How to make Your Own Lemon Balm Tincture
So first of all you are probably wondering what is a tincture? A tincture is concentrated herbal extract created by soaking herbs in alcohol over a period of time. The tincture draws out the essential compounds of plants allowing you to use the nutrients from herbs and preserve them over a long period of time. The benefits of creating a tincture in a climate like Canada where our lemon balm will be covered over in snow in a couple of months allows us to use the herbs year round, makes them easy to store, allows them to be easily absorbed, and you can easily add them to juices and teas if they prove unpalatable. They also give herbs a stable and long shelf life (5 years!)
Lemon Balm Tincture Recipe
- So first of all you will need alcohol. Vodka is best because it is odorless and colorless. It needs to be 80 proof or 40% alcohol to prevent mildewing of your lemon balm in your mason jars.
- Get a mason jar and screw on lid. Make sure they are clean and sterilized. Running them through the dishwasher will sterilize them or you can boil them in water on the stove top.
- I filled my mason jars with lemon balm pushing them down with a wooden spoon to release the essential oils. Cover the lemon balm with alcohol.
- Seal the container and put it in a cool dark area for 1 month.
- Shake the mixture occasionally.
- After a month you can strain your mixture using a strainer or a nut milk bag. Then start the process again for another month for a doubly strong lemon balm tincture. You can top up your lemon balm with fresh alcohol if you need a little more liquid to cover your fresh lemon balm leaves.
- After another month you can strain your mixture and funnel your tincture into small glass bottles with dropper lids. This is ideal for dispensing your lemon balm.
Lemon balm is known to be beneficial for anxiety, depression, stress, flatulence, indigestion and insomnia.