There are many ways to enjoy the beneficial properties of a botanical herb. You can drink it in a tea, steam it into an essential oil, infuse it into an oil or honey, create a salve, a cordial or, in today's case, make a tincture.
A tincture uses alcohol (in this case, vodka) as a solvent (or menstrum, in herbal speak) to extract a concentrated amount of medicinal herbs. A tincture is often taken straight on the tongue with a dropper or diluted in tea or water.
Fun Fact: If you are using water, vinegar, or glycerin as the solvent, then you are making an extract and not a tincture.
Today, I'm making a nervine tincture that I like to call Sweet Relaxation. Nervine is the term used for an herb whose medicinal properties are concentrated on the care of your nervous system. The best ways to ingest nervine herbs is either through a hot tea or tincture.
Sweet Relaxation Nervine Tincture
Take your jar and fill half of it with dry herb. Fill up rest of the jar with 100 proof vodka all the way to the top. Let it sit for a moon cycle (or 30 days), agitating it a bit every few days. When ready, separate herbs from alcohol using cheesecloth (being sure to squeeze everything out of the herbs - that's the good stuff). You now have your tincture. Store in a cool, dark area, and shelf life is up to 3 years. Take as needed.
The nervine herbs I used for this tincture are the following:
Skullcap has a calming and relaxing effect on the body and can be used to promote sleep.
Kava kava is a powerful plant whose root is used for its sedative properties.
Oatstraw is known to nourish the nervous system.
Damiana, an ancient aphrodisiac of the Mayan people, is known to tone and restore the reproductive organs - increasing blood flow and relaxing the muscles.
Aromatic lemon balm is a calming agent for reducing stress and anxiety.
Join our community of courageous, wild womxn
Don't worry about whether you'll fit in. You belong, sister! I'll send you weekly-ish emails about expressing your authentic self, sisterhood, and living with the seasons to enjoy with your morning cup of tea (or, if you're like me, a killer cup of coffee).