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Potent Rosemary tincture recipe

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Learn how to make a rosemary tincture using freshly harvested rosemary and vodka to create a concentrated herbal extract that promotes overall wellness.

Add rosemary aroma to your drinks or enjoy rosemary’s medicinal benefits to enhance your hair or memory. Packed in a small dropper bottle, rosemary tincture is an herbal powerhouse that you should explore.

Rosemary is an herb typically found in most gardens near Lac Leman. I remember when I first moved to this area almost 10 years ago, I could smell it almost everywhere. Later, I was able to plant rosemary in my garden. I have a bunch of rosemary every time I need it in my culinary creations. I use it when making rosemary tea or salt.

I only recently made this rosemary tincture recipe, and new ways of using rosemary have just opened up. But let me start from the beginning.

rosemary mother tincture
Rosemary tincture recipe

Ingredients

Hardy Rosemary

This fragrant and medicinal plant belongs to the mint family (Lamiaceae). Its Latin name, Rosmarinus officinalis, means “dew of the sea.” You can use its needle-like evergreen leaves, dried or fresh, to season food or to enhance your hair or even beard.

According to a legend, when Queen Elizabeth of Hungary was paralyzed in 1235, none of the court physicians could help her. A local healer cured her by rubbing Rosemary liniment on her limbs. To make his medicine, he soaked a pound of Rosemary in a gallon of wine. This recipe became known later as Queen of Hungary’s Water, which was very popular for centuries to treat problems with the skin and joints.

Rosemary is a valuable source of vitamins, minerals and volatile oils that contribute to its medicinal properties. Regular use of Rosemary Tincture has shown clinical effects on mood, relaxation, pain, anxiety, and sleep. The easiest way to implement rosemary benefits in your daily routine is to drink it as tea or make a rosemary tincture.

Solvent

Use 40% alcohol = 80-proof ethanol, ethanol, vodka, brandy or grain spirit. 

how to make rosemary tincture

What is rosemary tincture

A rosemary tincture is a concentrated extract of rosemary leaves, using alcohol as a solvent. The rosemary is soaked in alcohol for several weeks, allowing the active substances to be extracted and dissolved into the solvent. Just a few drops of the tincture provide a potent concentrate with a long shelf life.

Medicinal Properties of Rosemary tincture

Tincture to Improve Memory

A study published in the journal Fitoterapia indicates that rosemary leaf extract might help with dementia and improve memory.  Another study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food suggests that rosemary might improve cognition among older people.

Recent studies show that rosemary herbal tincture inhibits the breakdown of acetylcholine, a compound in the nervous system responsible for memory and reasoning. Rosemary may also promote memory function by increasing blood flow to the brain.

The Ikarians, centenarians living in the Blue Zone renowned for their remarkable longevity and vitality, attribute their vibrant health partly to their love of rosemary tea.

For hair growth

Rosemary has been used to increases blood flow and stimulates circulation to promote hair growth. The main ingredient responsible for hair growth is ursolic acid, which provides oxygen and nutrients to the hair follicles and makes the hair grow faster and to regrow again.

In addition, rosemary is known for its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, which help nourish and soothe hair follicles. It also prevents dandruff.

Boost Immune System

Some evidence suggest that regular use of rosemary tincture can help boost the immune system. Rosemary contains compounds including rosmarinic acid, carnosic acid and carnosol, which have analgesic, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These properties can support the immune system by reducing oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. MOreover help to reduce pain. However, more research is needed to fully understand the extent of these benefits and the appropriate dosages.

You can achieve a similar effect with lemon balm tincture.

rosemary tincture benefits

How to make rosemary tincture

First step: Prepare Rosemary

Whether you grow your own rosemary or you decide to buy dry rosemary you will need to gather 1 cup of fresh rosemary or ½ cups of dried rosemary for this herbal preparation. 

Early morning is the best time to harvest rosemary because it helps preserve its volatile oils.  Also, collect rosemary before it begins to bloom, as the volatile oils and medicinal compounds in leaves are the most concentrated. 

When making tinctures, I usually prefer to use dried herbs to avoid any spoilage from moisture. However, rosemary doesn’t have that much moisture, and its volatile oils are at their strongest when used fresh.  

Feel free to use dried material as it makes very potent homemade tincture.

Second step: Combine with vodka

Chop fresh rosemary leaves to increase the surface area for the maceration and place them in a sterilized jar, filling it to ¾. 

Pour in 40 % = 80 proof vodka or any ethyl alcohol or grain spirit to the very top of the jar to cover the rosemary.

You can also make homemade non-alcoholic tinctures and use glycerin or apple cider vinegar instead of alcohol.

Third step: Let it Infuse

I find that glass jar with a plastic lid are best for this, but if you don’t have one, use parchment paper in between to avoid any corrosion. 

Cover the jar and place it in a cool, easily accessible place. You will need to shake it from time to time to help break the herb’s cell walls. Also, ensure that the leaves are completely covered with alcohol, as the alcohol can evaporate. The entire extraction process can last 6-8 weeks.

Fourth step: Strain

Strain the tincture through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth into a sterilized jar. Do not leave herbs in the tincture, as they may cause mould and spoilage.

Store the tincture in a dark bottle with a dropper in a cold place. It can last up to 5 years.

Label your rosemary extract with the name and date you made it. 

rosemary tincture for hair

Rosemary tincture uses

Orally

The most beneficial way of using this liquid extract is to take it orally to relieve a wide range of health issues. Take the drops directly under the tongue, allowing the tincture to get directly to the bloodstream. If it is more convenient for you, you can also dilute it in water, tea, or juice 

Rosemary tincture dosage

The recommended dosage is between 15 and 30 drops, one to three times daily. Research suggests that a dose of 60 drops daily has shown the best potency and therapeutic effect.

For hair growth

Dilute this rosemary tonic into your own hair products such as shampoo, conditioner or hair rinse to give your hair extra boost. Add 1 full dropper squeeze (½ tablespoon) per 8 ounces to hair product of your choice.

In cooking

This rosemary tincture is best used in drink infusion, candy or sauce making. Add as many drops to your final recipe as you need for your desired strength!

rosemary tincture uses

Rosemary tincture uses

Rosemary tincture cocktails

Rosemary extract is aromatic and just a few drops can give a herbal spin to traditional drinks or cocktails such as Killer queen or Gin fizz

Similarly, I make cocktails with orange or lemon extract.

How to make rosemary tincture without alcohol

If you want to make an alcohol-free botanical extract, you can replace alcohol with vegetable glycerine or apple cider vinegar. 

How long does rosemary extract last?

If stored properly in a dark and dry place away from direct sunlight like a kitchen cabinet it can last up to 5 years.

Where can I buy one?

You can also buy ready made rosemary tincture if you prefer.

Yield: 1 cup (240 ml or 8 oz)

Rosemary tincture

how to make rosemary tincture

Add some rosemary aroma to your drinks or enjoy rosemary's medicinal benefits to enhance your hair or memory. Packed in the small dropper bottle, rosemary tincture is a herbal powerhouse that one wants to explore.

Active Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 1 month
Total Time 1 month 10 minutes
Difficulty Easy

Instructions

  1. Whether you grow your own rosemary or you decide to buy dry rosemary you will need to gather 1 cup of fresh rosemary or ½ cups of dried rosemary for this herbal preparation.  Early morning is the best time to harvest rosemary because it helps preserve its volatile oils.  Also collect rosemary before it begins to bloom as the volatile oils and medicinal compounds in leaves are the most concentrated. When making tinctures, I usually prefer to use dried herbs to avoid any spoilage from moisture. However, rosemary doesn’t have that much moisture, and its volatile oils are at their strongest when used fresh.  Feel free to use dried material as it makes very potent homemade tincture.
  2. Chop fresh rosemary leaves to increase the surface area for the maceration and place them in a sterilized jar, filling it to ¾. Pour in 40 % = 80 proof vodka or any ethyl alcohol or grain spirit to the very top of the jar to cover the rosemary. You can also make homemade non-alcoholic tinctures and use glycerin or apple cider vinegar instead of alcohol.
  3. I find that glass jar with a plastic lid are best for this, but if you don’t have one, use parchment paper in between to avoid any corrosion. Cover the jar and place it in a cool, easily accessible place. You will need to shake it from time to time to help break the herb's cell walls. Also, ensure that the leaves are completely covered with alcohol, as the alcohol can evaporate. The entire extraction process can last 6-8 weeks.
  4. Strain the tincture through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth into a sterilized jar.  Make sure that no herbs are left in the tincture because they may cause mould and spoilage.

Notes

  • Store the tincture in a dark bottle with a dropper in a cold place. It can last up to 5 years. Label your rosemary extract with the name and date you made it. 
  • You can make an alcohol-free tincture with vegetable glycerine or apple cider vinegar. It is great for children

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Vladka Merva on May 29th, 2024

23 Comments on “Potent Rosemary tincture recipe”

  1. wndeelee@ aol.com I would like to join. I made the rosemary tincture with apple cider vinegar. I just put up 3 small dark bottles. I just took my first dose I will take 60 drops a day and see what happens.

    Reply
    • Gidday.. How how you’ve found it?
      I’ve made a rosemary tincture and it’s due to be bottled. Just would like to know if it does make a difference?
      I have the lost book of remedies and am keen!
      I’ll be making different tinctures in future. Cheers!

      Reply
      • Hello! I hope you’re enjoying your exploration of herbal remedies. The rosemary tincture can indeed make a difference in various health applications, and I wish you success with your future tincture-making endeavors. Cheers!

        Reply
    • I think I may try ACV version instead. I’ve found that using alcohol (vodka) has severely damaged my hair…it is sooo dry now :/

      Reply
      • Hi Cindy, you should not use undiluted alcohol tincture on your hair or scalp. Either dilute it with shampoo or hair conditioner or use ACV version after the washing.

        Reply
  2. I’ve heard from a well known ND, Dr Klinghardt, that Rosemary extract is an excellent mosquito and tick repellent when put on the skin. I haven’t tried it yet, but will give this recipe a go.

    Reply
    • Generally, for short-term use to address a specific concern or boost mental clarity, 1 to 2 milliliters of rosemary tincture once a day is a common recommendation. However, for long-term use or if you have any underlying health issues or are taking medications, it’s best to seek healthcare professional or herbalist advice to ensure safe and effective usage

      Reply
  3. I’d like to try this, but you don’t say how big of a jar of the vodka for the 1 cup of fresh rosemary…?

    Reply
  4. I Made this and at 4weeks jar of rosemary n vodka no longer smells like rosemary but actually smells like it’s off, or slightly rotting vegetation. At week three it still smelled good like rosemary? Should I throw it out n start over? Any tips? I sterilized jar, used plastic cover n had no moister on plant. SD

    Reply
    • Hi Susan, sorry to hear that, however your sense of smell is a good indicator of freshness. If the aroma has shifted from the pleasant rosemary scent to something unpleasant, it’s likely a sign that the infusion has spoiled. Even with a sterilized jar, the storage conditions can impact the infusion. Ensure the jar was kept in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight.

      Consider making a smaller batch and observe the process. This can help you identify the problem.

      Reply
  5. Hi there! I made a batch of rosemary tincture a few months ago but it has turned dark and cloudy. It still tastes and smells OK and still seems to work but I’m wondering if this is natural or am I doing something wrong? If it doesn’t occur naturally, what might I do to fix the problem? Thanks for your help.

    Reply
    • Hi Andy! The darkening and cloudiness in your rosemary tincture is normal and happens as the tincture extracts compounds from the plant. It’s safe if it still smells and tastes fine. To improve clarity, filter it through a fine mesh or cheesecloth. Store it in a cool, dark place, and as long as it works well, the change in color is usually okay.

      Reply
    • HI Elaine,
      I haven’t tried it for migraines, however rosemary has been traditionally used for headaches and migraines. I haven’t found any scientific evidence though.

      Some people use rosemary essential oil or tincture topically or inhale its aroma to alleviate headaches.

      Reply
  6. I made rosemary tincture about 6 months ago and I love it! I find my mind has more clarity and I am able to study and retain things much better. I’ve got my second batch going now – hopefully I don’t run out before it’s ready! I take 1 dropper full each morning and it works great for my memory. My hair is also growing healthier and faster. I was skeptical at first, but now I’m a believer! At 60 years old I just passed 3 levels of Tax Preparation classes in 2 months, learned 3 songs in Spanish and feel like no limit to what I can take on now!

    Reply
    • Hi Sharon, that’s fantastic to hear! It’s amazing how natural remedies like rosemary tincture can have such positive effects on mental clarity. Your accomplishments are truly impressive. Well done and keep thriving! Vladka

      Reply

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