Friday, February 20, 2015

Herbal tincture for mood - weekend recipe

Recently I used an herbal tincture made with brandy to flavor the brownies I took to the Garden Club meeting.   That tincture was made with meadowsweet which is wonderfully sweet and a great addition to baked goods.

Tinctures are a great way to extract the healthy goodness from herbs in to an alchohaol base or melstrum (much like you make vinegars.)  You can then take the tincture as “medicine.”  If you are old enough you may remember that cough syrup always had some alcohol in it. 

The recipe I am sharing today is a tincture I first learned in the Essential Herbal Magazine.  It is a wonderful blend to help lift winter spirits.  I get crabby and sad when the sun stays hidden for long lengths of time, so this blended tincture was perfect for me.  I put a teaspoon of the blend into my tea each morning then have more when I get home each day.

Mood Lifting Tincture by Mary Graber
To prevent or ease the winter blues, take 1/2 -1 tsp. three times daily.

100-proof vodka/brandy
2 parts hawthorn berry, plus flower and leaf if available
2 parts lemon balm
1 part St. John's wort
1 part milky green oat tops

Place the herbs in a lidded jar and pour in enough vodka/brandy to cover.  Steep the herbs for several weeks in the vodka/brandy and strain prior to use. If you are in a hurry to use this, give it a week to steep and strain out only what you need for a couple days at a time.

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