I love infusions, tinctures and decoctions - essentially concentrating the medicinal benefits of a plant. Tinctures are a great way to preserve a plant for medicinal use, or for skin care, food and flavoring.
The glycerin tincture is a great alternative to the grain alcohol based solutions - especially for skin care since alcohol is irritating. You can make this recipe two ways, cold and hot.
Cold Infusion - Soaking herbs in solution for 1-2 weeks.
Hot Infusion - In heat safe jar place in double boiler slowcooker for 4 hours (or on a stovetop, on medium heat).
All of the ingredients should be super easy to find from your local grocery store, I got everything at Down to Earth in Honolulu.
Ingredients / Materials
Herb of your choice (Calendula, Lavender, Rose Buds, Licorice Root, Turmeric)
Lots of hand towels + sink access!
1. Gather the ingredients + materials
2. Add the herbs to the jar
3. Mix the glycerin + distilled water in a 3:1 ratio (3 glycerin : 1 distilled water) + add to jar, make sure to fully submerge the herbs.
4. Cap + Shake the herbs - make sure to agitate and shake them up daily if you choose to do the cold infusion method.
5. Label it! Write down the name of the herb, date, ratio of ingredients (3:1 glycerin to water with herb name).
How to Strain Your Tincture
1. Use a clean ball jar, a funnel and cheesecloth!
2. Place the cheesecloth in the funnel for straining - pour the infusion (depending on the herb it may be thicker after infusion) onto the cheesecloth - it will now slowly strain through to the jar.
3. if it gets stuck or wont drain, fold the sides and lift the saturated cheesecloth just a bit to work the infusion through.
4. The herbs are now ready to be composted or thrown away - or you can turn them into a body scrub if they are granular!
5. Pour the herbal glycerite into a dry glass container or dropper bottle and use this internally in food / drink recipes or as a face mask / cleanser booster!
I love pairing these glycerites with my cleansers or to add to a clay or botanical mask (a couple of drops!). Generally glycerin is a mild ingredient, it's a cleansing + toning emollient, so it draws moisture to the skin and helps remove excess dirt + oil - essentially it's gently cleansing without being a detergent. Due to its cleansing properties, it could be drying when it's overused - so if you are cleansing with glycerin make sure to tone and moisturize.