Continuing my tincture-making spree, I made rosemary tincture.
Rosemary is an herbal powerhouse. It contains antioxidants, known to combat free radicals.
I’d heard about free radicals and antioxidants forever, but never knew quite what they were so I looked it up. Free radicals are molecules with unstable outer layers caused by unpaired electrons. These unstable molecules go roaming around looking for electrons to steal from other molecules, thus creating more unstable molecules–a snowball effect. Too many of these overwhelm your body (especially the aging or weakened body) and they begin damaging your cells and genes. Antioxidants are good because they give the free radicals the extra electron they need to stabilize them and keep them from causing trouble.
Rosemary is also anti inflammatory. In inflammation, here’s what happens: When one’s body tissue is damaged in some way, white blood cells exude chemicals in order to get rid of that damage. This causes increased blood and fluid to the area (redness and swelling). Sometimes, as in the case of arthritis and allergies, this continued chemical response can do more harm than good. Anti inflammatories can help tame this overzealous response.
Rosemary has shown promise against cancers, including breast cancer, aging skin, and liver toxins.
Sign me up.
I’ve grown rosemary for many, many years. Way back when, I grew it in big pots, thinking it needed to be brought inside in the winter. I did this for several years, even when we lived in a tiny, three room house where it dominated the kitchen. I fed it ground eggshells and babied it, until one year it was just too big and I planted it in the ground. Turns out it loves our winters. It got even bigger, and hasn’t stopped since.
I read recently rosemary was once thought to signify wifely dominance in the household, to the point where husbands took to tearing it out of their wives’ gardens. I’ll leave it to my husband to interpret the significance of our, ahem, healthy rosemary plant. I know he won’t tear it out regardless, he loves rosemary as much as I do.
To make the tincture, I cut a lot of rosemary.
Then I stripped the leaves from the stalks.
And finely chopped the leaves.
It looked like a lot before I chopped it, but it wasn’t as much as I wanted, which was enough to almost fill a pint jar. So I picked some more, and repeated the stripping and the chopping. Still wasn’t enough, so I did it a third time.
My chopping arm was tired, but this is good stuff and I wanted a lot of it.
Then I covered it with vodka. Many people will say you need pure grain alcohol, but I’m fine with this.
I capped, labelled and dated the jar and put it in a dark cupboard, to leave for 4-6 weeks.
When it is ready, I’ll strain out the herbs and bottle it in amber glass bottles.
It has a few contraindications such as pregnancy and seizure disorders, so check with your doctor before using it.
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