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DIY Glycerin Tincture {The Crock Pot Method}

beth January 21, 2013

 

When I first began learning about natural remedies and administering them to my family, I never considered making my own natural medicines.  Even considering such a thing was a very daunting task in my mind.  After I started watching YouTube videos and reading herbal books about making natural remedies, I realized how really very simple it was to make tinctures!

The tinctures I make the most have a base of vegetable glycerin, making the tincture taste better and being a perfect thing for children.

You can do a cold glycerin tincture, but I prefer to add a little heat to help the glycerin extract the herbal properties.  An easy way to do this is in a crockpot, using very low heat.

Below is the savings in making my own tincture verses buying it.

I spent:

Glycerin ~ $9

Herbs ~ $5

Total = $14

Yield– Approximately 2 1/2 cups (20 oz.)

(Different herbs tend to yield different amounts of tincture.  Sometimes I end up with less than this amount)

Purchasing this tincture in liquid form:

$11.04 for 2 oz. (Best price I found)

My Savings: $96.00

*This is my savings for this particular tincture.  Herbs cost different amounts and therefore the savings are not always the same, but the savings is always huge!

DIY Glycerin Tincture {The Crock Pot Method}

Ingredients:

  • Herbs of choice
  • Food-grade vegetable glycerin

*Note: With this tincture, I used herbs that deliver easily assimilated calcium.  This formula includes comfrey.   I believe that comfrey is safe to take internally and have personally found the studies done on comfrey to be inaccurate.  However,  nettle can be substituted for comfrey if desired.

Place the herbs in a jar.  Fill the about jar halfway to two-thirds full with the dried herbs.  With fresh herbs, fill the jar to within a few inches of the top.

DIY Glycerin Tincture {The Crock Pot Method}

Add about half a cup of boiling water to the herbs {I add the water with both dried herbs and fresh.  I prefer a glycerin tincture to have some water mixed with the glycerin.}

DIY Glycerin Tincture {The Crock Pot Method}

Pour food grade vegetable glycerin over the herbs to within a few inches from the top and place a lid on the jar.//

DIY Glycerin Tincture {The Crock Pot Method}

Place a towel in the bottom of the crockpot to prevent the jar. Fill the crockpot with water and turn on lowest setting.  I leave the crockpot lid off to keep the water from getting too hot.  You want to make sure the tincture doesn’t get too hot and kill beneficial herbal properties.  I take the lid off once a day and stir the tincture.  Add more water to the crockpot each day to keep it full.

*Note: I use an older, taller crockpot for my tincture, but if you only have a shorter crockpot, use pint jars so the water comes up far enough on the jar.

DIY Glycerin Tincture {The Crock Pot Method}

After approximately 3 days, strain the tincture into a bowl covered with cheesecloth or cotton material.  As you can see below, my cotton material is well-stained with the many tinctures I’ve made. 🙂  Once all the herbs are poured out of the jar, make sure you squeeze the cloth out well to get every last drop of healthy liquid. 🙂

DIY Glycerin Tincture {The Crock Pot Method}

Pour the liquid into a clean jar.

DIY Glycerin Tincture {The Crock Pot Method}

Cove the jar with a lid and label.  I like to put the name of the tincture or what it is used for, the ingredients, when it was made and the dosage.  Glycerin tinctures keep in a cool, dark place {such as a cabinet} for 3-5 years.

DIY Glycerin Tincture {The Crock Pot Method}

Have you ever made a glycerin tincture?  What is your favorite method?

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40 Comments

  1. This is great, Jill! Thanks for sharing. I need to make a few tinctures of my own. How much glycerin do you use? The Lord’s blessings~Kim

    Reply

    • You just need enough glycerin to fill the jar within an inch or two from the top. It really depends on what size jar you make. I believe I used about 2 cups for this quart size jar. In my experience, it depends on the herbs you use and how dense they are. Thanks, Kim!

      Reply

  2. Thank you for this information. I always wondered about the shelf life of a non-alcoholic tincture. I do wonder if you can do this without a crock pot?

    Reply

    • Hi, Jes! You can just do a glycerin tincture by setting the jar on your counter for 2-3 weeks, shaking daily. And yes you can do a warm glycerin tincture without a crockpot. You can also set the jar on a gas stove burner and just let the pilot light keep it warm. Also, placing the jar on a warm part of a wood stove would work too! Good to hear from you! 🙂

      Reply

  3. I am not familiar w “tincturing”. What is the purpose? Are their different recipes for different ailments? Just not sure what it’s all about? Would love to know more! Thanks!

    Reply

    • Debby,
      The main purpose of tinctures is to extract and preserve the medicinal properties for an extended period of time. Dried herbs are good for 1-2 years, and most tinctures are good for 3-5 years. They are also more convenient to take than making teas. {Though I do still love and drink herbal tea daily}. You can make tinctures using single herbs, or a combination of herbs. There are different recipes for different ailments because certain herbs are used for specific ailments. I get most of my recipes from herbal books. If you go into a health food store, they will have pills, teas and also supplements and remedies in liquid form. These liquid forms are tinctures! I prefer to make most of my tinctures because it is easy and saves a lot of money!

      Reply

  4. […] Have you thought about making your own glycerin tincture but don’t want all the mess? Here is a post on how to do it in the crockpot! […]

    Reply

  5. Great article!
    I’m fairly new to this, so I do have a couple of questions.
    When you say:
    “You want to make sure the tincture doesn’t get too hot and kill beneficial herbal properties.”
    It makes me wonder, what is too hot?
    I would very interested to find a link or book that might address that issue. I assume different herbs wouldn’t all have the same maximum temperature tolerance.
    My other big question has to do with alcohol:
    Is there any chance the alcohol itself might be killing any of the beneficials?
    Thanks in advance

    Reply

    • Hi Mike! If using the crockpot method, just keep the heat on the lowest setting. You will smell the herbs heating, but you do not want the herbs to smell like they are cooking or any type of burnt smell. Just very low heat is best. None of my herbal books suggest a specific temperature, though there may be one out there that does!
      The alcohol does not kill beneficial properties, but draws them out into the liquid. Just make sure you don’t use heat when making an alcohol tincture – it does a great job by itself! 🙂

      Reply

  6. I’ve been reading a lot about the crock pot method. Is there any difference in the potency if you use the crock pot method instead of letting the tincture steep for 6 weeks? I use VG instead of alcohol.

    Thank you!
    Heddy

    Reply

    • I do believe that adding a little heat to glycerin tinctures help extract more properties and make it more potent than just setting it in the cabinet.

      Reply

  7. Hello Jill. I have been doing a lot of research about herbal glycerin tinctures and I just have a few quick questions to ask. Is glycerin a strong enough solvent to extract the proprieties from the roots and bark of herbs like alcohol or is it just good for the leaves and flowers? I’ve heard from another herbalist that you should only use “infused glycerin” however I have not been able to figure out what is or where to buy “infused glycerin” have you ever heard of “infused glycerin”? Final one is it o.k. to continue distilling the herbs pass the 3 day crock-pot method in a cool dark place would it make the tincture more potent?
    Thanks Paul

    Reply

    • Hi Paul. Alcohol does definitely do a better job extracting properties from roots and bark than glycerin. If a person does not want to use alcohol, glycerin will still do good. I’m not sure what is meant by “infused glycerin”. Maybe if you directed me to an article or video online I could try to figure out what they might mean. The tincture would be more potent if you left it in a cabinet after 3 days in the crockpot, but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it. It may just be too much. Thanks for the questions!

      Reply

  8. I am interested in making an herbal glycerine tincture for a liquid hand soap recipe. I am very new to this so I am a bit intimated about making a tincture. I am concerned about the 3-day crockpot method being safe. I read on another blog to place a silicone mat or wash cloth on the bottom of the crockpot to prevent the glass jar from breaking. What has been your experience with this? Also when selecting a glass jar should I stick to a higher quality glass to prevent breaking? I was thinking of using a small jar (a jam jar) for my first batch. Thank you in advance!

    Reply

    • Hi Julie! I mention using a towel in the bottom of the crockpot in my instructions above, but a mat or washcloth is fine too! I do use a canning jar most of the time, but any sturdy glass should work fine. The heat is only on warm, so you should have no problems with glass breaking.

      Reply

  9. Hi there jill,

    Just curious as to the reasoning behind opening up the lid tp stir after heating each day? Is this to release pressure of vapors?
    I always read to keep the lid closed.

    Thank you for your time

    Tim

    Reply

  10. Hi
    Getting ready to do this. I’ve seen a few websites that just put the herbs in glycerine directly into the crockpot. I there a reason not to do this and use the glass?
    thanks

    Reply

  11. Hi, Jill
    Thanks so much for this post. When I’ve used glycerine in the past to make vanilla extract, I wasn’t very successful. I gave up on using glycerine in any herbal remedy and switched to vodka or AVC. But after reading your post, I can see where my technique was off. I’ll definitely try again and use your instructions. Awesome.

    Reply

  12. […] the tincture sit in a dark place for about six weeks. OR use a crock pot to keep it warm for 2-3 […]

    Reply

  13. I don’t know if you are aware of this but some odd text got copied and pasted here about the gold standard. It is right in the middle of the crock pot instructions about putting a towel under the jar. I figured you’d want to know.

    And thanks for all this info and the time it took for you to post it all. I found it helpful.

    Reply

  14. […] either set it in a warm, dark place for six weeks (use this method), or put it in a crockpot and use this method (ready in 2 – 3 days).  Strain the finished tincture through cloth and store in a dark […]

    Reply

  15. Hi I would like to know if you can use this for skin products like toners. Also I was wondering where you got your cheese cloth. Everything I’ve used from nut bags to strainers still leak the powdered herbs when I make herb infused oils.
    How do glycerin tinctures compare to ones made with alcohol?

    Reply

    • Yes glycerin is used in many homemade skin care products. Cheese cloth can be bought at a health food store, on Amazon, or a place like the Bulk Herb Store: http://www.bulkherbstore.com/Cheese-Cloth. You can also use an old, clean, white-cotton t-shirt. Glycerites extract different properties than do the alcohol ones. They also do not preserve as long. They are still effective for those that prefer glycerin. Thanks!

      Reply

  16. […] either set it in a warm, dark place for six weeks (use this method), or put it in a crockpot and use this method (ready in 2 – 3 days).  Strain the finished tincture through cloth and store in a dark brown […]

    Reply

  17. […] the possibility of speeding it up through a hot extraction rather than a cold one. I found one tutorial about doing a three-day extraction using a crockpot. I also want to try adding a bit of water for that extra kick of extraction power. I liked the cold […]

    Reply

  18. Jill,
    If I can make a quick tincture in my crockpot by keeping it warm can I put it in my dehydrator and set the temp at 95 for 3 day?? Thanks for the help:)

    Reply

  19. […] the maceration (soaking and extraction) process by using a crockpot (following this method for glycerin tinctures), but I prefer doing it the old fashion way. If you notice the alcohol level drop, add more. You […]

    Reply

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I’m Kate, mama to 5 and wife to Ben.  I love meeting new people and hearing their stories.  I’m also a big fan of “fancy” drinks (anything but plain water counts as ‘fancy’ in my world!) and I can’t stop myself from DIY-ing everything.  I sure hope you’ll stick around so I can get to know you better!

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