Taking a tincture
Each of us is different so you need to find the right dosage for you.
Start with the smallest dose or skin test to check for any unwanted or allergic-type symptoms, alcohol tinctures, in particular, absorb into the bloodstream much quicker and more effectively than other extraction methods.
The most common way to take a tincture is by dropping it under your tongue, which is also the quickest way to get the herbs into your bloodstream.
If you’re worried about the alcohol, drop your full dose into hot water or tea and let it sit for five minutes. The alcohol will dissipate.
Generally, you can add a few drops to a cup of coffee or tea or dilute a dropper full of the tincture in a glass of water or juice.
The traditional way by applying a few drops directly under the tongue and allowing it to sit for a minute before swallowing.
If there’s a herb you don’t particularly enjoy the taste of, but want to incorporate into your diet or if you’re not a fan of tinctures in general you might like to add your tincture to a splash of water, or to some juice and ingest it quickly. You can take 1 dropper (20-30 drops) between 1-3 times a day.
It doesn’t matter how large or small a dropper bottle is, you will get the same portion. That’s because the squeezy bit at the top (the bulb) is a standard size. You’ll notice in longer droppers the liquid won’t fill all the way, but in shorter droppers, it may come up ¾ of the way.
Tinctures are concentrated, so you don’t need much. Typically a few drops or ¼ teaspoon is enough. You will have to experiment a little, as everyone’s body is different. So start out slowly and increase until you find your ideal dosage. No more than one teaspoon of the tincture should be taken daily.
Tinctures are a good way to preserve herbs and administer a quality dose using just a little.
A tincture is a great way to extract the powerful medicine locked away in plants and preserve it for later use. While teas will spoil within a few days, tinctures will keep at room temperature for months if not years without spoiling or losing their effectiveness.
Tinctures are usually made by extracting the goodness of a medicinal herb with alcohol. The alcohol in tinctures also helps you absorb the herb and its medicinal properties faster, and because they are highly concentrated, you only need to consume a little each day and let the ingredients heal from within.
Storing your tincture
Store your tincture in a dark cupboard. You’ll notice that dropper bottles are dark and this is to protect the mixture from light. It will keep for at least one year, although some people claim that alcohol tinctures last 10 years and up. If you’re using it regularly, it will be finished much sooner though.
1 teaspoon / 2 – 5 ml up to 3 times a day
Mix the tincture into warm water
Drink the mixture 30 minutes before meals
Don’t ingest the tincture for more than 10 consecutive days. Take a few days beak in-between using.
Adults and children over twelve can take up to 30 drops up to three times a day, but until you know your dose and potency, you should start a bit lower and work your way up.
Children’s doses differ by age and all dosages depend on your tincturing process. Consider this a general guide. Children can usually receive two or three doses a day. Typical dosages are as follows:
12 to 18 months: 7 drops
18 to 24 months: 8 drops
2 to 3 years: 10 drops
3 to 4 years: 12 drops
4 to 6 years: 15 drops
6 to 9 years: 24 drops
9 to 12 years: 30 drops (or 1 dropperful)
As always, with any medicine, be sure to watch for reactions and be careful about potential interactions with other medicines you’re taking, herbal or prescription.
As with all medications, herbal remedies included we should give our bodies a rest from time to time and often they become more effective after the break. Other herbs can be used in the break time.
I myself have a lung disease and asthmatic so I rely on my mullein tincture, I started off taking 3-4 times a day and gradually reduced it, I now take every other day and often have a couple of weeks break, I read the signs of my body now and up my dosage when needed, if I have a weekend of eating rubbish for example I know my body will need extra help as my lungs will flare up. Listen to your body