Herbal Tinctures - Part 1

So, we're having Spring around. Things are growing, sprouting leaves and all that. Soon, there will be a new supply of fresh herbs for us to use for anything that a Kitchen Witch might want, and this means more or less everything. But fresh herbs are not available forever, which is why herbalism has devised many techniques for preserving them. I've already outlined some of those, and today, we'll explore the subject of alcohol tinctures in more detail.

One of the oldest and simplest tricks in the book, a tincture is a preserve obtained by the simple expedient of putting an ingredient of choice in a receptacle, pouring alcohol over it and waiting. While no particular skills are needed to do this,  maybe accept for a steady hand, You will still need considerable knowledge if You are to make an effective and safe herbal tincture: knowing exactly how much alcohol (and what kind) to add, how long to wait and what to apply the result to.
Tinctures can be made of both fresh and dried ingredients with the fresh ones being, naturally, stronger. There are some exceptions, but no need to obsess over them. They are handy for internal use, and there is some backing to the theory of flavoured alcoholic drinks having evolved from medicinal tinctures, especially those intended to cure the digestive system. External use of alcohol-medicines depends on the condition of the patient's skin, and the ailment in question (thank you, Captain Obvious), but they can be very helpful in that field, too. A tincture of calamus rhizome and certain additional ingredients is extremely effective against dandruff, for example. There's also a whole range of recipes for obtaining alcoholic beverages that way.
Herbal tinctures are easy to make, inexpensive, and keep well. If You're a beginner in the field, this is a good way to start.

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