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Elderberry is one of those things I like to keep in my medicine cabinet for both young and old. It is good to take as a preventative to the cold and other nasty bugs you can pick up here and there. We also take it at the first sign of sniffles, aches, or flu-like symptoms. It works better than I could have ever imagined.
Those little tincture bottles, though, are $10 a pop and I always like to know how to do things myself in the spirit of home-based productivity. So I did a bit of research to make a less expensive homemade tincture.
I came across a lot of complicated methods online and then looked through a wonderful resource, Rosemary Gladstar’s Family Herbal. This book simplifies all of the herbal preparation methods. I looked up her simple method for glycerin tincture making (because I know this is easy to give to children) and went to work.
Elderberry Glycerin Tincture
- Combine vegetable glycerin and water in a 1:1 ratio and set aside. In a quart jar place about 1/2 pound of the dried elderberries. Pour over the glycerin-water mixture until well covered and saturated. Place the lid on and keep in a dark place.
- Shake the jar every day to distribute the berries and glycerin. Let sit, shaking daily, for about a month.
- Strain the liquid off from the berries using cheesecloth, a coffee filter, or a thin old towel. Be sure to squeeze all of the liquid out of the berries.
- Store in an airtight container. I used an old kombucha bottle and yielded about two cups of tincture.
- glycerin (~ 8 oz) = $3.48
- elderberries (~1/2 lb) = $4.00
- water (~ 8 oz) = $0
Total = $7.48
While I can’t be sure that my tincture is as effective or concentrated as the professionally produced ones I can still guess that at $.47/oz my tincture is still a better value than the $5-$10/oz bottles you can purchase at the health food store. And next I will have to experiment with alcohol-based tinctures.
Have you ever made a tincture? What method did you use?
my (grain-free) cookbook
All information found on Nourishing Days is editorial in nature and therefore meant to motivate and inspire rather than be construed as medical advice.
Any statements or claims about the health benefits of supplements or foods made here have not been evaluated by the FDA and as such are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease..
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