I’m a huge fan of herbal medicine. I believe that God endowed creation with everything we would need in order to heal sickness, eat healthily, and thrive as His children with all of that joy and gratitude rolling up to him as praise and worship. It’s no secret to those who know me that I feel closest to God when I’m outdoors, digging in the garden, being in relationship with the Lord’s handiwork. That’s part of why I first started growing culinary herbs- I enjoyed literally enjoying the fruit of my labors and reaping a harvest. That of course led me in to researching the plants to learn how to best grow and use them, which led me to medicinal herbs and all of their healing and restorative properties.
I benefit greatly from herbal tinctures since I do not and cannot take NSAID pain relievers because of my allergies and sensitivities. Tinctures are excellent as potent long term supplements as well as short term medicines. They are useful in treatment of both acute as well as chronic conditions, and the side effects are virtually zero.
Today, I have chosen to spotlight basil tinctures. There are numerous varieties of basil. Sweet basil is most commonly used as a culinary herb in many Italian dishes and has a flavor and aroma similar to anise. And while holy basil is the variety that has long been used as a medicinal herb, I think I that other varieties of the plant are often short changed in their healing abilities.
To make a basil tincture, first decide on a menstruum. I generally use a 100-proof vodka unless I’m making it for a child (my son) in which case I use vegetable glycerin. Wash and chop up your plant material (best to work with fresh leaves, but if dried is what you have, it works just fine.) The finer the chop, the more surface area of the plant exposed to the menstruum, which means a stronger higher quality tincture. If using fresh leaves, you can throw them in the blender with your menstruum to really get a good “soak” Place it in a mason jar with a tight fitting lid. Label it with the date made, date ready, and contents. Shake it vigorously, and let it sit for anywhere from 2-6 weeks depending on strength desired, and remember to shake daily. When the due date comes, strain the plant matter out of mixture by pouring through a muslin lined strainer. Squeeze out the remaining liquid from the marc (plant matter) and pour the liquid extract into your desired container. I prefer to use amber glass bottles because they filter out sunlight and preserve the integrity of the tincture. Then store out of direct sunlight. The tincture should keep indefinitely, but it’s best to toss out any older than 2 years and make fresh.
Basil tincture is good for digestive regulation, anti-inflammation, anti-stress, nausea, anxiety, depression, and fatigue (particularly that accompanying PMS) The dosage for an adult is 1/4-1/2 tsp. twice daily for 5 days on, then 2 days off. This keeps the body from becoming immune or dependent on its effects.
For a child, there are several ways to determine dosages. My preference is Clark’s Rule which states that you divide the weight in pounds by 150 to give approximate fraction of adult dosage. For example, my son weighs about 20 lbs. So,
20รท150= 0.1333333… So about 1/13th of an adult dosage
You could also calculate the dosage using Cowling’s Rule which has you figure the dosage by taking the child’s age at his or her next birthday divided by 24. So for example, if the child is 2 going on 3, the equation would be:
3รท24= 1/8. so the child would receive one eighth of an adult dosage.
I personally find the weight to be a more accurate measurement which is why I prefer to use Clark’s Rule.
Hope this helps you in your tincturing processes!


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