I have a question about making my own herbal extracts with alcohol, using fresh herbs...

I had a bunch of fresh herbs, and some home-distilled 180 proof alcohol that a friend brewed. SO, I thought I'd try to make some smelly stuff. I packed a jar with the fresh herbs, and filled it with the alcohol, plus a little tad bit of water. I let it sit for two weeks, and now it's ready to be strained. BUT, I'm not sure what to do with it. Do I use it to make a perfume, room spray, body spray? Can I use it to make an essential oil? Is what I now have called an herbal extract? One jar is fresh sage and rosemary, Jar 2 is rose geranium leaves and rose petals, Jar 3 is lemon verbena, and Jar 4 is lavendar and sage. All advice is welcome!

An Villain8 years ago
drink it?
Kraethi8 years ago
Yes, there is a marked difference between a tincture and an extract. A tincture is made by soaking in alcohol. An extract is made by steaming the plant and condensation, etc. You can do basically anything with your tinctures. However, it is now impossible to make it an essential oil. You could make it an extract by boiling it down. There are some great soap recipes, and you can certainly do all of the stuff you mentioned. Just message me for some suggestions. :) -Kraethi
ChrysN8 years ago
I think they are called tinctures, whereas essential oils are made by distillation. You can use what you have to make perfume (since perfumes have an alcohol base.) as well as room sprays etc. Just mix the scents you want, and add some distilled water (or spring water) to dilute it to the right strength.
I believe herbal extracts/essential oils are made by distilling the herbs.