Question on making tinctures

Does anyone know if you can make a twice infused tincture? Meaning after I strain my tincture and then add new plant material to that same used vodka that has already been infused with plant material. Will that make it twice as strong? Will the vodka still be able to pull constituents from the plant? Tyvm for any answers?


  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,506 admin

    @ashleyvann The answer is yes, yes and yes.

    However, if the plant material is fresh and not dried, you would need to start with an even higher alcohol content so as to not water the tincture down too much and have it go bad.

    @torey would be a great person to answer this more fully.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,624 admin

    @ashleyvann There are reasons that you might want to make double extractions.

    As @LaurieLovesLearning it is important to start with the appropriate plant material and strength of alcohol. Some plants are better tinctured fresh (just the nature of those plants, that they release their properties best from the fresh state). Some plants have to be dried before tincturing. Some are freshly dried and some are stored for a period of time after drying. And there are some plants that don't care whether they are processed fresh or dried.

    To determine which of these methods are used for individual plants, you should get a good pharmacopeia that will list whether to use a plant fresh or dried, the percentage (or proof) of alcohol that should be used for each plant (generally fresh plant material, woody plants, barks and resins all require a stronger alcohol) and the ratio of plant material to alcohol (usually 1:2 for fresh and 1:5 for dry). You may find that for some plants a double extraction is required or desirable. Pharmacopeias can be expensive. I started my own quite awhile ago, for my own recipes or so that when I run across a recipe or ratio from another herbalist, I can keep track of their advice as to fresh or dried, percentage, ratio and dosages.

    Sometimes when you are using very light weight plant material it is difficult to get the right ratio. It can be difficult to get 2 ounces of alcohol to cover 1 ounce of weighed plant material. This could be a time to use a double extraction. So instead of using 1 ounce of plant to 2 ounces of alcohol, you could use 1/2 ounce of plant material to the 2 ounces of alcohol, let that sit and then after straining, add another 1/2 ounce to the same alcohol so that you will wind up with the correct ratio.

    If you wish to have a double strength tincture, and sometimes this will be desirable, you can do a second extraction in the same alcohol. Sometimes you will get a feel for the plant, that its components aren't quite as strong as usual. This would also be a good time for a second extraction. Wild lettuce is one of those plants that does better with more than one extraction. TGN's library has an excellent booklet on Wild Lettuce Tincture and 7Song has very similar instructions at:

    You may have to adjust doses if you have made a double strength tincture.

    The medicinal mushrooms go through a different double extraction process. They have constituents that are water soluble but others that are only alcohol soluble. So they are done as an alcohol (95% or 190 proof) extraction and then the strained marc is placed in water. The two extractions are then combined to make what is called a dual extraction mushroom tincture.

    Module 4 of TGN's course Making Herbal Medicine is all about tinctures.

    I hope that has answered all your questions.

  • JodieDownUnder
    JodieDownUnder Posts: 1,483 admin

    @ashleyvann double and triple tincturing also comes in handy for bitter herbs. Hey and welcome to TGN, you’ve certainly come to the right place to further your plant and herbal knowledge.

    Wild Lettuce: Nature’s Gift For Pain Relief

    in the above link, Marjory explains why she does what she does, for that very reason, bitterness. It’s also easy to follow and understand.