Winning at cauliflower crust pizza one day and burning stew the next? One dropperful. Googling “foreign object nasal obstruction” while checking appointment availability with your local pedi? Two dropperfuls.
Though the details are different for each of us, there’s no question that being an adult comes with challenges. And while certain aspects are funny, being chronically stressed and tired is NOT.
A couple of years ago, I wrote about Dr. James Wilson’s at-home test for assessing adrenal fatigue and shared that my desire to “do it all” had led to burnout.
I’d taken on too much – homeschooling, homesteading, writing, cooking, creating, etc. – and although I loved it all I found I wasn’t bouncing back from stressful experiences like I used to. I was easily frustrated and overwhelmed by little things . . . and little things seemed to be popping up everywhere.
After implementing these fifteen tips for helping the adrenals thrive, I started feeling SO. MUCH. BETTER. It wasn’t a one-time fix, though. In order to experience joy and resilience in the middle of modern life’s daily stresses, ongoing support is essential.
Adaptogens For Stamina And Stress Relief
If life sometimes feels like trying to hold onto a firehose that is going full-blast, think of adaptogens as weights that help support and ground the body through it all. These herbs can be taken as capsules, but they’re better absorbed in tea or tincture form.
I’ve already shared with you my happy adrenal tea recipe that incorporates stress-busting adaptogens, so you might be thinking, “Hey now, remember how things can feel overwhelming when you’re already stressed? Why not just one easy recipe???”
I hear you. I’m all about skipping steps wherever possible, too.
The answer is that there are lots of ways to support the adrenals, so I’ve shared the ways that felt doable to me during different parts of my healing process.
First was the vitamin C and Himalayan salt adrenal tonic. It requires no planning and can be mixed together in seconds. Next was the happy adrenal tea, because the nourishing herbs complement the adrenal tonic and it only requires a little planning.
Last is the adrenal tincture because it takes the longest to make. As you’ll see, though, it’s totally worth it.
Teas, Tinctures, and Elixirs – What’s the difference?
As mentioned in my happy adrenal tea recipe, teas extract the nutrients found in herbs using water, while tinctures extract them using alcohol or glycerin. While this may seem at first to just be based on preference, there’s more to it than that.
Teas draw out many of the nutrients found in herbs – flavonoids, vitamins, and minerals, for example – but there are some that are left behind.
Alcohol and glycerin extract the “hard to get” compounds such as alkaloids, which are often considered to have highly therapeutic value. In fact, they’ve been the subject of pharmaceutical research in the development of medicines. (1) Roots, barks and some seeds – many of which are in this tincture – contain valuable compounds that can only be extracted with alcohol/glycerin.
Benefits of adaptogenic herbal tea:
- It’s ready almost immediately, while tinctures take about six weeks to brew.
- When you’re stressed, taking a few moments to hold a hot cup of tea and take some deep breaths can soothe the soul while supporting the body.
- It’s yummy.
Benefits of adaptogenic herbal tinctures:
- Tinctures contains valuable compounds that are not present in tea.
- When held under the tongue for 30 seconds to a minute, tinctures are very quickly absorbed and available to the body.
- Convenience. Once your batch is ready, all you have to do is grab a dropperful as needed. It’s also much easier to carry in your purse than a cup of tea.
Elixirs sound a bit mysterious and enchanting, but they’re actually just tinctures mixed with honey to make them more enjoyable.
How long can I take this for?
Some adaptogens, like eleuthero, can be taken for long periods of time. However, many herbalists recommend rotating the adaptogens used every couple of months.
I personally prefer to take this blend for a month, then rotate it with other adaptogenic herbal tinctures such as reishi, cordyceps, maca, rhodiola, and/or a ginseng such as Panax ginseng or sustainably harvested American ginseng.
Adapt + Thrive Adrenal Support Tincture Recipe
- 2 tbsp eleuthero root (click her to learn more about the benefits of eleuthero)
- 2 tbsp ashwagandha root (click here to learn more about the benefits of ashwagandha here)
- 2 tbsp schisandra berry
- 2 tbsp holy basil leaves (click here to learn more about the benefits of holy basil)
- 1 cup or a bit more 80 proof or higher vodka (I use potato vodka to avoid gluten. Food-grade glycerin can also be used, but the extraction process will be longer.)
To Make The Tincture With Alcohol
- Place herbs in a clean, dry pint mason jar and pour the alcohol/glycerin over them.
- Cover with a lid, shake the jar and place it in a cool, dark cabinet.
- Shake several times a week for 6-8 weeks, then strain the liquid with a cheesecloth. Make sure to squeeze as much liquid out of the cheesecloth as possible.
- Pour the tincture in a dropper bottle, label it, and use as needed.
To Make The Tincture With Glycerin
- Place herbs in a clean, dry pint mason jar. Boil some water and – while it is very hot – pour in just enough to completely cover the herbs. Add in enough glycerin to fill the jar and give the mixture a good stir.
- Shake several times a week for 6-8 weeks, then strain the liquid with a cheesecloth. Make sure to squeeze as much liquid out of the cheesecloth as possible. Pour the tincture in a dropper bottle, label it, and use as needed.
- For a faster method using glycerin see the instructions in this post. However, because this tincture contains roots and berries which are more difficult to extract from, increase the total extraction time to 6-8 weeks.
How To Use Your Tincture
- I use 1-2 droppers full one to three times daily, depending on my stress load for the day.
Is this blend safe for pregnant and nursing mamas?
A few herbs in this blend – holy basil, ashwagandha, and licorice root – are not recommended for pregnant mamas. However, according to The Botanical Safety Handbook, there are no known contraindications for nursing mamas. (Pregnant mamas, if you’re interested in a pregnancy-friendly adrenal support blend let me know!)
What about the alcohol content? A dropperful (30-40 drops) of tincture has about the same alcohol content as a very ripe banana. (source 1, source 1, source 2) In general, tinctures are not considered a concern for pregnant/nursing women and even children by many experts and herbalists, provided the specific herbs in the tincture are considered appropriate for the individual. Though this tincture is not intended for pregnant mamas, I think this quote from Joel Evans, M.D., author of “The Whole Pregnancy Handbook: An Obstetrician’s Guide to Integrating Conventional and Alternative Medicine Before, During, and After Pregnancy,” speaks to the issue:
Tinctures contain alcohol, but because they’re taken in very small doses over a limited period of time, their alcohol content should not cause concern in pregnancy. (source)
Children do tend to prefer glycerin-based extract because they’re sweeter, though, which is why I used that as the base for my kid-friendly sleep tincture. For those that wish to reduce or eliminate the alcohol content for any reason, there are a few options.
First, some recommend adding the tincture to hot tea so that some of the alcohol burns off. In many cases the valuable constituents will be left behind, but some are not heat stable and may evaporate. The other option is to use a glycerin-based tincture.
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- Vafa Amirkia and Michael Heinrich (2014) Alkaloids as drug leads – A predictive structural and biodiversity-based analysis
Read My Comment Policy
Please more adrenal tincture recipes. Thank you!
How do you make the tea?
I love this! Ashwagandha is truly a powerhouse. It’s exceptional in alleviating anxiety. I’m looking forward to trying this recipe. Thank you.
Hi, I only have access to 40 proof vodka in Canada. Would it work the same?
Does it say 40 proof or does it say 40% alcohol by volume. If it is the latter, it should be ok. If it is the former, then I think you may have found a unicorn.
Hi its easier for me to source the herbs for the tincture in powder form. What would the ratios be if I wanted to adapt your recipe by using powders please?
Yes, i agree. I would love more tincture ideas.
Please, please include more tincture recipes. Also, I’m wondering if there is a way you could put all of the ingredients in one shopping list (say on amazon maybe), because when I’m already exhausted and struggling, it’s a lot to go back and forth from the recipe to the site from which I’m buying items. Thank you so much for all you do, keep up the good work
I too would love more recipes…pregnancy and non-pregnancy, please!!! ???
I would think o.n occasion this would be efficient. Overall though, it may compromise the quality of your ingredients Many companies specialize in one thing or another. I’m less picky on supplies, but won’t just get my herbs anywhere (for example) ?
I am looking for recipes for hollyhocks, tinctures etc.
See if you live near a metaphysical shop that carries herbs! That’s where I get all my supplies! The one by me even hosts tincture and elixir making classes!
Beth in TX
Pregnancy-friendly recipe, please! ?
Yes, please!!! For me too!
Ditto that to the max! (’80’s flashback anyone?)
Great post. I wish someone had classes also. I am a concrete observation learner.
We use Mountain Rose Herbs, (great array of blue and brown bottles, droppers, jars and spray glass containers) Wayne and Mary’s Health care in Sioux Falls, SD as they send and have fairly good staff.
We also use Swanson Vit in North Dakota.
Today Stress is an epidemic.
Thanks for all you do to support us Heather
Cheryl and family
I would also love the pregnancy-friendly tincture recipe… pretty please! Thank you.
Yes to a pregnancy version!
More tincture recipes would be awesome. And are there better times of year to take certain herbs? i.e. specific ones for warm months and others for the cooler months.
Totally agree!!! Would love more about this!!
excellent suggestion Katie, it can be really important the harvesting times as the ancients knew..and I’m sure she does as well..
Please send more tincture recipes
Wonderful break down! Thank you! Difference in potency (all the “goods” getting extracted) between glycerin tincture and alcohol tincture?
and potency in ACV tinctures?
Will be making this, thank you! Definitely interested in more tincture recipes!
Thank you!! More tincture recipes please!!
Please more recipes
Oh my goodness!! The timing for this is perfect! I’ve been battling a long, several year long, slog to get my adrenals back in shape and this would help so much!
Yes, please more adrenal tincture recipes! 🙂 Tinctures are awesome.
I did not know that you should rotate adaptogen herbs, very helpful, useful information!
I’m sorry you feel stressed doing it all! Though I agree that it wears you down to be a jack-of-all-trades. You deserve a vacation for all your hard work! 🙂
I would love more tincture recipes.
Thanks, Becky. To clarify, I love all the different things I get to do. In fact that’s kind of the challenge – making myself rest instead of doing them all the time! 🙂
This. Is. GREAT!!! I cannot thank you enough!
I would love a second (and third?) recipe for adaptogen tinctures so it is easy to rotate between them every 4-6weeks as recommended.
I have the ingredients in my cart at MRH, just waiting on 1 to come back in stock. If it’s not there by mid week I’ll find it elsewhere because I really need this tincture (and the tea too!). I’ll start with the salt-vit c tonic tomorrow though. Thanks again!
Yes, please to the pregnancy version!
I’ve read that ashwagandha is a nightshade. I’m doing the AIP protocol which doesn’t allow nightshade foods. Would I be able to use this if I’m on AIP?
Yes, as mentioned in the post it is is a nightshade. I would avoid if you’re on AIP.
Another thought for those of us that have auto immune diseases – I’ve also read that immune boosters are not a good idea? I found that doing homemade elderberry shots with the kids this winter was causing flares, and was excited to learn of reishi but have since heard that those with AI issues should avoid for the same reason. So what’s a run down mama with auto immune disease to do??
I don’t know exactly what’s best in your case, but I made a Four-Thieves tincture seeped in Apple Cider Vinegar (not alcohol). Research states ACV is very healthy for numerous conditions. I’ve been taking a dropper-full daily, mixed with water. Maybe for you, altering tinctures (& their ingredients) would be beneficial. I remember the old adage, “everything in moderation.” So in case this is something you feel drawn to, here’s my list of herbs (seeped in ACV, shaken daily for @ 6 wks, then strained): Dried thyme, rosemary, sage, lavender, mint, garlic, ginger, star anise, rose hip. I figure if a version of this stopped the black plague, it could strengthen my immunity against Coronavirus… Hope you find the best fit!
Love this except I just cannot even begin to make this for myself…..any chance someone has made some that I can buy already done?
This sounds so helpful! Please, please, please, share one for pregnant moms! Pregnancy is one of those times when the adrenals need serious support!
I love what you do, Heather, and your posts are so helpful!
Yes, please share tincture recipes to use as alternates! Thanks!!
I’d love to learn of an adrenal support for pregnancy. Thank you!
. . . and what would happen if you aded enough alcohol to JUST cover the herbs, left it for 4-6 weeks and then added glycerin. Would you get the best of both worlds – good extraction, less alcohol taste and sweet ? ?
I wouldn’t…glycerine is a big no-no for teeth, rather let it sit in the alcohol for a while:)
Definitely more tincture recipes, please! Complementing recipes for rotational tinctures would be great, too. Thanks!!
Jequetta Renee Kay
More recipes please!!!
For children you make a reference to the kid friendly sleepy tincture. Do you mean that for children, the same sleepy tincture can be used as a adrenal support tincture for children? I am a bit confused. Thank you!
This is awesome, I’m so stressed right now I feel like I might drop dead any minute! Adrenals definitely need resetting so that’s what I’ll be making today!
Pregnancy tincture recipe please! I am having my 3rd and also have my 3 step kids all summer!
Hello Mommypotamus hope you are doing well this morning. After I read many post of yours and reading the comments on this page I saw so many wonderful questions but couldn’t see the answers so I will ask again because it’s so nice to know that momma’s like you and Mama Natural work so hard to share great knowledge with us . So my questions are two teas too rotate . And if you do a tea one day could you do the tincture the next ? Also a pregnancy safe tea/tincture ? Also would these be safe to take with curcumin supplement ?
In the past I have been sensitive to hypertension.
I am a little concerned about the licorice root in this tincture.
I was wondering if I can make the tincture without the licorice root, and if it will still be helpful for adrenal fatigue. What is your opinion on this? I am also open to hearing others’ opinions! 🙂
As always, thank you for your help.
I want to cry. This is ME! I have adrenal fatigue and didn’t know it until today. I feel horrible. I would love the pregnancy-safe tincture!
Thank you. More tea and tincture recipies please.
Yes please to the adrenal support for pregnancy!! 🙂
I am wondering about rotating these herbs a few at a time or is there a synergy in taking these all together? If so, what would be another syngergestic blend to rotate with it? TIA
Pregnancy safe tincture & teas please! ♡
Hi, is this tincture for people with a mix of high and low cortisol. It seems that the licorice would help with low cortisol while holy basil would help with high cortisol.
Hi. I’ve been struggling with adrenal issues for a while now. Even went the route with cortisone and paid the price with my eyes, (had to have cataract surgery). I don’t want to do that again! I plan on making the first tincture and followed your “where to buy” suggestions and found all the ingredients. I’d like to know where to buy the alternate tincture ingredients as well so I can rotate. Could you supply that information? I looked on Amazon and it seems they’re mostly in powdered form. Can that be used in a tincture and if so, how? Thanks in advance.
I’m also avoiding alcohol but for gut healing, not pregnancy – have you ever made this with apple cider vinegar instead?
Also, what is the benefit to using a tincture vs just taking the herbs in capsule form?
Would love to see the pregnancy friendly version as well! Many, many thanks in advance! Love your site and love all the work that you do!
I would love to have pregnancy friendly tincture(s) recipe(s)! I am more open to tinctures than essential oils due to the lower concentration level. I am weary to use essential oils because they are so concentrated and therefore extremely potent. Not to mention you can very easily make your own high quality tinctures at home 🙂 Thank you!
Hi. I would love to buy this tincture. Do you seek it? Or know somewhere that does? Thank you!!!
I don’t, but there are several adrenal support tinctures available on Amazon…
I’m wondering how much tincture this makes? This formula is pretty similar to what my naturopath wants me to buy, but it would be fun to make it myself! Do you have an herb supplier that you like and trust? Also, you do six weeks on, and then six weeks of something else~ is that correct?
Can apple cider vinegar work in place of the alcohol?
I have similar question, now I read this article stating alcohol extracts the “hard to get” compounds such as alkaloids… how does ACV rate?! ACV has sooo many benefits, I made tinctures using it, instead of alcohol. So far, I haven’t even contracted a cold, let alone Covid! But am interested in finding out if I’m possibly shorting myself?
Hi- is this tincture safe for kids? I am working with a holistic nutritionist, and she suggested an adrenal support tincture for my 5yr old and i am trying to find the right blend. Thanks!!
I cannot ingest night shades and there are some in this recipe, also have to use wheat vodka because potatoes are also nightshades, is there a replacement for the nightshades?
I am waiting for my mountain rose herbs order to arrive, which btw takes forever, and plan on making this.I do want to add maybe some red clover and lady’s bedstraw to help with my thyroid.Do you think these 2 will work with your mixture?Thank you.
Would LOVE more adrenal recipes!
Thanks Mommypotamus for all your hard work and wonderful info you share with us all. I don’t know how you manage it all, your a SUPERMOM for sure.
I’d love a tonic to use during pregnancy. Do you have a recipe ?
Hi Ashley, there’s a section in this article on adaptogens that relates to pregnancy and breastfeeding – I hope you find it helpful!
More Glycerine recipes instead of alcohol please. I seem to have intolerance to tincture based medicines. ?
I’m sorry if this was said somewhere and I missed it. Can these tinctures be made with vinegars instead of alcohol or glycerin?
Yes, but they don’t have quite the same extraction power as alcohol so you may want to infuse them longer.
I did not know any better and I was so excited to try this recipe (before I saw yours) and I did not know you NEEDED 80 proof vodka/alchohol. Is my tincture a waste? What can I do to fix it?
Is there a good substitute for licorice root? My partner wont use anything with licorice root due to high blood pressure.
Regarding the dosage, does it need to be taken 3x daily? Or can you take the equivalent all at once? Is taking it throughout the day a matter of keeping it in your system throughout the day?
All the books on adaptogens I’ve read recommend spacing things out. 🙂
I have a question about the Himalayan salt and vitamin c drink. I have been advised by my functional medical practitioner to avoid Himalayan salt or sea salt because of the iodine in them. I have Hashimoto’s and have been known to have high iodine levels in my 24 hour urine iodine lab test. I use canning and pickling salt or kosher salt because it has no iodine. Would using that give me some benefit??
I try NOT to take anything with alcohol in it. So sorry I’m NOT going to try it. Because there are alcoholics in my family.
I just bottled this tincture not long ago.I also added some licorice.I did weigh my herbs to make a 1:4 ratio extract. I let it sit in the dark for 3 1/2 months, shaking every day. I bought a 6 ton tabletop bench press for 80$ and some juicing clothes and made my own press for around 100$.
I also have some korean ginseng,chaga mushroom,rhodiola,reishi and astralagus waiting for bottling soon.
The taste is a bit sweet and very strong.Just started taking it today,so I will see if there will be any difference. I did purchase gaia in the past and worked great,but the price was too high to keep buying it.
Thank you for the recipe.
I’m looking to get some herbs quickly and locally, but they don’t have holy basil. Could I leave it out or substitute something else and still get the benefits of the other herbs?
You mention that there is licorice in this, but it’s not in the recipe! Should it be 2 tablespoons like the others? I would also love to see more tincture recipes for adrenal support, like to cycle with this one. I’m getting herbs and I’m excited to try it!
This recipe looks great!
The only thing I would caution on is putting the tincture neat underneath the tongue as it has been shown in read risk of mouth cancer. Please mix the tincture in a tiny bit of water and shoot it down.
Retiring this month and determined to turn things around naturally. Looking forward yo all the recipes and information.