I have two pots of valerian that I kept in pots because I thought it would be easier to harvest the roots to make a tincture. This is a great thing to do in the fall while you are preserving everything else anyways.
Valerian root is a sedative and antispasmodic useful for insomnia, nervousness, pains and symptoms of stress. It has a strong odor and taste that is not so great but it’s not bad in a tiny tincture amount to take. The roots when I harvested them did smell but they don’t smell as bad as the dried roots for some reason.
Making the tinture you just need 80 – 100 proof vodka, the herb chopped up and diced, etc. and a jar with a lid. I like to use canning jam jars and then put the jar in the cupboard so it’s dark and I remember to shake it about every day.
Dosage for valerian tincture is 10 drops to 1 teaspoon three times a day, or as needed.
Diced or blend or mortar and pestle the herb and then put it in a glass jar that’s labeled with the date and the herb. Add enough vodka to cover the herbs. Screw on the lid, put the jar in a dark place at room temperature and shake at least once daily (shaking ensures a strong extraction). After two weeks, pour the contents of the jar through several layers of cheesecloth or a coffee filer and express the liquid. Place it in a labeled amber bottle out of the light or in a clear bottle in the dark.
When you are making tinctures from fresh herbs they require more alcohol because of their water content. Refer to a good web site or book for making different tinctures and what percentage of alcohol to use. Some herbs when dried don’t need as much alcohol.
For more information on tinctures visit Herb Companion.