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Tincture - Two Methods

Materials needed: 

Clean jars with lids

food scale

measuring cups



long spoon 

labels and a sharpie


Method 1: Folk Method 


As old as time, a true garden side way to make medicine. This method is best with fresh herbs but can be done with dried herbs too. Harvest a large bunch or plant material. Chop it is finely and place it in a jar, patching it in like a bird nest. Pack in tightly and then add more. Pack again and then add more. . . pack herb in tightly until you can’t fit any more in. Once the jar is packed tightly, pour alcohol in until the jar is full. For fresh plant material use 95% alcohol like ever clear. For dried plant material use 50% alcohol like vodka, brandy or tequila.


Method 2: Ratios and Measuring


Fresh Plant Tincture 

With fresh plant we almost always use a 1:2 ratio:

1 Part fresh plant material by weight : 2 Parts menstrual by volume

Menstrual for fresh plant tincture is 95% alcohol like Everclear. Fresh plant contains a good amount of water that will be extracted into the tincture

ex. 10 fresh plant to 20 oz menstruum (alcohol)


Considerations & Helpful Estimates:

How much fresh plant do I harvest? how much herb will fit into my jars? 

We must consider displacement when starting tinctures. 

1/2 gallon jar: 20-22 oz fresh plant material to 40 - 44oz menstruum (alcohol)

Quart Jar: 10-11oz fresh plant material to 20-22 oz menstruum (alcohol).

16oz (pint) Jar: 5-6 oz fresh plant material to 10-12oz menstruum(alcohol).

8oz jar: 2.5 - 3oz fresh plant material to  5-6 oz menstruum (alcohol)


Dry Plant Tincture

With a dry plant tincture we often use a 1:5 ratio

1 part dry plant material :  5 parts menstrual

we use 50-60% alcohol for menstrual. Vodka, brandy and tequila are already 60% alcohol or you can dilute everclear. 

ex. 4oz dry herb plus 20 oz. menstruum - 



Considerations & Helpful Estimates: 

We must consider displacement when figuring out how much herb and menstruum will fit into a jar. 

Here are some helpful estimates:

1/2 gallon jar: 8 - 9 oz dry herb to 40 - 44 oz menstruum

Quart Jar: 4 - 4.4 oz dry herb to 20-22 oz menstruum

16 oz. (pint) jar: 2-2.4 oz dry herb to 10-12 oz menstruum

8oz jar: 1-1.2 oz dry herb to 5-6 oz menstruum


Order of Operations:

  • Measure herb and pack it into the best sized jar for your amount of herb

  • Pour menstruum over herb 

  • Make sure that plant material is totally under the liquid level

  • Top off with alcohol if needed to cover plant material

  • Place tincture on a shelf and shake often 

  • Let sit for at lease 3 weeks


Pressing your Tincture:


After at least 3 weeks of plants infusing into menstruum you can press and take your tincture.

  • Place sieve over a bowl and line the strainer with either unbleached muslin or a nut milk bag

  • pour tincture into sieve 

  • allow the liquid to drain into the bowl

  • squeeze excess liquid through the muslin or milk bag

  • offer the plant material (marc) to the compost

  • pour the tincture (liquid ) into tinted/amber dropper bottle and store in a cool dark place


Taking your tincture

One dropper full is 1mL or 20 drops and considered 1 dose of tincture. Everyone is different and some herbs are low dose medicinals. When making herbal medicine at home work with medicinal plant that you know personally and know are safe. Start small and grow from there. Be Well Y'all.



Caroline Riley, Mutable Earth Botanicals

The Herbal Medicine Makers Handbook by: James Green

The Modern Herbal Dispensatory by, Thomas Easley

Ginger Webb, Herbalist, Sacred Journey School

*The statements made on this site are not intended to treat or diagnose any disease and have not been evaluated by the FDA

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