Turmeric Tincture - Update

Torey Posts: 5,516 admin
edited February 6 in Herbal Medicine-Making

I've never made a turmeric tincture before. My husband isn't very good about taking the proper dose of a tincture. He takes a squirt of whatever goes into the dropper without measuring. So he has been using capsules. However, the last time I looked in the health food store, they had increased in price dramatically. I know the price of everything has gone up but this was a bit much.

Hence the impetus to make my own. Hubby will just have to adapt and learn to take his medicine properly. I couldn't find a recipe that I liked so I have made my own combination. The ginger and black pepper are in there as catalysts to increase the bio-availability of the turmeric.

I've just made it so I won't have results for a month or so but I will post that when I do. This recipe is based on a 1:2 ratio for fresh ingredients. The alcohol percentage will work out to about 75% with the addition of the water. Alternately, just use the highest alcohol available. Increase the alcohol to 2.5 cups and omit the water.

Turmeric Tincture

8 oz. fresh turmeric

2 oz. fresh ginger

½ oz. whole black peppercorns

2 cups 95% alcohol

½ cup pure water

Grate turmeric & ginger or process in food processor. Place in quart jar. Add peppercorns. Cover with alcohol and water, using part of the mixture to rinse the inside of the food processor. (I used my food processor for this and it worked very well) (I also didn't bother peeling the roots, just gave them a quick wash)

Its pretty orange already and I took the pic as soon as I put it in the jar.

Has anyone else made a fresh turmeric tincture and how did it go?



  • kbmbillups1
    kbmbillups1 Posts: 1,318 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I've never made it but I'm going to try it. My husband takes turmeric capsules every day too.

  • marjstratton
    marjstratton Posts: 1,132 ✭✭✭✭

    I have never made turmeric tincture. Use it quite a bit culinarily. Thanks for the recipe.

  • nicksamanda11
    nicksamanda11 Posts: 721 ✭✭✭✭

    I have made turmeric tincture from dried turmeric. It it useful- works well for pain and inflammation.

    I have also made my own turmeric capsules which is sooooooo much cheaper than buying them.

    Also, Golden milk is a great way to take turmeric and all that good stuff.

    1/2 c turmeric powder

    Grind a bunch of black pepper in it

    1/4 c ginger powder

    1/4 c cinnamon

    4 TB cayenne powder

    Mix together well. Add 2 TB to 8 oz raw grass fed milk and sweeten with local raw honey. I mix it in a mason jar because i shake it before each drink.

  • annbeck62
    annbeck62 Posts: 995 ✭✭✭✭

    I've made turmeric tincture. My partner said it is more effective than the one he was buying :) I didn't think about adding ginger, next time I will. Right now I'm making a tincture with black turmeric that I grew in my garden. It should be ready in a couple of weeks. Black turmeric is a lot stronger medicinally than the golden variety but does not have a pleasant taste.

  • vickeym
    vickeym Posts: 2,020 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @nicksamanda11 In making your own capsules...Have you figured out how to know what percentage of turmeric you are taking? I also make my own capsules of turmeric but have had trouble figuring out dosage to get the amount recommended.

    I may have to try making the tincture. The pills here are well over $30 for a bottle that "might" last my husband and I a month. Definitely not in my budget.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,516 admin

    @annbeck62 This is the first I have heard of black turmeric. Certainly is a pretty colour on the inside.

    Did you start with seeds or get pieces of root? Not that it's going to grow in my climate. It seems to be listed as an endangered species in India, so good for you, for growing some.

    I've started a bit of research into this species so I will post when I learn more.

  • annbeck62
    annbeck62 Posts: 995 ✭✭✭✭

    @torey I found a live plant at a farmer's market. I didn't know it was endangered, but makes sense as I had never heard of it before purchasing the plant. Looking forward to reading your post :)

  • Cornelius
    Cornelius Posts: 872 ✭✭✭✭

    I saw this on Rareseeds.com, but didn't know it was the black variety. Hopefully they will sell it again!

    Also I am not a husband (yet), but I too take turmeric capsules daily (I noticed this pattern in this thread) 😂🤣

  • Ann
    Ann Posts: 11 ✭✭✭

    I’m wondering if alcohol is the best way to extract the benefits of turmeric. Some components of herbs are water soluble, some alcohol soluble. I used to know what was which, but those were the days! In a pinch I go with the traditional, which for turmeric it’s a water extraction, like golden milk.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,516 admin

    @Ann I agree, most herbs are going to need a combination of alcohol and water to get all of the components extracted.

    Turmeric's constituents are actually more soluble in alcohol than water, although there are some that are water soluble. Hence the reason for using an alcohol-water blend for this extraction with a higher percentage of alcohol.

    Even with the traditional golden milk, you are adding things like black pepper and ginger to make the curcumin more available. Also, milk (in particular dairy or soy, but less so with other plant based mylks) has been shown to be a better solvent for curcumin than water.

    Curcumin is a difficult constituents to extract no matter which method you choose.

  • clrariz
    clrariz Posts: 2 ✭✭✭

    What kind of 95% alcohol did you use?

  • Cindy Pellusch
    Cindy Pellusch Posts: 4 ✭✭✭

    I guess I accidentally made some. I acquired a bagful of turmeric and didn't want it to spoil so I decided to start some firecider with it. So far I have it, ginger, garlic in ACV. Will it be okay in ACV?

  • judithdiotte
    judithdiotte Posts: 10 ✭✭✭

    @torey I have never made turmeric tincture, only capsules. However, I have been juicing turmeric-ginger-lemon (about equal amounts of turmeric and ginger roots and some lemon) using a masticating juicer (Tribest Greenstar pro). I freeze that juice in little cubes (silicone is preferred compared to plastic due to lemon). After that, I store them in a glass dish in the freezer and pop one in my tea or water (both warm or even soda water). It is really delicious. I drink it without sweeteners. Also, after the juicing, I dehydrate the leftover pulp and store it in a jar, and use it as a "tea". The turmeric juicing leaves a really sticky substance (like wax) behind, so usually, I have to wash the juicer accessories in the dishwasher. Lemon also helps dissolve that. If I am using this concoction for inflammation, I add a pinch of black pepper to my water, if I want to use the turmeric for my stomach/digestive tract, I do not add black pepper.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,516 admin

    @clrariz Welcome to TGN's forum. Have you seen our Introductions section where you can let us know what part of the world you are from.

    I used Everclear. It seems to be the most readily available brand if you are in any jurisdiction that allows that strength to be sold in the average liquor outlet. There are a variety of companies on line that will ship medical grade 95% ethyl alcohol to you but I've never needed to purchase in that way so I don't know anything about them.

    @Cindy Pellusch Yes, it will be fine in the ACV. It just might not pull out all the constituents with the vinegar that it will get with the alcohol. I encourage you to get more of the ingredients for fire cider and continue on with that. Let us know how it goes.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,516 admin

    @judithdiotte I've had ginger in juice blends but never turmeric. Interesting about the "leftovers" from the turmeric. I wouldn't have expected that. Sounds like it would be quite tasty in soda water.

  • Owl
    Owl Posts: 346 ✭✭✭

    I wondered how a tincture using both water & alcohol would work! Lots of mushrooms are processed this way because of the same reasons as turmeric but I had imagined just doing 2 different extractions, one with each then adding them together. It would seem like cutting the percentage of alcohol would not allow the water soluble constituents to be extracted. Thanks for the ideas, I’ll be starting my first mushroom tincture soon

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,516 admin

    @Owl One of the reasons for doing two separate extractions for mushrooms is that heat is used. A long simmer for the water extraction. So the alcohol would boil off and you wouldn't get a strong enough alcohol percentage to extract those alcohol soluble constituents or a final percentage high enough to preserve it if you did both alcohol and water together.

    Standard 80 proof or 40% vodka is 60% water. When you mix alcohol and water you still have both products, just a more dilute alcohol. Add more water and you still have the same volume of alcohol, just a lower percentage of it in the final volume. So you still get both the alcohol and water soluble constituents in the tincture.

    An example is willow bark. You only need a 25% alcohol for a tincture as most of the constituents are water soluble, but the alcohol will extract the remaining constituents. Think of it as 25% of the constituents of willow bark need alcohol and 75% need water as solvents. Resins generally need 95% alcohol cause none of their constituents are water soluble.

    That's probably not quite the ratio or how it works for all extractions but you get the idea.

  • Owl
    Owl Posts: 346 ✭✭✭

    So to do an herb like turmeric a dilute alcohol is enough to extract the beneficial nutrients? Would heat be needed here and how much alcohol would be required to keep the final solution shelf stable? I love the idea of this because my body could definitely benefit from it but I’m having a difficult time getting my head around the process.

    I am so excited to see this way of using it though because I have a really hard time with the taste but I have my first sprouts of turmeric just coming up in the greenhouse! When I planted it I just knew there would be a way to incorporate it into my regimen.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,516 admin

    @Owl I've diluted this to about a 75% alcohol but I have seen other recipes using 60% or even 40% if that is all you are able to get. Rosalee de la Foret recommends 60%. Michael Moore's pharmacopeia says 50% but that's using dry root. Higher percentage alcohols are used for fresh plant material because of the additional water the plant material contains. That was one of my reasoning for using 75%.

    As little as 25% alcohol in solution is enough to preserve a tincture.

    95% alcohol isn't available in all jurisdictions. In Canada, the only province that allows the sale of 95% alcohol is Alberta. Here in BC. we are able to get 75% Everclear on request at government liquor stores.

    So for those who have access to high proof alcohol here is a link to the Herbal Academy with formulae for diluting alcohol to get to the desired percentage. It works for all percentages. If you have a 50% vodka this will tell you how to dilute it to 40% or 25% or whatever you need.

    I won't be heating this. Just letting it sit for a month before pressing it out. Heating alcohol is tricky; it will evaporate, and alcohol is highly flammable so not very safe.

  • clrariz
    clrariz Posts: 2 ✭✭✭

    I have not seen (or found) the Introductions section.

    I'm Clare in Mesa, Arizona.

    ~ clrariz

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,516 admin

    @clrariz TGN has organized discussion into categories which can be found either on the right hand side of the page next to the discussions or directly below the last post or discussion. I'm not sure how it looks if you are using a phone or tablet. I use a PC.

  • tmdaha
    tmdaha Posts: 10 ✭✭✭

    Hello, may I ask what kind of alcohol are we to use?

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,516 admin

    @tmdaha The 95% alcohol can be whatever brand is available to you. As mentioned, I used Everclear but there are other brands on the market. I've also used Polmos Spirytus Rektyfikowany, a Polish import that is 96%.

  • JodieDownUnder
    JodieDownUnder Posts: 1,482 admin

    @torey thanks for sharing your recipe & method, I’m going to have a crack at this one. On the subject of how much tincture to take, what are your thoughts please. I have different sized bottles of tincture, some with droppers, some without. How much is enough or not enough. A couple of drops under the tongue, a full dropper etc?

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,516 admin

    @JodieDownUnder The range for dosing of turmeric seems quite broad, so I think it is dependent on the individual. I have seen upper dosages of between 15-25 ml per day or 5-8 ml - 3x daily but also as low as 3 ml per day.

    I am going to be experimenting with this when it is finished to see how much it takes to have effect on my husband's arthritis. He's a pretty big guy so I think he will be at the upper end of the scale.

    You can measure out how much is in one of your droppers. They all hold differing amounts; some marked on the dropper in increments and some not. I think some of the hole sizes are different, too, so even drops may be different. Its time manufacturers got together and standardized things a bit better.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,374 admin

    @JodieDownUnder I have at times put water up into an unmarked dropper once I am cleaning it out, and have measured that amount in a measuring spoon, while taking note how full the dropper was. Then you can mark your findings on the outside of the bottle.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,374 admin
    edited January 15

    I may or may not be able to find fresh turmeric. So, @nicksamanda11 & @torey, how much dried turmeric would be best if I substituted dried into Torey's recipe? And Nicksamanda, what have you used to you filter out the turmeric...cheesecloth or?

    I am wanting to make this not only for RA, but also to see if it will reduce the inflammation going on with my husband's nasal polyps so he can breathe & get some sleep. They appear to be getting worse, making him increasingly tired and super irritable...not fun for anyone!

    Ha...maybe I'll mix it with my crushed chilis tincture. That sounds, um, fun. 😏

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,516 admin

    @LaurieLovesLearning It would be a 1:5 tincture if being made with dried root. So to adjust this recipe for dried ingredients, I would do the following:

    2 oz. dried turmeric

    1/2 oz. dried ginger

    Few peppercorns

    12.5 oz. 50% alcohol

    You don't need as strong of an alcohol when using dried ingredients for this recipe.

    I'd use a finer cloth for filtering powdered ingredients than cheesecloth. Muslin if I could find it.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,374 admin
    edited January 16

    @torey 😏 I meant muslin. That's what I use for my cheesecloth.

    By dried ginger, is this actual dried ginger or ginger powder?