How I make my tinctures
All of my tinctures are crafted as small batches using fresh plant material from herbs I have either grown myself, organically, or wild-gathered locally, ethically, and in "clean" areas to avoid contamination.
I make it a practice to gather the correct part of the correct plant, at the correct phase of its growth, at the correct time of day, using only healthy and vibrant plants.
Unless noted otherwise, I use 100-proof vodka as my menstruum (the liquid used to extract a plant's constituents).
It is clear so I can see the color of the tincture.
It is tasteless so I can taste the herb itself.
I have found less is needed to have the same effect as 80 proof vodka.
The vodka I use is not certified organic or gluten free. Organic/gluten free certified vodka is only available in 80 proof in local liquor stores and I prefer 100 proof as I find it more effective. My research indicates that vodka is distilled to the point that organic/gluten free isn't an issue, so I've simplified by making tinctures only with 100 proof vodka.
There are plenty other sources for gluten free/certified organic tinctures if you prefer that.
I endorse small dose uses of tinctures, typically 1-3 drops, 2-3 times a day for chronic/ongoing situations. For acute situations such as influenza or colds, I double or triple the number of drops and take every couple hours.
That said, never ever hesitate to visit your physician if you have any concerns whatsoever about your illness or if it worsens. I encourage the use of antibiotics for many illnesses, including pneumonia. And if you think you might have shingles, get to your doctor right away to get early intervention - it helps! Same goes for Lyme disease. You get the picture!
Also, if you are currently taking prescription medications, check with your doctor before adding herbs into the mix. For example, St. John's Wort has been shown to interfere with the absorption of many prescription drugs due to its powerful detoxifying effect on the liver. 2 other common herbs to avoid are comfrey (internally) and kava. Do your research and check with your doctor before using any herbal product if currently taking prescription medications or are under their care for a current condition!