What is an herbal tincture?

An herbal tincture represents a concentrated liquid formulation derived from one or more herbs. Crafting a tincture involves soaking herb components in either alcohol or glycerin.

The soaking process extracts the active constituents of the herb or herbs. Typically, alcohol or glycerin serves as the preferred solvent due to its ability to extract components like resins and alkaloids that are not soluble in water.

Administration of tinctures commonly occurs orally, with individuals using a dropper to place the liquid beneath the tongue.

The composition of tinctures varies depending on the herbs involved, encompassing parts of the plant such as dried leaves, bark, berries, roots, and fresh leaves. These tinctures are obtainable online, in health and wellness stores, as well as some grocery or drug stores.

A typical method for tincture preparation involves the following steps:

  1. Collect the pertinent herb parts, which may include berries, leaves, roots, bark, or a combination thereof, and eliminate any unwanted portions.
  2. Wash and roughly chop the herbs before placing them in an airtight jar.
  3. Add alcohol or vinegar to the jar and seal it. A 1-1 plant-to-alcohol ratio is recommended for fresh herbs, while a 1-4 ratio is suitable for dried herbs.
  4. The alcohol concentration should align with the plant's water-soluble components. Higher proof alcohol, ranging from 80 to 100, is appropriate for herbs with more water-soluble constituents, whereas those with fewer water-soluble components necessitate 180-proof alcohol.
  5. Seal the jar and let it sit for at least 6 weeks to allow the alcohol to absorb the herbs' active constituents. Periodically shake the jar during this time.
  6. Upon opening the jar, strain the plant matter from the liquid. Ensure the jars are labeled with essential tincture information, including the herbs' common or Latin names, the plant parts used (fresh or dried), alcohol type and concentration, creation date, and usage instructions.


  1. Administering a tincture involves filling a dropper or small syringe with the liquid and placing it beneath the tongue.
  2. Hold the tincture in the mouth briefly before swallowing.
  3. To mitigate the bitter taste, thoroughly rinse the mouth with water.