Tinctures or liniments are medicines made by extracting the constituents of plants in a liquid. While they’re made using the same process, they’re used differently. Tinctures are taken internally, liniments are applied externally. Extractions of some plants can be used as both tinctures and liniments. For example, yarrow is used as a tincture to reduce a fever and as a liniment to cleanse wounds and stop bleeding. Tinctures and liniments are particularly beneficial in the winter because they preserve plants’ medicinal properties long after the growing season is over.
If you’ve ever cooked with vanilla or had a cocktail with bitters, you’ve used a tincture. Some tinctures don’t taste so great. Motherwort tincture is almost unbearably bitter. However, this is precisely why we make these plants into tinctures. Can you imagine having to sip a cup of bitter tea?
Tinctures and liniments have two main components: the marc and the menstruum. The marc is the plant material and the menstruum is the liquid that dissolves the plant constituents.
The weight to volume method sounds a little finicky at first, but is easy to master. I like this method because it lets people know exactly what they’re getting, dosage-wise, and can be remade over and over again.