A tincture is a solution that is either alcohol-based or a solution that is non-volatile. For the former, the solution is usually an extract from a plant or herb. Technically, in order for an alcohol-based solution to be considered a tincture, it has to have at least 40% ethanol (80 proof). In some case, 90% (180 proof) is used. Tinctures are often used in alternative medicine, which relies heavily on herbal concoctions. It is also important to note that many herbal tinctures used for alternative medication do not have 40% ethanol. In fact, the usual concentration is 25%. More so, ethanol is not the only solvent used in herbal tinctures. Other common solvents include vinegar, ether, glycerol, and propylene glycol.
Tinctures used to be very popular in the old days, but their use have waned today. Still, tinctures can be bought from alternative medicine shops and herbal shops. More so, proponents of alternative medicine usually make tinctures at home.
It is quite easy to make a tincture. All you need are herbs (fresh or dried), vodka or rum, a piece of cheesecloth or muslin, and a sterilized sealable jar. Make sure that the herbs are powdered and place them in the jar. Pour the alcohol in jar, filling it up halfway. Seal the jar and store it in a cool dark place for two weeks. Check on the jar every day and give it s vigorous shake to hasten the process. Once the two weeks is up, strain the mixture using the cheesecloth or muslin and transfer the solution to another clean jar. This tincture has a shelf life of up to two years.