how to make a tincture

I first tried my hand at making my own tinctures as a newbie natural mama.

Much to my surprise, nothing exploded. ¬†ūüôā

Aside from the amazing¬†savings you reap from making your own herbal “medicines” (more on that in a minute!), the feeling of satisfaction is well worth the minimal effort required.¬† It just¬†feels good to learn something new about keeping your family healthy and well!

You can use a number of base ingredients for your tinctures; I prefer vegetable glycerin, since it is naturally sweet-tasting and is easy for children to take.


To make your own glycerin tincture, you’ll need:

herbs (in this case, I used olive leaf)

vegetable glycerin (available from Bulk Herb Store)

canning jar(s) with a lid (I used one jelly-size jar)

a crock pot

The following tutorial is taken from The Cottage Mama’s DIY Guide:

  1. Fill a clean canning jar (or jars) about two-thirds full of herbs of your choice.  You can use a single herb or combine a mixture of herbs.
  2. Add just enough boiling water to wet the herbs, then pour enough glycerin to fill the jar(s).  Leave at least 1-inch of headway at the top.
  3. Place lid tightly on the jar(s).¬† I usually label the jar with the type of herbs I’m using so I don’t forget what kind of tincture I’m making!
  4. Place a wash cloth in the bottom of your crock pot.  This will keep your jar(s) from breaking.
  5. Add the jar(s) to the crock pot and pour enough hot water to almost cover the top.
  6. Turn the crock pot on low. You will let the herbs simmer for three days to infuse the glycerin with the herbs.  Add water to the crock pot as needed (usually two or three times a day at most).
  7. After three days, remove jar(s) from the crock pot.  Using cheese cloth or a clean piece of cotton material (such as an old t-shirt), strain the liquid from the herbs into a clean container.  Give the herbs a good squeeze to remove all the liquid, then discard the herbs.
  8. You now have a herbal tincture!¬† Pour it into an amber bottle and be sure to label and date it.¬† Glycerin tinctures will keep for several years, but we always use our up before they have a chance to “go bad”.

If making your own herbal tincture seems a bit intimidating, consider the savings:

From Bulk Herb Store, I ordered a half-pound of olive leaf for $4.20, and a 16-oz bottle of vegetable glycerin for $6.95.

Following the simple procedure I shared above, I made my own olive leaf tincture over the weekend.  Using enough herbs and glycerin to fill a jelly-sized canning jar, my tincture yielded just over 4-ounces of liquid.

I hardly made a dent in either my herbs or my glycerin and estimate that my homemade tincture cost around $3 or $4 to make (factoring in the shipping costs for both items).

A 4-oz bottle of olive leaf tincture costs around $25 —¬†that’s quite a savings!

For more DIY projects for health and home, grab our DIY Guide ebook!

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2 thoughts on “how to make a tincture

  1. Do you have ingredient lists for specific tinctures? What are they used for? What is the dosage? What is olive leaf tincture used for? I have so many questions. Maybe you could do a whole post on tinctures.

    Posted on February 26, 2014 at 11:05 pm
  2. wow, this is so easy. I will be trying some soon. Thanks.

    Posted on February 26, 2014 at 6:10 pm