Need to know how to make a tincture? Dry your herbs? Make a salve? If you have a tip or a suggestion or question on how to use your healing herbs, please post it here


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Comment by Amethyst Samia on April 22, 2015 at 7:47am


Article on tools, clothing, techniques for wildcrafting medicinal herbs. Includes some info on identification of plants as well.

Ryan Drum, author

Comment by Amethyst Samia on September 24, 2014 at 6:12am

Posted by Adolpha Gavin's on 09/23/2014


Good video with info on seed collecting of lovage. Info applies to other plants as well. From Learning Herbs

Comment by Amethyst Samia on September 20, 2014 at 3:00am
Farcia_Eavan I do not offer a Sacred Dmoke course. That info was posted by Perimede. You might want to ask her. I'm not sure if she visits the pages much so you might want to ask her on the main wall or send her a PM.

If you find out would you please let us know here, with maybe a link too? It does sound like a good course doesn't it.
Comment by Farica_Eavan on August 29, 2014 at 7:55am

 Amethyst Samia, Do you offer your sacred smoke course online as well? If so, very interested...

Comment by Amethyst Samia on August 15, 2014 at 8:27am


A great article from Mother Earth News on different ways to preserve our herbs. Most of these are for culinary use, but that's just another way to get these healing herbs into our bodies.

Comment by Amethyst Samia on July 16, 2014 at 8:09pm


posted by Perimede on 14 July 2014

Yes, and that is taken into account with the alcohol. If you using fresh herbs, it is a factor, and it's one that you should take advantage of because some compounds are water soluble while others are alcohol (or oil or heat soluble). If you are making oils using the double boiler method, then you need to leave the cap off and let the oil 'clear' for a few days, but it's not a concern when making a tincture. Actually, when I make a tincture, I take advantage of that fact by doing a sort of 'double extraction'. I let the fresh herb steep according to the previous instructions. Then I squeeze out the plant matter (as best I can), add 1 cup water to the plant material and simmer it on the stove for a few hours (adding water as necessary. Then I squeeze out the plant material again and 1/2 cup of the water extraction to the alcohol extraction. I'm adding the compounds that were insoluble in the alcohol, but were soluble in water and by heat, if that makes sense.

Comment by Amethyst Samia on July 16, 2014 at 7:59pm


posted by Perimede, 15 July 2014

I've been offering a 'Sacred Smoke' class that has been very well received locally for a number of reasons. Many of the 'traditional' resins and woods that have been harvested for centuries have reached endangered status. The prices of Frankencense, copal, golanga and others have shot through the roof. Also, there is the added toll on the environment of getting them to your house which takes a significant amount of fossil fuel. And most commercial incense has chemicals added to make them burn better. Many of these chemicals are quite harmful to breath. So I refer to make my own and the class focuses on making all sorts, from the simplist (see below) to making ancient kyphi and cone and stick incenses. But this is one that I used as a poor college student. There were times I didn't have the money even for charcoal (now, I make my own to avoid the saltpeter that is often used). Use plain un-inked paper (yes, you can get fancy and get hemp or any other style paper that you'd like, roll it into a tube and place it in a glass filled with salt. Use a funnel and carefully fill the tube with dried powdered local herbs (such as mugwort or chamomile) or even dried powdered herbs from the dollar store'. Light the paper and it will burn for about 20 minutes (sometimes longer, depending on the herb and how well it packed.) Never leave burning candles or incense unattended.

Comment by Amethyst Samia on June 7, 2014 at 5:06pm

posted by Angela Nightjar on June 7, 2014

The nice lady at the Indian grocery where I first bought my spices to learn Indian cooking went over to the utensil section and came back with one of the lage fine mesh skimmer/strainer things with a long handle. "You will need this when you dry fry or the seeds will pop all over. Hold over the pan with left hand and stir seeds with right. Just a few minutes OK? Once they start to pop take off heat right away."

Comment by Amethyst Samia on January 23, 2014 at 2:27am
posted by Angela Nightjar

Comment by Amethyst Samia on January 22, 2014 at 8:33am

originally posted by Captain Lindstrom-Prien on 21 January 2014

Ok - yeah this was actually a 'recipe' or way of cooking rather, that was told to me by someone way back in late '11 I think. I just changed the herbs around to how I wanted it. Originally she suggested to use Molasses but I didn't like that after awhile and switched to Honey. The herbs I use (the main sleep ones) are: Skullcap, Oatstraw, Lavender, Chamomile, Ashwagandha, Linden, Passionflower, Catnip, and Lemon Balm. Other herbs I might toss in: Elder Flower and Berries, Sage, Yarrow... (ones to help with physical healing essentially).

I soak my herbs over night (either crock pot or med/large sized pot) and then cook them on low most of the next day. If I'm using the pot on the stove - I'll heat it until it gets to be around boiling, then turn off the heat and let them steep - and just make sure that the water stays decently hot (the pot is covered).

When I'm done cooking them, I strain them using coffee filters pushed inside of a mesh strainer (I used to use cheese cloth but wound up with too much 'fine pieces'). I store them in a mason jar that I filled up about 1" on the bottom with honey (stir it in with the honey)...and then refridgerate. I do this with both the 'Tonic' syrup and 'Sleep' syrup.

This is a good technique for making a syrup and can be used for just about anything. Good for those whose taste buds can't tolerate a tincture.

Comment by Amethyst Samia on January 6, 2014 at 11:12am

Part 1 of 2


A tincture is an herbal preparation made with a liquid — often referred to as a solvent or menstruum — and herbs.

In the simplest of terms a tincture is a concentrated liquid extract.
Tincturing herbs is a very safe and effective way to preserve fresh, homegrown herbs…one that our ancestors knew very well.

The sense of satisfaction you will receive after preparing herbs using this traditional method is extremely empowering and rewarding

Lunar-Based Tincturing
There are certain times in the month that can effect the potency of herbal tinctures…this depending on the lunar cycle of the moon.

Folklore tells us to start preparing tinctures when the moon is dark – or otherwise known as the day of the new moon.

The new moon is the beginning of the lunar cycle and every 14-15 days the moon cycles from new to full moon — with the waning and waxing moons in between.
You may hear many older herbalist and grandparents who speak about gardening (planting and harvesting) and medicine making with the cycles of the moon.
They used the moon as a guide.

They knew the best time for preparing a tincture was on the new moon. Not only because it is a sign of new beginnings, but it is the time when the gravitational pull of the moon helps to draw out the natural healing properties in the plants — making one of the most the most powerful and predominant medicinal tinctures possible.

I love making medicine and preserving herbs in this way…
…but most of all, I love that in doing so I remain connected to all of the amazing women before me who learned the necessary homemaking tasks of cooking from scratch, gardening, mending, preserving the harvest, herbal crafting, and soap-making.

Tincturing Basics

Tinctures can be created using a variety of different solvents (or menstruums), such as:

Most commonly used solvent.

Extracts many healing properties from the plant material.

Vodka (100 proof is best, 80 proof will do), brandy or rum are the types of alcohol used frequently.

Tinctures created with alcohol are the most resistant to contaminates and have the longest shelf life – retaining potency for 5 years or more.

Tinctures made with vinegar must be used within 1 year of straining.

Always use raw, organic apple cider vinegar and warm it slightly before adding to herbs for best results

The vinegar should contain at least 5% acidity.

Do not dilute, use full-strength.

Vinegar tinctures are not as potent as alcohol tinctures.

Vegetable glycerin
Use nothing but food-grade vegetable glycerin for tincturing

Not as strong as an alcohol tincture.

Great for those do not want to consume alcohol.

Is very sweet…great for children’s taste buds.

Must be diluted at a 60% vegetable glycerin 40% water ratio prior to adding to herbs.

Should keep for 2-3 years after straining in a cool, dark place

(Continued next post)

Comment by Amethyst Samia on January 6, 2014 at 11:10am

Part 2 of 2

Tincturing – A General Recipe

-4 ounces fresh herbs, chopped (or 2 ounces of dried herbs)
-quart-sized glass jar
-100 proof vodka to fill (approximately 16 ounces)

1. Measure the herbs you will use in your recipe using a small kitchen scale.
2. Chop the fresh herbs until fine using a blender, food processor, or by hand.
3. On the new moon place plant material into the quart-sized glass jar.
4. Pour your solvent, in this case vodka, over the herbs until it reaches approximately 2 inches above the herbs.
5. Stir well to combine. Then place a lid on the jar and shake.
6. The jar should rest in a warm place, steeping near a sunny window, and it should be shook at least once daily (twice is best).
7. Strain on the full moon if needed, or leave for steeping for up to 6 weeks.
8. Pass tincture through a cheesecloth lined fine mesh sieve. Reserve liquid and compost plant material.
9. Keep the strained tincture in a dark colored glass bottle or clear glass in a cool, dark place.
10. Label each bottle with the name, date, and contents.

Obtained from:

Comment by Amethyst Samia on December 8, 2013 at 4:24am

posted by Tea

(Didn't quite know where to post this discussion. If anyone has any better ideas please let me know!)

Comment by Amethyst Samia on November 28, 2013 at 2:09am

posted by Rev. Carol A. Ingle


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