime at least once a day. In place of the vodka or rum, vinegar or glycerin can be used. The ultimate point of a tincture is not to cause intoxication, but to provide the strongest possible concentration of an herb's healing essences.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Michael Pollick
By Michael Pollick , Writer
As a frequent contributor to The Health Board, Michael Pollick uses his passion for research and writing to cover a wide range of topics. His curiosity drives him to study subjects in-depth, resulting in informative and engaging articles. Prior to becoming a professional writer, Michael honed his skills as an English tutor, poet, voice-over artist, and DJ.

Discussion Comments

By anon208998 — On Aug 24, 2011

Is it all right to have the tincture soaking for more than two weeks? Mine has been in the jar for about a month now.

By anon118136 — On Oct 13, 2010

recently i visited doctor for my gray hairs and she gave me some tablets and folic tincture. is it safe to use it? i just want to know how it acts on hairs? please answer.

By anon108471 — On Sep 02, 2010

Thanks for a great site. i have recently started making my own tinctures and this page has been a big help.

By anon83400 — On May 10, 2010

If I'm making a tincture with a wide mouthed mason jar, how much herbs should I put in the bottom? - Just enough to cover the bottom, an inch, two inches?

thanks, Bob

By anon70406 — On Mar 14, 2010

thank you catapult43. that was helpful.

By anon64532 — On Feb 08, 2010

I was tired of spending thousands of dollars for prescription meds and having doctors cut me off due to a legitimate condition.

I'm pain free thanks to mother nature and a friend to help me learn. I'm now a pain management doctor, taking care of myself, still paying 350$/month for health insurance.

By anon57410 — On Dec 22, 2009

Tincture of Iodine is defined in the U.S. National Formulary (NF) as containing in each 100 mL, 1.8 to 2.2 grams of iodine, and 2.1 to 2.6 grams of sodium iodide. Alcohol is 50 ml and the balance is purified water.

By anon53483 — On Nov 21, 2009

I have recently found that 5-7 drops of a medical Cannabis tincture three times a day has dramatically reduced my arthritis pain and my dependency on Codeine meds. It is with a doctor's recommendation that this is possible in my state.

By anon41431 — On Aug 14, 2009

after the tincture is ready through the process of treating alcohol with the desired herb, what name would it be called with? for example ginseng treated with alcohol will be known as "tincture ginseng?"

By jeffhartley — On Dec 13, 2008

what herbs can i use for tinctures?

By catapult43 — On Aug 27, 2008

Using 80-proof alcohol, vodka, rum or brandy is just about right for the tincture. Anything stronger will not improve the herbs medicinal quality, and anything less then 80-proof might not store well.

By Lstdream — On Aug 26, 2008

can i just go to a liquor shop and buy vodka or rum & use it as a preservative for tincture. are any brand names or specific names available?

By Marggs — On May 19, 2008

What herbs do i use to make tincture?

By catapult43 — On Mar 15, 2008

How much tincture to take? many herbalists follow a standard dose of 1 drop of tincture for every 5 pounds of body weight. It should be placed in 8 ounces of water.

Even though dried herbs are acceptable for tincture making, fresh herbs are preferable.

Michael Pollick

Michael Pollick

Writer

As a frequent contributor to The Health Board, Michael Pollick uses his passion for research and writing to cover a wide...
Learn more
The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.