Trouble Sleeping? Make your own herbal tincture to calm your mind and promote restful sleep!
This calming tincture soothes
All herbs are dried, in a cut & sifted
3.5 gm (.123 oz) Valerian
3.5 gm (.123 oz) Skullcap
1.75 gm (.06 oz) Hops
1.75 gm (.06 oz) Lavender
1.75 gm (.06 oz) Passion Flower
1.75 gm (.06 oz) Nutmeg
6 oz. 80 proof Vodka or
14 grams (.493 oz) total herbs
Mix all herbs together and place in a glass jar, large enough so that there’s room to agitate the mixture periodically. The jar also needs to have a lid which seals tightly.
Add approx. 6 ounces of 80 proof vodka (see other solvent/menstruum options below). Stir/agitate the mixture well, so that all the herb is wet. Check the tincture again over the next 24-48 hours to make sure that there is still enough liquid to cover the herbs. More may be added during this period if needed.
Make sure the jar is capped tightly and store in a cool place. There are mixed ideas about whether exposure to light during the tincturing process is appropriate. You may experiment with both ways to find the one that resonates most clearly with you. Shake the tincture daily for at least two weeks.
After about two weeks, the tincture is ready (a full month is even better). Let the tincture sit without shaking for one day before
Store tincture in an airtight, light-resistant container and avoid direct exposure to sunlight and excessive heat. Generally, if stored appropriately, an alcohol tincture will be good for a few years at least. As indicated below, if you use an alternate to alcohol the shelf life may be reduced. You may transfer a small amount of (strained) tincture into a small glass bottle with a dropper for use, and refill as needed from the larger jar.
Instructions for use:
One hour before bed, take one dropper full of tincture mixed into a small amount of diluted fruit juice or tea (for flavor) ~ and enjoy a blissful night’s sleep! Sweet Dreams!
*A Note about menstruum (solvent) options:
A menstruum is a solvent used to extract the herbs. It is also a preservative.
There are different reasons to choose each of the menstruum options, and this choice is often determined according to the active components of the plant one wishes to extract matched with the appropriate menstruum for doing so. Sometimes different menstruums will be combined to enhance the overall capacity to withdraw a wider range of components. Some options for menstruums
Alcohol: A minimum of 15-20% alcohol is necessary for preserving the final tincture so use at least an 80 proof alcohol. Vodka is a common choice and it is worth paying a little more for a better quality that has been distilled at least 3 times for purity.
Vinegar: Commonly used are Apple Cider Vinegar, Rice Vinegar, Wine Vinegar (any plant based vinegar is fine.) Vinegar’s preservative actions are considered excellent, although still inferior to alcohol, thus these preparations should be made in smaller batches and replenished more frequently.
You can always add alcohol to a tincture that will otherwise not be preserved, such as glycerine tincture. The minimum amount of alcohol should be 15-20% of the total end volume in order to preserve an extract for any length of time.
By Marisa Laursen, C.A.S., P.K.S., A.Y.T., Faculty at the California College of Ayurveda