First tincture I made here was mint, due to the huge abundance of wild mint growing in this area, especially down by the streams.  The species of mint growing wild in Ft. Smith is Mentha arvensis, known as Wild, Field, or Corn Mint, so this is what I used.

Mint tinctures have many uses.  Mint is a natural antiseptic and has a calming, cooling quality about it.  It is effective in:

  • disinfection
  • treatment of neuralgia
  • fever reduction
  • treatment of palpitations
  • relief for irritation
  • pain relief
  • stomach anesthetic (eases pain of colic & indegestion)
  • dizziness relief
  • stimulates delayed menses

To make this tincture, I picked a good bag full of wild mint, removed the leaves, and chopped them by hand into small bits.  I then packed them into a jar (packed medium-lightly, just to make up for the fluffiness of the herb) and filled the jar (a sterilized, pint-sized Mason jar) with about 4 parts Everclear (yay montana!  legal everclear!) to one part distilled water, making about 80% alcohol.  This ensures that the most possible medicinal agents leave the herb and move to the alchohol, as some agents are alcohol-soluble, while others are water-soluble.

I then sealed the jar and labeled it with the type of tincture, the date it was created, and the date it will be done.  I keep the jar in a cardboard box in the corner of my apartment, to keep it out of the light (light ruins tinctures) I take it out of the box once a day and shake it well, then plunge it back into darkness.

I’ll continue to do this for 2 weeks, at which point, I’ll pour the mixture through a strainer lined with cheesecloth into another clean mason jar, then squeeze the cloth with (very) clean hands to get out all of that precious extract.  The majority of the tincture will be kept in this jar, and stored in darkness, but a few ounces at a time will be transferred to a small amber bottle with a glass dropper, for administration of the tincture as medicine.

Only six more days!

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