How to Make Alcohol and Non-Alcohol Extracts (Tinctures)
Diagnosed with ADD and Manic Depression (Bipolar II) when I was fifteen, I tried a lot of prescription drugs. It was a hard battle, when I dealt with many inconsistencies in appetite and sleep. Nearly the entire population has a psychiatric diagnoses these days, and its is a hard pill to swallow during economic crisis. Whether your place of work is still providing health insurance benefits or not, I know that insurance companies do not necessarily cover new/expensive psychiatric drugs. For this reason, and the risk of recent research showing dangers of said drugs, many patients have taken interest in herbal medicine. Myself included. Taking my treatment into my own hands was not only empowering, but more successful. I I find a lot of solace in the idea of knowing exactly what kind of drugs I am taking, and having thousands of years of research to fall back on. (Given, all herbal medicines still have risks and dangers, so stay informed on what you are taking.) The self-exploration was a liberating experience. I learned more about my own mental and physical health needs and tailored my own medications to suit those needs.
Tinctures are one of the easiest processes to ingest particular dosages of medicinal herbs. They are unbelievably cheap and simple to make in your own time. As my video describes above, tinctures are made with either vodka (>80 proof alcohol) or vinegar (recommended organic raw apple cider vinegar). Benefits of herbal tinctures overlap the benefits of herbal tea, because tea can only extract water solubles therefore has less medicinal value. The shelf life of tinctures can range anywhere from 1-3 years, while tea is about 1-4 weeks. Tinctures are best taken in a hot tea or juice, and take effect within 20-40 minutes. Please steer clear from using anything but organic or wild-harvest herbs, to avoid the harmful fungicides and insecticides of conventional crops. To store tinctures, I suggest funneling them into a labelled amber bottle with a dropper. These are available at some natural health food stores, artisan herbalists, or Mountain Rose Herbs in Eugene, Oregon. I have also reused old bottles from store-bought Vanilla and Peppermint Extracts.
Check Etsy for local merchants or travel to your nearest farmer’s market, for all necessary supplies and ingredients. Remember to buy in bulk!
Self-sufficiency is important in all areas of life, including your medicine cabinet. Never take your privileges for granted. Be prepared. Be knowledgeable. My heart goes out to everyone affected by Hurricane Sandy earlier this week. May this experience be one that binds everyone together in strength and unity.
Thank you for reading, and good luck in your liberation from consumerism!
❤ Nellie Ann