How To Make Tinctures 101 / Wound Healing Tincture Spray / Herbal Medicine From The Garden

If you're interested in being more self-reliant 
when it comes to healing your family,   then tinctures are an excellent addition 
to have in your medicine cabinet or your   apothecary cupboard and you can make them 
from herbs in your own garden and a tincture   can last up to 20 years in the cupboard, so if 
you're not using it, it's not going to waste.   If you're wondering what a tincture is and 
why you'd make and use a tincture or when and   how you harvest the herbs to make a tincture, 
then hang out with me and i'll show you how.   Hi guys I'm Elissa at Moat Cottage Homesteading. 
A tincture is a solution that's made by soaking   herbs in an alcohol, to extract all the 
healing properties out of it. Some herbs   can be extracted using glycerin or vinegar, 
however only some can be extracted that way,   whereas all herbs can be extracted using an 
alcohol. Depending on the herbs you're using   and the condition you're trying to heal, some 
tinctures can be used as a drop underneath the   tongue, a few drops of the liquid or they 
can be turned into a spray and sprayed on,   for example, a wound or an infection, but 
we'll talk about that a little bit later on.   I like using tinctures because they work really 
fast, they get the herb into where you need it   quickly, they're easy to make and like I said 
earlier they store for 20 years in the cupboard,   so if you make a few ahead of time, you have 
a few bases covered in the healing department   and you can use them whenever you want and 
they're not going to go bad in a year or two,   so it makes sense to me to 
have a few on hand, at least.   There are many different ways to use herbs and 
tinctures is just one way.

Other ways are making   a tea, a herbal salve, a poultice, a herbal 
oil, you can take a syrup or make a capsule,   there's a suppository, but I'm not a big fan of 
that. You can make a herbal wash or you can use   herbs directly on the skin in some cases, like 
with Aloe Vera and I've shown you how to do some   of these things in past videos, so if you want 
to check out that playlist you can check that   out after this. A tincture is just another way 
to get the herbs to where they're needed to heal.   There are so many different herbs you 
can use in your tinctures for different   ailments and we could spend a whole 
year just talking about that straight,   which would be a very long video and you probably 
wouldn't have time to watch it so we're going to   keep it simple and today I'm just going to 
talk about Yarrow, Comfrey and Calendula.   Calendula is an annual or a perennial 
depending on where you live.   You use the whole flower head and not just the 

It's antibacterial, anti-inflammatory,   it helps stop infection and heals wounds, it 
can also help with pain of minor injuries. Yarrow is a perennial. You can use the leaves, 
stems and flowers to stop minor bleeding and   infection. Pregnant women and women with pelvic 
inflammation disease shouldn't be using Yarrow,   neither should men trying to become fathers, 
as it's known to stop sperm production in mice   so it's probably a good idea to avoid 
that if you're trying to become a father. It's early spring here so the Yarrow 
is not in flower at the moment   so we're only going to be using the leaves today 
and I'm harvesting the nicer looking leaves. Comfrey is a perennial and you can use 
the root, the flowers and the leaves,   they're all good.

At this time 
of year we can harvest the root,   it's just starting to sprout so the root will 
still be quite potent at this time of year.   Brush off as much soil as you can and then give 
it a good wash in a bucket of water so that you're   not leaving a whole lot of soil in your sink. Once 
it's washed, I place it on a tea towel to dry.   With the comfrey you can use the root and you can 
use the leaves, it's a fast healer, it knits bones   together, it's fast at healing skin, it stops 
bleeding, it reduces swelling and pain in sprains   and it softens the skin as well.

It's not good 
to use on an open wound alone because it heals   so fast that it might heal the infection in so 
you want to use something like the Calendula or   the Yarrow or both as well so that that's dealing 
with the infection. It is great on a scab if it's   already scabbed up, then it's brilliant and like i 
said it also knits bones together for broken bones   but it's not recommended for babies and 
pregnant women. I actually use comfrey root   on my face, so i blend it up and then put it 
on my face, I make sure no one's home and the   curtains are closed so no one can see and i use it 
as a face mask, it is so healing, it's brilliant,   i love it! So that's just a little trick that 
i do, it's up to you if you try that or not,   but it does work, it's brilliant! Now some of 
you are going to ask me where do i get herbs   from? where can you get herbs? where can you 
source herbs? You want to source your herbs   from a reputable Seller because you want to make 
sure you have fresh herbs that are good quality   and that there's no pesticides or chemicals in 
the herbs because you don't want to be trying to   heal yourself with toxic plants.

The best thing i 
suggest is to grow your own because you don't need   to grow all of the herbs, obviously you can't grow 
all of the herbs, but some herbs that you can grow   will be the ones that you use and then 
if you have to outsource some of them,   that you can't grow, say if you're not in a 
tropical environment you can't grow cloves,   then you might have to import them or 
source them from a reputable seller.   But I recommend growing your own because then you 
can be certain of the identification of the herbs   because some herbs actually look alike and you 
might think that you're getting the right herb and   it's not and you don't want to be using the wrong 
herb because in some cases that can be deadly,   so if you are growing your own herbs, 
you'll know exactly what they are,   you'll know when to harvest them at 
the freshest and the best time of year   and then you'll be using them and making tinctures 
with the best quality product that you can use.   If you grow your own you'll know that 
there are no chemicals on them as well.   If you're going to be foraging for herbs, then 
you need to take a few things into consideration.   One is obviously the identification of 
the plant, you want to make sure you have   the right identification so that you're 
using the right herb, that is the first   most important thing, The second thing is 
you don't want to use toxic plants, so keep   away from the roadways where there are cars 
because the pollution will get onto the herbs,   even in a busy city would probably not be the 
most ideal thing for sourcing clean herbs,   that really depends where you live i guess.

also don't want to harvest your herbs next to a   farm that uses chemicals because the water 
washes off the farm and off the paddocks,   into where your herbs possibly growing and 
then the herbs absorb all that extra pollution   and it's actually chemicals, so it's an 
extra nitrogen, they'll just suck that up and   that can make your herbs not good to 
eat or use for medicinal purposes…. and the other thing is don't harvest all of the 
herb, only take a small amount and leave the   majority of the plant there because you don't 
want to be damaging the plant so much that it   can't recover, you want it to keep growing or 
to set seeds so that it can make more plants   and that we can have more medicine for everyone. 
Not only do some herbs look alike, but they are   completely different herbs, we have the same name 
for a few different herbs or we have different   names in different countries, so it can be a 
little bit tricky when we're talking about herbs,   to actually know what we're talking about, we 
can be on different pages, so the good thing is   is that we have botanical names which are used 

So i will leave the botanical names   of the plants that i'm talking about today so 
that we are actually talking about the same plant   because something as simple as purslane can be 
many different plants and they don't look alike   but we're talking about something 
completely different, so   not that we're talking about that plant today 
but that's just my example. So the good thing   is is that we have a worldwide botanical name so 
we can all know exactly what we're talking about and we're using the right plants.

When and how you 
harvest your herbs, really depends on two things,   the first thing is the part of the plant that 
you're wanting to harvest for the medicinal   purposes and the second is the type of plant it 
is, whether it's an annual, biannual or perennial.   So the first section being the part of the plant 
we need to harvest. If you're harvesting leaves,   then spring, maybe even early summer can 
be the best time for the leaves. With the   flowers obviously that's when the flowers 
are in flower, when they're at their peak,   when they look beautiful, that's when 
you need to cut them off and use them,   The best time i find to harvest them is first 
thing in the morning after any dew or moisture is   dried up on the plants and they're nice and dry, 
but before they're getting too hot in the sunshine   and that's the best time to harvest for 
all the good oils, to be in the plants   at their strongest.

The roots or tubers 
however are best harvested when the plant   is dormant, so that can be the end of 
autumn if you're in a really cold climate,   so when the plant has died down before any snow 
and frosts and all that sort of stuff happens   or if you live in a climate that's cool or warm 
and when i say cool, i mean Australia cool, then   you can harvest them all through winter 
as well, so i find late autumn there's   still stuff happening but by winter 
here, we don't get the heavy snows,   so you can harvest all through winter, the 
plants are dormant and the roots and tubers   are ready to harvest throughout that period and 
also early spring in all locations, just before   they start to sprout off again, all the goodness 
is inside that tuber or the roots and they're not   putting all their energy into making flowers, 
or plants and leaves and all that sort of stuff   and the other consideration is the type of plant. 
So is it going to be an annual? which means the   plant only lasts a year, which is really only 
three seasons because they die off for winter.   Perennials last for a long time, they just keep 
coming back each year on the same tubers or roots   and then you've got the biannuals and they last 
for two years.

So the first year they'll be just   a plant, it'll be the leaves and then by the 
second year, that's when they go to flower,   so with the biannuals you need 
to harvest the roots or tubers   after the first year but before they go to seed, 
because otherwise all the energy will have been   put into making flowers and seeds in that second 
year, so there's no point waiting till after   they've done that because then there's 
nothing left and they're about to die. When i'm making tinctures, I 
prefer to use fresh herbs if i can   rather than dehydrated herbs, but that's obviously 
only if i can because that's not always possible. i like to use a clean pair of scissors to chop 
up my leaves and flowers. You can use a knife,   the main thing is is that you 
chop them up nice and fine   so that all that goodness can 
come out, into the tincture,   into the alcohol that we're going to be using 
or if you choose to use glycerin, or a vinegar For this recipe i do recommend using an alcohol 

I chop up the flowers, i find the   easiest way is to chop the petals up first and 
then move on to the main part of the flower,   the center part of the flower and chop that up 
finely and then i give it all a chop up together. Roots and tubers can go in the blender, which 
is what i do. I put them in my nutribullet,   it's brilliant, it mashes it up really 
quickly or you can use a knife and just   be very patient and chop it up as fine as you can,   otherwise you could use a grater and grate 
it up, just watch out for those fingers. You can see it's all mulched up, it's clumping 
together but it is all mulched up into little bits   so that all that goodness 
can go out into the alcohol. My jars have already been 
sterilized and they're dry,   so i put the herbs into the clean jars 
and then i cover with alcohol.

I like to   use a vodka because vodka is quite clean, i 
use an alcohol percentage of alcohol of 40. there are a couple of reasons i use the 40% 
alcohol volume and that is because it's cheaper   than the 80 volume and it's easier to mix up my 
sprays when i'm making a spray because you mix 50%   water with 50% of the alcohol that's 
been herb infused (The tincture) Whereas if it's an 80% volume of alcohol, you 
do have a different mixture percentage (Ratio) The percentages of the herbs i'm using 
is about equal parts of each herb   or as close as that as i can get to, by eye.

Cover all the herbs with the alcohol, 
leaving enough room for the lid   and then it will be stored in a dark location, 
in a pantry or a cupboard and it will be shaken   daily, so put it somewhere where you will see it 
every day, for at least 10 days, longer is better. After six weeks of shaking daily, i 
then put it in the apothecary cupboard and of course you label your tinctures. 
Write the herbs that are in it,   write that it is a tincture and the date that you 
made it. I also write if i use vodka or glycerin,   i don't really make vinegar ones, so i don't 
need to worry about that, but it's a good idea   to write what is in it exactly so that you know 
where you can use it because you don't want to   be giving babies vodka when you're giving them 
a tincture, that's suitable for internal use i made this Comfy root tincture about two 
weeks ago so it's been brewing for that long   and it's ready to start using now if i want to,   so i'm going to show you how to use a spray 

I don't use comfrey internally i   only use it as a topical application, 
so i'm going to make it into a spray now with the spray you have a spray 
container and you put some water in it,   make sure it's filtered water and obviously 
the containers that i use are all sterilized,   they've all been washed in hot soapy water and 
rinsed thoroughly, so there's no residue in   them now. Once you mix up your tincture with 
water for a spray, it only lasts three days,   so i never make a huge batch for the spray i'm 
going to make.

I've got that much water in there   and i'm just going to make a 50: 50 solution 
of the alcohol(tincture) and the water you can get some of the 
alcohol solution into a dropper which can take a little bit of time depending 
how much you can get into the dropper so give that a shake up and then it's ready to 
use and you can spray that on the affected area,   so with a comfrey tincture, I only use 
that on wounds that have already scabbed up   and i don't have a scab to show 
you and you spray it on like that,   it's that simple, so if you've got an animal 
that's been eaten by a fox and it's still alive   you can spray some of this onto the wound 
quite easily, that can go quite a distance animals, people, it works all the same ,it's great   and you can really smell that comfy root. 
So that will last three days like that.   I always label and date so i can remember 
what day i made it and what it actually is.   This part of the tincture will last for 20 years 
so you don't have to pull the herbs out of the   tincture, you can leave them like that brewing 
because you can't over brew the solution or   if you want you can then strain it off.   I would usually wait for the six week 
mark, at least, to do this though.

And you can see that the vodka 
has turned a nice deep amber color and then this part of the tincture 
can be stored in a sealed amber   color container as well, in a 
dark room or a dark cupboard. i really want to brew mine for a bit longer so i'll pour it back in so depending on the herbs that you're using and 
who you're trying to heal and the condition you're   trying to heal, will depend on how you use your 

Some tinctures are a topical spray,   like the comfy root, because i don't use comfy 
root internally it's always externally. Also   you can use the tinctures, not this one, you 
can use other tinctures under your tongue,   as (with) a dropper. Get a professional's advice 
if you want to use herbs, especially if you're   pregnant because some herbs aren't for pregnant 
ladies or if you're treating babies and children   and if you're using any other sort of medication 
as well because pharmaceutical medications can   interact with the herbs, they can interact with 
each other and you can mess up what you're already   doing with your pharmaceutical medication, 
so you really need to get a naturopath or   a doctor's opinion on that, but choose a medical 
professional who knows what they're talking about,   who knows about herbs.

Check out my "Using Herbs 
for Healing" Playlist. Thanks for watching..

As found on YouTube