Tincture Recipe Calculator

Crafting Your Own Tinctures

Determining the precise amount of alcohol (the menstruum) needed for effective tincturing, based on a specific herb-to-weight extraction ratio, can be a challenge. Our tincture recipe and potency calculator simplifies this process, helping both novices and seasoned practitioners alike create perfect tinctures every time.

Calculator Overview

  • Standard Mode: Calculates the necessary amount of alcohol based on the weight of your herbs and the desired extraction ratio, along with the final potency and concentration of herbs per dropperful.
  • Advanced Mode: Allows for detailed customization by enabling you to add the serving size and specific herbs and concentrations, adjusting the formula's potency and yield based on dosage.

Tincture Recipe and Potency Calculator


Forging Connections Through Herbal Alchemy

At its core, herbalism is an experiential practice deeply rooted in centuries of hands-on refinement and tradition. The art of using plants for healing has evolved with each era while retaining its core essence: the profound connection between humans and the natural world.

Making Tinctures As We Uphold Legacies of Healing Traditions

The history of tinctures is intertwined with the history of home-based medicine making. Long before tinctures were mass-produced, they were crafted in kitchens and home apothecaries by individuals dedicated to harnessing the transformative power of herbs. This tradition of home medicine making is not just about creating herbal medicines; it is about engaging in the alchemical process of transformation, where simple ingredients become potent elixirs of healing, and where we, as medicine makers, become more of who we are.

Making tinctures at home allows us to engage directly with the plants we use, fostering our personal relationships with the natural world. This practice reconnects us with the rhythms of nature, our own internal rhythms of self, and how those two intersect, merge, and meld into our own innate healing abilities. It is an act of love and care, both for ourselves and for others, as we share the herbal medicines we craft. Through this alchemy, we transform not only the herbs but also our understanding of health and well-being.

Responsibly Sourcing and Wild-Harvesting Herbs

When sourcing herbs for your tinctures, practice responsible sourcing and wild-harvesting. Here are some guidelines to help you make informed and sustainable choices:

  • Know Your Source: Purchase herbs from reputable suppliers who prioritize sustainable harvesting practices.
  • Harvest Responsibly: When wild-harvesting, only take what you need and never more than 10% of the plant population in the area.
  • Respect the Ecosystem: Ensure that your harvesting does not disrupt the local ecosystem.
  • Avoid Endangered Species: Do not harvest or purchase herbs from endangered or at-risk plant species.
  • Educate Yourself: Learn about the plants you are harvesting, including their growth habits and ecological roles.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should I let my tincture sit before using it?

Generally, tinctures should sit for 2-4 weeks to ensure proper extraction of the herb's properties. Shake the jar gently every day during this period.

Can I use fresh herbs instead of dried herbs?

Yes, of course you can use fresh herbs. However, fresh herbs contain more water, so you might need to adjust the extraction ratio to account for this. Typically, the herb ratio is doubled for fresh herbs.

How are these different from the “folk method” for making tinctures?

The folk method for tincture making is how many home apothecaries craft their tinctures. This method involves simply filling a jar with herbs, then adding alcohol to just cover the herbs. This is an easy, practical, and straightforward way to make a tincture. However, by determining the weight to volume extraction ratio—as we're doing here—you'll be able to determine the exact dosage of the final product. This offers accurate dosing of the tincture and allows you to know exactly what you are taking.

How do I use this calculator for making Pine Pollen tinctures?

Making a tincture is an ideal way to utilize your wild-crafted Pine Pollen. Pine Pollen is completely indigestible in its unprocessed form. Tincturing unlocks unprocessed Pine Pollen, rendering it completely bioavailable. To make a Pine Pollen tincture, use the tincture recipe calculator as you would with any other herb, fresh or dried. Follow the calculator's instructions to balance the alcohol and herb correctly, ensuring effective extraction and preservation.

Can I use this calculator for making Chaga tincture or Reishi tincture?

Yes, it's a great idea to tincture your wild-harvested Chaga and Reishi. Both of these functional mushrooms (technically fungi) require extensive processing to break down their cell walls and release their healing potential. The cell walls of mushrooms and fungi are composed of an indigestible polysaccharide called chitin—the same polysaccharide that the exoskeletons of crustaceans are made of. Tincturing is a highly effective method for breaking down chitin and is less energy-intensive than extended decoction (another method for doing this at home). Before tincturing, powder the mushrooms to ensure efficient extraction and your ability to press the tincture after extraction. Use the tincture recipe and potency calculator to balance the alcohol and mushroom powder correctly, ensuring effective extraction and preservation.

What is the best alcohol concentration (proof) for making tinctures?

A 40% alcohol to 60% water concentration (80 proof) is perfect for tincturing. This concentration is readily available and effective because it allows for extraction using both alcohol and water (water is, after all, the universal solvent). The high concentration of alcohol also helps preserve the tincture.

How should I store my finished tincture?

Store your tincture in a clean, dark glass bottle in a cool, dark place. This helps maintain its potency and extends its shelf life.

Can I use different types of alcohol for tincturing?

Yes, you can use different types of alcohol, such as vodka, brandy, or rum. Ensure the alcohol is at least 80 proof (40% alcohol) to effectively extract the medicinal properties of the herbs.

How can I make a gluten-free tincture?

Any standard and unadulterated hard alcohol, such as vodka, will be gluten-free. By the very nature of distillation, distilled spirits—what we call hard alcohol or liquor—are gluten-free. However, if you have celiac disease or another true gluten allergy, you may want to select a certified gluten-free alcohol as your menstruum. Otherwise, simply choose whatever distilled spirit you fancy, such as vodka, rum, or brandy, and continue on with your tincture-making endeavors.

How do I use my tincture?

Tinctures are typically taken by dropperful. The concentration will determine the dosage, so refer to the specific recommendations for the herbs you are using.