Methods of Herbal Preparation and Proper Dosage of Tinctures

Methods of Herbal Preparation and
Proper Dosage of Tinctures
Agatha M. Thrash, M.D.
Preventive Medicine
An infusion is a water extraction method where lighter herbs like blossoms, leaves,
powders, and light herb materials are soaked or infused in boiling water. To prepare: for
strong potent or intense herbs, use 1 teaspoonful of herbs to 1 cup of boiling water. Let
stand for 20-30 minutes. Strain and use as needed.
For a therapeutic dose of regular, non-potent, non-intense herbs, use 30 grams (1 ounce),
or 2 tablespoons, in 1 pint of boiling water. The apothecary scale is 12 ounces to the
A water extraction method where harder materials like seeds, barks, roots, etc. are
simmered in water to extract their properties. The same measurements apply as for an
infusion. Simmer 20-30 minutes, strain, and use.
Infusion Decoction Mixture
Often a formula has a mixture of light herb materials that need to be infused and harder
materials that require a decoction. In this case, make your decoction first with all the hard
herb materials in your formula, simmer for one-half hour, remove from the heat and add
the lighter herbs for the infusion in the same water. Let stand 20-30 minutes, strain, and
use. Can be kept 24 hours refrigerated.
Making a Formula
When making an herb formula several herbs may be required. This, of course, will
require a much more potent dose of herb material. This generally is not a problem unless
intense and potent herbs are used. For example, never use more than one tablespoon of
black cohosh, generally speaking, in a formula (Check herbal manuals carefully for
dosage). Also when making a formula more water is usually required.
Arthritis formula (general)
1 1/2 quarts purified water
1 tablespoon black cohosh root
1 tablespoon wild yam root
2 tablespoons burdock root
3 tablespoons echinacea root
2 tablespoon sarsparilla root
Simmer one-half hour, covered, on medium heat.
Because several herbs are used here, use 1-1 1/2 quarts purified water for the mixture.
For preparation of infusions and decoctions, always use stainless steel, glassware, or
enamel vessels. Use stainless strainers for straining.
Goldenseal, Echinacea Tincture
For acute ailments
Example: infection
Adults: Use 1 teaspoonful every hour until symptoms are controlled, then drop down to 1
teaspoonful every 2 hours. When symptoms are gone, use one teaspoonful every 4 hours
for 2-3 days.
Children's dosage: Use Young's rule.
Divide the age by the age plus 12. The result represents the fraction of the adult dose
suitable for a child.
Example: A child of 4 requires the following faction of an adult.
4 + 12
Goldenseal should be avoided in pregnancy if any cramping or discomfort arises.
However, when it is used for acute conditions, this complication is rare.
For more information contact:
Uchee Pines Lifestyle Center
30 Uchee Pines Road #75
Seale, Alabama 36875
Tel. 334-855-4764