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I’ve been working for awhile on concocting alternatives to all the lab-created medications that hubby and I use even semi-regularly. Capsules containing powdered herbs work pretty well, but they take some time to work and some even need to build up in your system to be really effective. A couple of years ago, I decided to try making tinctures. They are incredibly easy to make and work very well … most work very quickly too. And between the capsules and the tinctures, both hubby and I have ditched everything except ibuprofen. No more side effects and we get to save some cash too. 🙂

All you need is some 80 or 100 proof vodka (and the cheap stuff works just fine) and whatever herbs you decide to use. The alcohol acts as a solvent and extracts the medicinal properties of the herbs. And since it doesn’t need to be digested (like the powdered herbs) the solution goes to work almost immediately. I’ve had to “cook” up a few tinctures recently so I thought I’d share in the hope that others can benefit from our experiences.

The basic tincture recipe is to add at least 2 tablespoons of crushed/ground (I like to use a coffee grinder dedicated to grinding herbs) herbs to each 5 ounces of vodka. Dark colored bottles (to keep light out) are preferable. Shake the bottle at least once a day for two to four weeks, strain out the solid herb material, and the tincture is ready to use. I usually make up a 16 ounce bottle which lasts roughly 6 -10 weeks with both of us using the tinctures every day. A 2 ounce bottle with a dropper top is perfect to use for dispensing the tincture.

OK … so here are some of the “recipes” we use:

Antihistamine – Heather Flowers, Honeysuckle Flowers, and Horehound
Decongestant – Nettle Leaves, Fennel Seed, and Echinacea Root
Relax / Sleep – Chamomile Flowers, Wild Lettuce, and Valerian Root
Indigestion – Peppermint Leaves, Ginger Root, and Chicory Root
Immune Booster – Rose Hips, Goldenseal Root, and Elder Berries
Detoxification – Hydrangea Root, Dandelion Root, Sarsaparilla Root (the Indian variety, not the Jamaican or Mexican), Echinacea Angustifolia Root, and Honeysuckle Flower
Menopause Relief – Black Cohosh Root, Chasteberry, Shatavari Root, Fo Ti Root, Red Clover Flower, Dong Quai Root, and Wild Yam Root
Prostate Support – Saw Palmetto Berries, Pygeum Bark, and Yellow Dock Root

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