Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Herbs | Red Raspberry Leaf Tincture

It's funny how really getting into the education side of essential oils really opens your eyes to other ways to interact with the plants given to us by nature. 

I never really thought much about herbs and herbology.  It took an aromatherapy book written by someone who was also really into using herb oils and tinctures, to make me realize it's something I might enjoy and really get into.

So I did some research, read some booked, visited LearningHerbs.com and the Mountain Rose Herbs YouTube channel, and learned the basics.  I placed an herb order and am sitting here anxiously awaiting its arrival.

In the meantime I realized that I have an acre of property and there might be an herb out there somewhere that I could use now to make something useful for me or my family.  As it so happens, I know we have A LOT of raspberry bushes as Bear loves to eat them so we'd go on walks every evenings and fill him up on raspberries before dinner.  So I knew where the plants were.

Red Raspberry Leaf tea is something I drank during pregnancy to help tone my uterus in preparation for labor.  I started it when I was pregnant with Bear and after having such a fast and easy labor I figured I'd try it again with Calla.  Of course, her labor wasn't quite as easy or fast, but when REAL labor really did start my body was quite efficient with the birthing process.  So I'm a big fan of RRL.

RRL is also great for post partem recovery to help your uterus tone back to normal size.  I've heard it can also help you lose some of those post-pregnancy pounds.  Six months after Calla's birth I'm still holding onto a lot of those.   And I ran out of my tea a while ago.

So, I figured, why not try my hand at making an herbal tincture and get the benefits of the raspberry bushes that are growing right in my own yard.

Calla and I went around one afternoon while everyone else was napping and gathered up just enough fresh herbs to fill a 4 oz jar.  I decided to go small with my first attempt at working with oils, plus I only had a small amount of vodka on hand and was antsy to get started.

To make the tincture I just cut up the leaves and placed them to the rim on the jar I was using.  The nice thing about making a tincture is that you don't have to have a bone dry jar, so I just cleaned it, dried it with a cloth, and called it good.  Then added the cut up herbs.

I then added the vodka until they fully covered the herbs.  My state only sells 80 proof vodka, but 100 proof is usually recommended.  Unfortunately Minnesota doesn't recognize that vodka has other purposes.  Sad.

Once the jar was filled I push the herbs down with a wooden spoon to get all of the bubbles out, then put the lid on.  After labeling it I set it on the window sill in my kitchen.  This way I will see it often and remember to give it a shake!

You should shake tinctures daily for at least the first week and then every few days after that.  It takes six weeks for the vodka to extract all of the oil out of the herbs, so it'll be a while before I see if my first attempt has worked.  But it was fun and felt rewarding to use some local resources right out of my own yard to make this!  And if it works it'll save me a ton of money on my RRL tea!

In six weeks, I'll update with the results!


Danelle Hinrichs said...

I am excited to read the results. I need to make this! Infusions are so time consuming!

Darcee Coffman said...

I can't wait to see how this turns out for you!