Tinctures are concentrated herbal extracts made by soaking the bark, berries, leaves (dried or fresh), or roots from one or more plants in alcohol or vinegar.

Alcohol or vinegar removes the active ingredients in the parts of the herbs and concentrates them as liquids.

There are some and anecdotal reports that suggest some plants have medicinal properties and health benefits. (R)

Tinctures have been around for millennia and are a key component of traditional herbal medicine. One.

Benefits of Taking a Tincture

Tinctures make the natural health-boosting chemicals present in certain plants easy to eat. They are typically cheap to make, and can easily be prepared at home.

Accessibility of herbal medicines such as tinctures is possibly a big factor why, for at least some of their healthcare needs, an estimated 80 percent of the world population depends on such therapies.

Here are some common Chinese Herbs used for tinctures that studies suggest may benefit your health.


Alternative medicine practitioners laud Boswellia, also called frankincense, for its anti-inflammatory capabilities. It is derived from gum of indigenous Indian Boswellia trees.

This herb is thought to function by blocking substances (leukotrienes) that in autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis that attack healthy joints

In animal research, the NCCIH recognizes positive signs of Boswellia. Yet it does mention a lack of human trials. Boswellia comes in tablet form and with topical creams. (R)


You may have ginger for cooking in your spice cabinet but this herb is also a staple in many cabinets for alternative medicine. There are also anti-inflammatory properties of the same compounds which give ginger its strong flavor.

The NCCIH says early studies are promising for reducing joint swelling with ginger in rheumatoid arthritis. But it needs more human trials to better understand its behavior. (R)

Ginger is used in folk medicine and Chinese medicine to increase blood circulation which brings heat and healing properties to the affected area. Research shows the potential for all forms of arthritis using ginger. (R)


Eucalyptus is popular in Western markets. It is used in oral medicines, and for a number of conditions, topical oil extracts are used. Topical parts of the leaves of eucalyptus are used to relieve pain caused by arthritis.

The plant leaves contain tannins that can help to reduce swelling and exacerbate pain arthritis. Some consumers follow up with heat pads to enhance Eucalyptu’s effects on swollen joints.

Make sure to check yourself for allergies before using the topical eucalyptus. Place a small amount of the substance on the forearm. If no reaction occurs within 24 to 48 hours, then you can use it.

Willow Bark

One of the oldest remedies for inflammation is the use of willow bark. In addition, people chewed willow bark during the time of Hippocrates (fifth century B.C.) to help relieve the inflammatory conditions. (R)

One study reported promise from the herb in relieving OA-related joint pain, particularly in knees, back, hips, and neck. This treatment is taken by mouth.

It is important that we get the right dosage. An overdose can cause inflammation in rashes and other types. If you take blood thinners or are allergic to aspirin, do not use willow bark.

How to make a tincture with Chinese Herbs

herbal tincture for arthritis

Tinctures can be made with safe-to-use plants at home. The easiest way to make a tincture is to immerse herbs in a glass jar of alcohol.

Here’s how:

  • Locate the plant you wish to use. Make sure you only take parts of the plant which are safe to use.
  • Fill a glass jar with finely chopped fresh leaves, two-thirds to three-fourths of the way up. Fill in with dry leaves and roots, bark or berries halfway through. And fill up with dried roots, leaves, or berries one-fourth of the way up.
  • Pour 40 to 70 percent grain alcohol over the herbs to the top of your glass pot, completely covering them.
  • Fill the jar with parchment paper, then screw it onto a metal lid Let it sit for 6 to 8 weeks.
  • Place a cheesecloth over a funnel and let drip into your tincture.
  • The strained liquid is your tincture. If bottled and kept in a cold, dark place you can hold onto it for years.


How to make a tincture without alcohol

No trouble. Swap the alcohol to white or apple cider vinegar in your tincture.



For centuries plant tinctures were used as herbal remedies for joint pain and other illness. Some plants have proven health benefits, while others ‘effects are less evident, and can even be detrimental to your health.

Talk to your doctor before you initiate some kind of herbal remedy regimen.

Another blog A list of healthy herbs for a healthier You.


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