A homemade sleep aid that’s SO easy to make, and is completely natural and very effective for promoting relaxation. You can use dried or fresh herbs.
After learning how to make a fresh dandelion tincture that can be taken to help with an array of health conditions, I started looking into making lavender tincture, seeing as we had lavender coming out our ears – our plant was just flourishing.
A lavender tincture is similar to that of a lavender oil, however tinctures are concentrated liquid extracts made from herbs, usually extracted into alcohol to obtain the herbs’ healthful properties.
Tinctures can be used in a number of different ways where you would commonly use an essential oil.
Some wonderful uses for lavender tincture include:
- In a facial moisturiser – Lavender can help remedy skin issues like acne. A little goes a long way, a few drops is all you need.
- Mixed in with the oil you use for oil cleansing.
- As a general moisturiser for your body, as well as your face – Use as a massage oil, to soothe bug bites, sunburns, eczema, lip balm, stings, rashes, scars, as a natural perfume, to remove makeup and more! Avoid contact with sensitive areas around your eyes.
- An ingredient in homemade body care products – Lavender oil can be used as a base ingredient for body butter, cream, balm, salve, ointment, soap, and more!
- As a hair serum to nourish hair, moisturise your scalp, and encourage hair growth.
- Use in recipes that call for oil – Baking in the kitchen? Try swapping out all or part of the recommended oil with lavender oil.
- An ingredient in homemade cleaning products – Incorporate a tablespoon or two of the lavender-infused oil into your homemade cleaning sprays.
- Ear drops for bacterial or fungal infections – These homemade ear drops are super easy to make and work wonders against bacterial or fungal ear infections! Lavender tincture is also effective in combating antifungal-resistant infections.
- Soothe sunburns or other burns – Lavender can help with wound healing. Add a few drops of lavender essential oil to a bottle of cool water and spray on burns to relieve pain.
- Bath salts – These DIY bath bombs or bath salts make for the perfect relaxation experience after a long day and may help to relax and soothe sore muscles.
- Homemade bug spray – This homemade natural insect repellent works wonders to deter bugs like mosquitos, ticks and other biting insects.
These are just a few of the many different ways you can incorporate lavender tincture into your daily life.
Use lavender with caution. When taken in high dosage amounts it can cause adverse reactions and be quite toxic. According to Dr. Weil;
The NMCD rates lavender as “likely safe” for most adults in food amounts and “possibly safe” in medicinal amounts. Taking lavender by mouth may cause constipation, headache, and increased appetite, while applying lavender to the skin may cause irritation. There is insufficient information available regarding safe use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding, so you should avoid using lavender when pregnant or nursing.
Children, specifically young boys who have yet to reach puberty, should avoid lavender oil and products that contain lavender oil as they may disrupt normal hormone levels. In some cases, boys developed abnormal breast growth called gynecomastia. Effects on young girls are unknown.
Dosage for Lavender Tincture
Dr. Weil shared his recommendations on dosages for lavender:
Internal use – take 2-4 mL of lavender tincture three times a day. Lavender tea includes both leaf and flower and can be ingested before bed.
Aromatherapy – add 2-4 drops of lavender essential oil to 2-3 cups of boiling water – some people may experience lung and/or eye irritation.
Topical use – add 1-4 drops lavender oil per tablespoon of olive oil – avoid contact with eyes and mucous membranes. For bald spots (alopecia areata), one study combined the following essential oils: 3 drops of lavender, 3 drops of rosemary, 2 drops of thyme, and 2 drops of cedarwood, all mixed with 3 mL of jojoba oil and 20 mL grapeseed oil. This mixture was massaged into the scalp every night.
Lavender essential oil should only be used externally or as aromatherapy, as it is potentially toxic when ingested.
DIY Lavender Tincture
Tinctures use alcohol as the solvent, whereas extracts may use alcohol, water, vinegar, glycerin or other solvents. You may need to mix vodka and 190-proof grain alcohol in equal parts for higher moisture items like lemon balm, berries and roots. The final alcohol percent will be less as there is water in the plant that will be drawn out, diluting the alcohol content.
Keep in mind a little goes a LONG way with tinctures, so you only need a small amount when using, too much can be toxic.
- Lavender flowers, dried or fresh
- Clean glass jar
- Alcohol, either gluten-free vodka 80 or 100 proof or other woodgrain
- Dark dropper bottles
- Chop up clean herbs to help release the oils. For fresh and dried herbs, fill jar 3/4 full, no need to pack it in. If using roots, fill jar 1/2 full.
- Pour alcohol over herbs, filling enough to cover the herbs completely. For roots and dried herbs, they will increase in size as they soak up the liquid – so leave ample space. Once covered, screw the lid on.
- Your jar should be full, but not jam-packed.
- Let the jar sit for 2-6 weeks, gently shaking each days. Different herbs require different lengths of time to sit in alcohol, so it’s important to do some research on the length of time required for each various herb, particularly if using medicinally. Otherwise, you might start extracting other components that are less desirable.
- Pour your tincture though a cheesecloth or nut milk bag, and squeeze to get as much liquid out as possible. The liquid will be coloured and no longer clear.
- Store the tincture in amber glass bottles to protect it from light, or in a cool, dark place if using clear bottles. Alcohol tinctures should last for years, though if they look funky, don’t use.
As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor before trying or using any new products. It’s important to check with a doctor before taking this or any new product, especially if taking any other medicine or supplement or if pregnant or nursing. Be sure to check ingredients to make sure there is no risk of an allergic reaction.
Have you made a herbal tincture before?! How did it go? Share in the comments below.
Lots of love,
Lavender. (Reviewed: September, 2016). Dr. Weil. Retrieved from https://www.drweil.com/vitamins-supplements-herbs/herbs/lavender/
Nordqvist, Joseph. (March 4, 2019). What are the health benefits and risk of lavender?. Medical News Today. Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/265922
How To Make Lavender Herbal Tincture. Odds And Hens. Retrieved from https://oddsandhens.com/2014/01/23/how-to-make-a-lavender-herbal-tincture/
Allen, Crystal. (Updated: September 12, 2018). DIY Lavender “Essential Oil” Tincture- Think Ahead Handmade Gift Ideas Series. Hello Creative Family. Retrieved from https://hellocreativefamily.com/diy-lavender-essential-oil-tincture/
Borke, Jesse, MD, CPE, FAAEM, FACEP. Lavender oil. (November 3, 2020). Medline Plus. Retrieved from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002711.htm