Prepare for winter travel! Learn to make homemade tinctures. Image by Jill Robinson.
Learning how to make a winter travel tincture has been on my to-do list ever since I committed to a trip to England in January. I’ve purchased echinacea tinctures in the past, and while they have been extremely effective, they are a bit on the pricy side for my budget.
Since many of my homemade projects are motivated by my limited bank account, I thought I would just try and make my own batch instead. Not only was this incredibly easy, it was inexpensive. All that’s required is a little planning and patience.
What the Heck Is a Tincture?
Tinctures are concentrated herbal extracts that have been infusing in alcohol anywhere from two to eight weeks.
This age-old method of preserving the health benefits of herbs is popular for its long shelflife (up to two years) and ninja-fast effectiveness once the properties have been extracted. A few drops of a prepared tincture in a glass of water, tea, or placed under the tongue is a convenient way to stay healthy, and makes a great addition to any Go Girl’s packing list.
All you really need is the herb of your choice and an 80- or 100-proof bottle of vodka. Since I happen to be an herb fanatic that also loves bloody mary’s and martinis, I was set to make my first tincture.
Making Your Winter Travel Tincture
Herbs, vodka, and a few jars are all you need to get started. Image by Jill Robinson.
What You’ll Need for Your Tincture:
– Dried herbs
– At least 80- to 100-proof vodka
– Pint jar
– Cheese cloth or some sort of strainer
– Glass bottle with dropper
Being a DIY traveler means you can customize each tincture to your personal needs. Like any homemade product, though, it is really important to do your research, especially if you are already taking prescription meds. Here are a few suggestions for creating a tincture that works best for you.
Herbs to Consider for Your Travel Needs:
– Valerian root – Sleep aid and calming properties
– Ginger root – Helps relieve motion sickness and digestive ailments
– Echinacea root – Immune-boosting superstar
Let’s Get Started!
For the sake of simplicity for this tincture “how-to,” I’ll be referring to measurements for dried herbs. If you would rather use fresh herbs, you’ll have to add more to your jar.
Fill your pint glass half full with your herbs of choice. I’m using sage for this tincture, since it is great for healing sore throats, among a whole list of other ailments.
Don’t worry about being exact when adding the herbs. Image by Jill Robinson.
Pour the vodka over the herbs, filling the jar to the lid line. Give it a stir, and top off if needed as the herbs start to absorb the alcohol. The important thing is that all the herbs are submerged in liquid.
A little vodka for my tincture and a little for myself. Image by Jill Robinson.
Screw on the lid, label, and store away. Leave the herbs to infuse for 6-8 weeks, giving the container a shake regularly.
High-five! You are a DIY traveler with a winter tincture in the works. Image by Jill Robinson.
After a few weeks you’ll be ready to strain and bottle your winter travel tincture. If you are getting anxious or have a trip coming up, a minimum of 2 weeks will work, but the tincture won’t be as potent.
Grab a clean, empty jar and pour the mixture into the empty jar using a strainer or cheese cloth. Make sure to really use those muscles to squeeze out the herbs to capture all that herbal goodness.
Using cheese cloth is an easy way to squeeze the herbs to get out the good stuff. Image by Jill Robinson.
You can now add your mix to a 1-ounce dropper to take on your travels. Just top off as needed when you are getting low.
The shelf life of your travel tincture is two years. Image by Jill Robinson.
Don’t forget to label your jars with the name and date! With the tincture’s long shelflife, you should be set for a couple of travel adventures at least.
To use, you’ll add a dropper full to a glass of water or a few drops under your tongue, once or twice a day, depending on the tincture you have made. You are now on your way to being in top form during your travels abroad.