Preparing lemon balm tincture is a very affordable way to preserve this herb's lemony-mint scent and gain its medicinal benefits. Learn more about how to make it at home and what the most common lemon balm tincture uses are.
A tincture is a concentrated liquid made by extracting the herbal constituents of the lemon balm plant in a solution of alcohol. The process is very similar to that of lemon balm oil and only differs in the type of carrier substance used for the process, which in this case is alcohol.
How to Make Lemon Balm Tincture
To make tincture of lemon balm, you will need:
- Fresh or dried lemon balm leaves
- A strong, high proof alcohol, like vodka. Alcohol will extract and preserve most of the constituents in lemon balm that are poorly soluble in water.
- A dry, clean glass jar
Step by step process:
- If you are using fresh lemon balm leaves, crush them to allow for better absorption of their active compounds in the alcohol.
- Transfer the crushed leaves to a clean, dry glass jar and cover them completely with the alcohol. Calculate one part of lemon balm leaves to three parts alcohol. When using dried lemon balm leaves, the proportion will be one part herb to five parts alcohol.
- Shake very well to combine the leaves with the alcohol. Seal the top of the jar and place in a fresh, dry, dark cabinet for at least four weeks.
- If you are using dried herbs, add more alcohol over the next day or two, as the dried herbs will absorb the liquid and expand.
- Shake every few days. This will allow for better absorption of lemon balm's active compounds in the alcohol.
- When the time is right, take out the jar and strain the liquid using a muslin cloth or a very tight weave of cheesecloth. Wring it out well with clean, dry hands to be sure you get the last drop of alcohol with all of lemon balm's medicinal properties. Pour into a clean, dry, dark glass jar.
- Your lemon balm tincture will last three to five years if stored in a dark, fresh, dry cabinet.
Lemon Balm Tincture Uses and Benefits
The tincture of lemon balm has a high concentration of medicinal properties and few drops directly under your tongue will allow for optimal absorption. A teaspoon can also be diluted in a small amount of water or juice three times a day, preferable between meals and before bed time. These ways of consumption are great for calming the nerves and relieving insomnia. Since it preserves the lemony taste of lemon balm, this tincture can also be used to flavor baked goods and drinks.
Making your own lemon balm tincture not only will save you money, but it will also allow you to benefit from the medicinal properties of lemon balm plant in a concentrated solution that has a long shelf live and is very useful.