Oils Tinctures Tonics
Whether it’s for medicinal, ritual, or magical purposes, the understanding and know-how to make these concoctions is essential and particularly useful in spell-work, rituals, and magic.
To perform Botanical Magic, it’s not necessary to memorize a bunch of recipes and formulas. Most people don't have the ability to keep all that information stored and memorized. Instead, learn the basics and piece together what works for you. Write down your successes, but never forget to mention the failures so you don't make them twice.
What I will be writing about are:
The world of plants is a powerful one. There is a wealth of components in plants that serve to protect them at various stages of development, as there are so many forces at play including weather, predators (including us) and soil quality. When we consume these plant constituents in various forms, we can also reap the benefits. But learning how to prepare these plants properly is crucial.
There are several ways you can extract the benefits from herbs and other plants:
Infusion: An infusion is when you steep plants in water or oil to glean their beneficial properties. One of the most common infusions is tea, which most of us are accustomed to drinking.
Decoction: This is boiling an herb or vegetable in water, so the water then contains the soluble constituents of the plant being boiled. This is a great method for hardier plants that won’t ‘give up the goods’ with gentler methods – a good example would be chaga or reishi mushrooms.
Tincture: A solution of alcohol or alcohol and water, along with the plant that you’re using for medicinal benefits. Tinctures usually take longer to make, anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of months to fully saturate the liquid with the plant medicine (think of vanilla extract, for example).
Maceration: Softening by soaking in a liquid. Maceration is generally used for very delicate plants and the liquid is usually cold or barely heated. Often, macerations use oil as the liquid.
The type of herb you use will depend on what your herbal medicine is for – it may be to boost the immune system, calm the nervous system, ease digestion, or reduce inflammation.
A good few tips to remember:
Use the fresh herbs. This will produce the most powerful tincture and tonics. If your herbs don’t have a scent, that’s not going to change once you make your herbal medicine.
Cut the herbs into small pieces. This allows for a greater surface area so the plant compounds can infuse into the liquid.
Label your jars. Label your herbal medicines with the date and what’s inside them. That way there will be no confusion! (You may think you’ll remember what everything is. You won’t. Trust us!)
Start slowly. This is powerful plant medicine. Tinctures and tonics are meant to be taken in small amounts. With a tincture, you may only need a few drops.