Glycerin is sweet-tasting and does not contain alcohol. This makes it an excellent choice when preparing tinctures for children.
Tinctures made with glycerin are often called glycerites.
When purchasing glycerin to be used in tincture making, be sure to buy non-synthetic glycerin. This type of glycerin is also known as glycerol or glyceric alcohol.
Since glycerin is naturally sweet, it is helpful in making bitter herbs more palatable. This is an added bonus.
As you will see below, preparing your own tincture with glycerin is quite simple and straightforward. I hope you'll give it a try.
How to Make a Glycerite
You will need:
Glass jar (wide-mouth, if possible)
Dried or fresh herbs of choice (I usually use dried)
1. If using dried herbs, grind them to a powder in a clean coffee grinder (one reserved for use with herbs).
Add herbs to a clean, glass jar. If using dried herbs, use about 2 ounces of powdered herbs. If using fresh herbs, you will need approximately 4 ounces.
2. Add 3/4 cup glycerin and 1/4 cup distilled water to the jar. Stir to combine. (The herbs should be completely covered by liquid. If not add more. There should be at least 1 inch of liquid above the herbs as the herbs will absorb some of the liquid).
3. Place jar in a dark spot (out of direct sunlight) and leave for 3 weeks. Shake daily (if possible).
4. Strain herbs out of the glycerin by pouring tincture through a coffee filter or cheesecloth. Remove extra liquid from the herbs by squeeze cloth with clean hands. Discard herbs.
5. Pour glycerite into a dark bottle and add a label.
6. Store in a dark place out of direct sunlight.
Note: The general ratio for making glycerin-based tinctures is three parts glycerin to 1 part water. (This amount varies between practitioners and herbal instructors.)
I usually purchase glycerin from Mountain Rose Herbs.
Always be sure the herbs you choose for a tincture are safe to consume. Some herbs are stronger than others. It is also important to note that herbs should always be used with caution. Research any herb you plan to ingest. Herbs can cause strong reactions.
This information has not been approved by the FDA.