Herbalists probably use tinctures more than any other preparation. They preserve the herb's qualities for a number of years and allow blending for tailor-made remedies. They're also easy to make.
Below is a step by step guide to making a tincture from Parsley (Petroselium crispum).
1. Pick a dry day, mid-morning to early afternoon to avoid dew to pick your herbs. Avoid using any damaged parts when you are collecting. Correct identification is paramount so it is not advised to pick herbs from the wild unless you know what you're doing..
2. Sort through the plants carefully allowing any insects to escape and removing any partially eaten or damged parts. Remove bulkier material unless you require this specifically. Quality control is important.
3. You should then have good quality material with which to work:
4. Before adding the herb to your container it is best to chop it up as finely as possible as this will assist with the extraction purpose, this process is known as Comminution:
5. Add the finely-chopped ingredients (known as The Marc) into a container - a jam jar is good for small amounts. Then pour in your alcohol (known as the Menstruum) - vodka is useful for leafy material like this. Make sure you cover all the plant material. Store in a cool cupboard and shake daily. The tincture is ready in 2-3 weeks. Label and store.
You can find more specific information on making tinctures over at the wonderful Herbarium website: