Friday, March 28, 2014

Peter Rabbit's Tummy Tincture ~ A "Dose of Chamomile"

"I am sorry to say that Peter was not very well during the evening.
His mother put him to bed, and made some camomile tea;
and she gave a dose of it to Peter!
'One table-spoonful to be taken at bed-time.'"
The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

Stomach aches are not limited to little rabbits, humans of all ages are susceptible. A "dose of chamomile" would be a blessing to have in your pantry. Since chamomile is helpful for insomnia and is stress relieving, adults would benefit from this herb as well!  It also boasts anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-allergenic properties. Chamomile is known to soothe teething babies and reduces colic. Would you like Mrs. Rabbit's recipe for making a chamomile tincture?

Ingredients and Options:

All that is required is chamomile (dried or fresh) and  80-100 proof vodka or apple cider vinegar. While vodka is the best choice for extracting all the medicinal properties of the herb (and is odorless), you can also use apple cider vinegar if you don't want the worry of alcohol (though it won't be as potent of a tincture). Keep in mind though, if adding your "dose of chamomile" into a cup of hot tea, most of your alcohol will evaporate off in a few minutes which would solve that problem. Vodka also boasts a longer shelf life (up to 5 years in your pantry) while the apple cider vinegar will last for approx. 6 - 12 months (with refrigeration being recommended by some sources). Use either one you feel comfortable with.

"Adding a small amount of almost boiling water to the tincture dose in a cup and allowing it to cool effectively evaporates most of the alcohol, making it safe."
~ Excerpt from Home Herbal by Penelope Ody

To begin, fill a clean jar 1/3 to 1/2 way full of dried chamomile flowers (if you purchase a pound, you will have plenty of leftover for our future projects). If using fresh chamomile flowers, fill the jar 3/4 of the way.

If you want a larger quantity of tincture, use a quart jar. For a smaller quantity, use a pint jar.

Next, fill the jar to the very top with the liquid of your choice (vodka or apple cider vinegar). You want to make sure that the flowers are submerged. The idea is to have the liquid cover the herbs by 2 to 3 inches (more on that later). 

Because we used dried flowers, I ended up needing to refill the jar within 15 minutes because the dried flowers absorbed the liquid. Keep an eye on your tincture to make sure the liquid level is always full.

Next, screw on your jar lid or cover jar with plastic wrap and then cap if using a metal lid as shown in picture (you just don't want the metal to be in contact with the tincture).

Label your jar with name of herb and date. Store in a cool, dark area.

Shake every few days to infuse the herbs into the liquid (it is easy to remember if you place your tincture in your kitchen cabinet where the cups are so that when you reach for a glass of water, you are reminded to shake your tincture). My chamomile kept floating to the top so I shook the jar daily to keep it from molding.

Let the tincture sit for 4 - 6 weeks for a nice, strong blend.

When the time is up, place a small strainer over a glass bowl. Line the strainer with a piece of lightweight fabric or thin cheesecloth. Pour your tincture through.

Once contents are emptied into the strainer, gather your fabric into a small satchel and squeeze the leftover herbs to extract the last of the golden medicinal liquid.

You will be left with a beautiful tincture! Make sure to label and date your jar (we included a label in our printable recipe below). 

If you have a clean dropper bottle, then place some of your tincture inside and add it into your medicine cabinet. The remaining jar of tincture can safely be stored in your pantry for up to 5 years if using vodka (and 6-12 months for vinegar).

We included two sets of labels on our printable recipe below. One for your jars and one for the dropper bottles. We also share two designs, one whimsical and one with an apothecary appeal. We just couldn't decide ;)

Although Peter's mother prescribed a tablespoon for chamomile tea, this tincture is highly concentrated and requires much less!

Dosage (To get a better idea on determining tincture dosage, visit here):

**For adults, a dropperful (1/4 tsp.) or two taken in intervals (3 times a day) as needed and added into a small glass of hot tea, water or juice is plenty.

**Children can be given 1/2 of the dose mentioned above.

**Wellness Mama shares information on treating infants and babies with chamomile tincture here.

**And remember, if using the vodka based tincture, place in a hot cup of tea first for a few minutes to allow most of the alcohol to evaporate off.

Note: If you want to do a sweet, glycerin based-tincture, here is a tutorial that you can use with chamomile. Though the medicinal properties aren't as strong as the alcohol based tincture, the benefit is that your children will love the taste.

I personally love adding something medicinal to our pantry as part of our preparedness plan. It would be like a food storage for medicine which really appeals to me since a dried herb loses its strength after one or two years, and this tincture preserves for much longer. You are welcome to print out our recipe (found here) for your herbal.


  1. This tincture sounds like just the thing to get little bunnies back to sorts and big ones, too. :)
    We drink chamomile tea sometimes in the evening to help us relax, but I've never made a tincture with it. It sounds like a good one to have on hand so I'm putting this on my list to make as soon as my chamomile produces enough flowers. Thank you for another great herbal recipe. I really love herbs. Have a great weekend!

    1. Chamomile is my hubby's favorite herb to relax at night too :) Thanks for sharing!

  2. You never cease to amaze me. I like chamomile tea at times to 'quiet ones nerves'. I never thought of it as a tincture. I have my seeds, but it's still too early to plant here. I can hardly wait to be drinking my very own tea. I know that sounds silly, but you never know what is actually in store bought. I will have to make some tincture as well - especially since it keeps 5 years.
    Again Thank You.

    1. Yes :) I would try adding it into a cup of chamomile tea for a double boost of herbal goodness...

  3. I just pinned this post! I need to do this one :) Thinking of you often and lifting you up to our Lord <3

  4. Hi guys,
    Thank you so much for this wonderful article really!
    If someone want to know more about Peter Rabbit I think this is the right place for you!

  5. Very Informative content on tinctures Thank you for the article!