Herbal Glycerites

Herbal Glycerite Extracts


Glycerin is very sweet and will dissolve mucilage, vitamins, and minerals. It does not dissolve the resinous or oily properties of herbs very well, such as Myrrh Gum. Glycerin is great for extracting bio-flavonoids.


Glycerites are very sweet, so it makes an excellent choice for children’s remedies, especially when they are very young and reticent. Glycerin Extracts should be prepared in small batches because they have a short shelf life of about 1 year, compared to alcohol extracts. Use only pure vegetable glycerin, food-grade.


Follow the same basic instructions for making the alcohol extract substituting glycerin for alcohol. To make a glycerin extract, you can cover your herbs with 100% glycerin alone or combine 3/4-part glycerin with 1/4-part water. Since water is also a solvent, I suggest using dried herbs for your glycerin extracts for the first blend. To ensure proper preservation, make sure that the glycerin part is at least 55% glycerin.


For fresh plant material, make sure enough glycerin to cover the plant matter fully. Then make sure the jar is filled within one inch of the top. When using dried plants, dilute glycerin with distilled water in a 3:1 ratio (3 parts glycerin to one-part water) and fill the jar with a blend to within one inch of the top. Some herbalists like to place the herb in a jar, then add the water as boiling water, allow it to steep for an hour, and then add the glycerin.

How To Make Alcohol-Free Herbal Glycerites


Directions: Fill a canning jar 2/3 full of fresh chopped herbs. If using dried, fill 1/2 way with dried herbs.
In another jar, mix three parts organic Vegetable Glycerin and 1 part distilled water. Shake well to combine.
Pour the mixture over the herb and cover it entirely to fill the jar.
Label container with the date, the ratio of glycerin to water, and herbs used. Make sure you label the jar with the following, so you know exactly what is in the tincture blend so when it is time to bottle, you have all of the correct information.


Important details to note on your label:

  • Common Name
  • Latin Name
  • Part Used
  • Fresh/Dried
  • Glycerin/water ratio
  • Habitat/Source
  • Date
  • Dosage


When you have labeled the jar, please place it in a dry and dark location with a steady temperature. Allow the tincture to macerate for 4-6 weeks, shaking the bottle every day to mix the blend gently. Top off with glycerin as necessary if plant material swells and pokes above the top of the liquid.


After 4-6 weeks, decant glycerite into a wide mouth jar or bowl. Pour through a fine-mesh strainer lined with a few layers of cheesecloth or a loose weave kitchen towel or linen, not a terry cloth towel. Wash your hands well before handling your herbs at every stage of the process. Then gather the cheesecloth together and squeeze the herb material to get all of the herbal glycerite out of the strained bundle.


Honey can be used in the same way, but it will last as long, and it may be too sweet or not good for people with sugar issues.

herbal glycerite

Vitamin and Mineral Glycerite Extract

2 parts Rose Hips
2 parts Nettle (Urtica dioica)
2 parts Dandelion Leaf (Taraxacum officinale)
½ part Cinnamon
Make as a glycerite. I would personally make it in at least a quart size. Use enough herb to almost fill the jar, leave an inch for expansion, cover with vegetable glycerin and allow too steep for 3-6 weeks. Strain and use 2 tablespoons a day. You could also make this as an oxymel or extract.
This is beneficial for overall health and wellbeing.

– Heart of Herbs Herbal School Formulation Guide and Recipes- Demetria Clark

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Disclaimer: For educational use only. The FDA has not evaluated these statements. Students’ articles reflect the views of the student and not necessarily Heart of Herbs Herbal School. Educational programs are available at www.heartofherbs.com, and you can find all of Demetria Clark’s books at Amazon.

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