Herbal tinctures have many benefits. Once an herb is tinctured, it will retain medicinal properties longer than other herb preparations. Tinctures can be made from alcohol or vinegar but alcohol tinctures last longer compared to vinegar tinctures, which usually last for two years. Tinctures are excellent in first aid kits and during traveling since they are also easy to administer. Milk thistle tincture is made from milk thistle seeds to help in promoting liver health.
Ideally, the raw materials to be used in herbal tinctures should be of the highest quality with the botanicals and naturally potent ingredients. This is to ascertain the stability, activity and bioavailability of the active ingredients. Milk thistle tincture is known for various medicinal properties, such as its abilities as a blood purifier, digestive aid, supplement for liver support, supplement for skin health, supplement for detoxification and remedy for constipation and hangover.
To effectively harness the medicinal properties of milk thistle, one way is to make your own homemade tincture from milk thistle. If you have an existing alcohol-related liver disorder, you can use apple cider vinegar instead of alcohol. To make the most of your herb tincture, take 1 teaspoon daily – either alone or mixed with tea, coffee or water. Alcohol tinctures can be kept indefinitely when stored in dry, cool, dark place. On the other hand, tinctures with vinegar can be stored for 1-2 years for best results.
To make an alcohol-based milk thistle tincture, you need 2-3 ounces of ground milk thistle seeds, 80-100 proof alcohol (preferably brandy, gin or vodka, cheesecloth), a wide-mouth jar with a cover and a dark storage jar. Put the seeds inside the wide mouth jar and follow with the alcohol until the seeds have been submerged. Quickly seal the jar tightly to avoid evaporation of alcohol. Keep the jar in a cool, dark environment away from direct sunlight. If possible, put the jar inside a paper bag and place it in the darkest room or inside a closed cabinet. Leave it to set for six to eight weeks, and shake the jar 1 – 2 times every day. This is to ensure that the seeds are saturated with the alcohol. Pour the mixture into a piece of cheesecloth, pouring into the dark storage jar. Discard the milk thistle seeds’ residue. Label the jar with the date and content and again, keep in a cool, dark place.
Milk thistle can be used in different forms, be it in teas, tinctures or directly consumed. When using the seeds, remember that they must be ground up. It is because the seeds have a tough coating that is hard to chew. The tincture preparation should use the ground dried milk thistle seeds followed by combination of alcohol. By crushing the seeds, the active component, silymarin, can be easily extracted and digested since it is located inside the seed coating.
Anyone is capable of making high-quality milk thistle tincture. There is no secret or complex process involved since it only requires excellent quality herbs, a measuring cup and a quality solvent. The tincture form of milk thistle is fairly expensive in the market, but can be very cheap if you make it yourself. If you plan to take the tincture regularly for a chronic liver disease or as a liver tonic, you may consider making a homemade tincture.