Your basic homemade medicines: 10 tinctures to keep in stock
03/01/2018 // Janine Acero // Views

Tinctures are liquid extracts from herbs soaked in alcohol or apple cider vinegar. These extracts can be used to make tea or salves or be used for other purposes. Tinctures are a great way to store your herbs for long periods of time while maintaining their medicinal properties.

According to, vodka is a great alcohol base for herbal tinctures "because it has a high enough alcohol content to draw out and preserve the medicinal properties but it doesn’t have any flavor."

Below are some herbs that make for great homemade tinctures for use against a variety of health conditions.

  1. Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) – Bloodroot tincture is an effective herbal treatment for respiratory issues such as colds, cough, sore throat, sinus conditions, bronchial infection and pneumonia. It is also great for joint pains and swelling such as those caused by arthritis and rheumatism. cautions that pregnant and lactating mothers should not use bloodroot, as it can be highly toxic in large doses.
  2. Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) – Chamomile is widely used for medicinal purposes, most notably as a calming tea that reduces pain and stress. Because of its delicate aroma, it is a great tincture for kids who may be sensitive to strong scents. In addition, chamomile has been known to settle the stomach and reduce gas and colic in infants.
  3. Coneflower (Echinacea) and Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) – Echinacea and goldenseal together can greatly enhance immune system function. Individually, species of echinacea have been used in herbal medicine against a variety of infections, such as ear infection, yeast infection, and even herpes, while goldenseal is a known astringent and antiseptic.
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  5. Garlic (Allium sativum) – Aside from being an excellent ingredient in pasta dishes, garlic is a known antibiotic that functions similarly to penicillin or tetracycline.
  6. Ginger (Zingiber officinale) – Much like garlic, ginger is a favorite ingredient in many dishes, but its most notable use is in herbal medicine thanks to its powerful antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties. It is particularly helpful with digestive issues such as nausea and upset stomach.
  7. Plantain (Musa) – Plantain leaves are used in alternative medicine to take the pain out of insect bites and stings, and even plants, such as poison ivy. Plantains are also used as natural remedies for skin problems such as eczema, boils, ulcers wounds, and burns.
  8. Shepherd's purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris)Shepherd's purse is typically used as a remedy for menstrual cramps, heavy periods, bladder infections, kidney issues, and diarrhea. It is also a diuretic, which means it can increase the production of urine.
  9. St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) – The bright yellow flowers of this plant can be made into tea or pressed for oils and have been known as an effective antidepressant, soothing anxiety and seasonal affective disorder, as well as sleeping problems. It is also antispasmodic; it helps relax muscle spasms, and soothe menstrual cramps and spasmodic coughing. (Related: Make your own elderberry tincture and cough syrup to fight the flu.)
  10. Valerian root (Valeriana officinalis) – This herb is typically used to aid with sleeping problems, especially with children. According to, it's called "nature's Valium" without the potential adverse side effects of the commercial medication used against anxiety disorders.
  11. White willow (Salix alba) – If Valerian root is nature's Valium, the white willow herb is considered nature's aspirin, thanks to its high salicin content, which is found in commercial aspirin that allows it to provide relief from pain and inflammation.

Interested in more natural remedies? Head on to for similar stories.

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