While paying for the convenience of a manufactured herbal extract can be nice, we have found that the best medicines are those we make ourselves. Not only that, but for those of us that incorporate extracts into our daily diet the costs really begins to add up. Making your own extracts will save you hundreds and possibly thousands of dollars.
This recipe is the simplest way to make your own liquid herbal extracts in your own home. Start with a clean jar that has a tight fitting lid and the herbs of your choice. If you can use fresh herbs, then fabulous! Fresh material is always preferred but availability is determined by your local bio-region, climate, etc and many quality herbs may not be available. If you cannot locate fresh materials, be sure to get good quality, organic herbs from a reputable supplier. Note: Try not to use powdered herbs; they will be difficult to filter out in the end and the debris will settle in your final product.
If using fresh material, chop the herbs finely. Then put in the glass jar. Next, pour a good, strong grain alcohol or Vodka over the herbs, completely covering the herbal material. If you are using dried herbs you will need to add more alcohol over the next day or two as the dried herbs absorb and expand. A good ratio for dried material is about 1 part herb to 5 parts alcohol and with fresh material 1 part herb to 3 parts alcohol.
After you have done this, cover with tight fitting lid and be sure to place a plastic bag sandwiched between the lid and the jar. This will prevent rust contamination from spoiling your extract.
Shake well and place the jar in a dark place & allow the herbs to soak or macerate for 4 to 6 weeks. Shake every few days. The alcohol will siphon and extract the active constituents from the herbs. After 4 to 6 weeks strain the herbs. Use a large sieve, strainer, press or potato ricer lined with fine mesh cloth or cheesecloth. Then pour into another large bowl or container. After you have done this grab the soggy herbal material and place in muslin, cheese or another fine cloth and tightly squeeze the material to extract every last drop from the cloth. The herbal material left over that is saturated, is the strongest in terms of active medicinal constituents. Now funnel the material from your larger container into smaller bottles, preferably amber bottles and store your tinctures in a cool dark place. Voila! You have now made your own remarkable medicinal herbal extract for a fraction of the price you would have paid at the store. By now you have probably noticed that your pantry is stored with some 16-20 ounces of liquid herbal extract……this will last you for some time. (It will keep for 3-5 years) Enjoy!