Maceration for Herbal Alcohol Extract

Maceration for herbal extracts

Maceration for Herbal Alcohol Extract

This maceration method will show you how to make herbal alcohol extract or tinctures in 4-6 weeks. Herbal Alcohol Extracts are tinctures. An herbal tincture is a concentrated liquid form of one or more herbs extracted into alcohol. Herbal alcohol extracts can be used in skin and hair care formulations.

Alcohol (ethyl alcohol), natural food-grade alcohol, herbal alcohol extracts, formulated at the correct usage rate and in skin or hair care products can benefit the skin and hair. Herbal alcohol extracts can improve the delivery system of the properties of the herbs, emollients, and humectants into the skin and hair. The alcohol in the formulation will be non-drying if formulated correctly. Alcohol can assist with preserving the formulation.

Infusing Dried Herb into Alcohol

The maceration method takes 4-6 weeks to produce an herbal alcohol extract. The herbs are soaked in alcohol and then filtered out of the alcohol. Dried herbs work well making extracts. For most herbs (flowers, leaves), 40% or 50% alcohol by volume (abv) can be used. Everclear is a brand that is used. Vodka can also be used. The label will read 40% alcohol 80 proof, meaning there is 40% alcohol and 40% water. OR The label will read 50% alcohol 100 proof, meaning there is 50% alcohol and 50% water.

1 part herb (by weight) to 5 parts alcohol by volume (this is the solvent or menstruum).

Example: 40 grams dried herb to 200 ml alcohol or 1 ounce dried herb to 5 fluid ounces alcohol.


  1. Cut the herb into small pieces into a sanitized glass jar and fill about ½ of the jar. Cover the herb completely with 40% – 50% alcohol (Everclear or vodka) Cap tightly.
  1. Store in a cool, dark place for 4-6 weeks.
  1. Strain alcohol: Place a funnel on top of sanitized glass jar or bottle. Use muslin cloth or an unbleached coffee filter and place into the funnel. Strain the alcohol through and funnel into the jar trying to leave the bulk of the herb in the jar.
  1. Once most of the alcohol is filtered through, pour remaining herb into filter, and filter the herb through alcohol through. No herbs should filter through into the alcohol. You may need to strain a second time if there is herb or sediment in the alcohol.
  1. When all alcohol has filtered through, bottle herbal extract.
  1. Store the herbal alcohol extract (tincture) in a dark bottle in a cool, dark place. Herbal alcohol extracts can last for several years.

Learn More

Learn about percolation for herbal alcohol extracts here.

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