Homemade Chamomile Tincture

chamomile tincture homemade recipeChamomile is one of my favorite herbs because of its delicate scent and great taste in teas. It is my absolute favorite herb for kids and I keep a tincture of Chamomile on hand for any childhood aches and ailments.

Switching to a real food diet has eliminated our bouts with ear infections and stuffy noses (though Chamomile helps with those too!) but some things, like teething pain, can’t be fixed with healthy food!

making homemade chamomile tinctureChamomile is a naturally calming herb that relaxes nerves and reduces pain. It has been known to settle the stomach and reduce gas and colic in infants. I use it to soothe fussy babies, calm down upset toddlers and and on bruises.

Adults can use Chamomile to improve sleep, to ease menstrual cramps, relieve headache and soothe frayed nerves. It is also great for the skin and can even naturally lighten hair.

A homemade Chamomile tincture is incredibly easy to make and is my favorite baby gift for new parents. I take it to the hospital when I have a baby (mainly for me during labor!).herb profile chamomile

Perhaps  you’ve seen Chamomile tincture in stores, but you can make your own for much less than you can buy it. I make a quart for the price I used to pay for a 4-6 ounce bottle.

Making tinctures also helps preserve herbs, which is especially important for Chamomile, since its positive benefits are in its volatile oils which decrease over time unless preserved.

Homemade Chamomile Tincture
Prep time
Total time
Homemade herbal tincture of chamomile helps sooth soreness, pain and anxiety naturally.
Recipe type: Remedy
  • ½ to 1 cup of dried Chamomile flowers
  • approximately 1½ to 1¾ cups boiling water
  • approximately 1½ to 1¾ cups vodka or rum
  • Quart size glass jar with airtight lid
  1. Put fresh or dried Chamomile flowers in clean quart size glass jar
  2. Pour boiling water over flowers to just cover them (may have to stir)
  3. Fill the rest of the jar with vodka or rum (do not use rubbing alcohol or non-consumable alcohol!) and tightly cover with airtight lid.
  4. Store in a cool, dark place and shake daily for 4-6 weeks. This will make a strong tincture!
  5. After 4-6 weeks, remove from cabinet, and pour through a cheesecloth or strainer. Store in a jar or in tincture vials for easy use.
  6. Normal dose for adults is up to 1 tsp 1-3 times a day as needed. For infants, only a few drops are needed, and often it can be rubbed on the gums or stomach for teething or colic pain. For toddlers and older children ¼ to ½ tsp can be taken 1-3 times a day while needed. It is especially useful for babies and young children who are having difficulty sleeping. A dose right before bedtime can help relax and sooth them for more peaceful sleep.
  7. Any herb can be preserved with this method, and often this is the most cost effective way to use herbs. Any herbs I don't grow myself, I get from this website. Another tincture I keep on hand is my homemade Herbal Digestive Remedy Tincture, which is also very simple to make!

What homemade tinctures do you make? Share below!

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Reader Comments

    • says

      It is the alcohol that actually preserves the herbs, but if you don’t
      want to drink the alcohol, just put the amount of tincture you are
      taking in a glass of water and let it sit on the counter for about 15
      minutes before drinking it. This will let the alcohol evaporate so
      you don’t actually consume even a small amount.

      • Autumn says

        if i wanted to give just a couple drops directly on the gums of teething infant is there a way to evaporate the alcohol before doing so?

      • Michelle says

        Where are you getting the idea that just letting alcohol sit out for a few minutes will cause it to evaporate? According to the FDA (not an organization I’d normally trust, but I’m with them on this one) not even stewing it for hours will cause the alcohol to evaporate completely.

    • Karyn says

      You can also use glycerin as a preservative. Mountain Rose Herbs sells glycerin for herbal medicines. Glycerites are particularly nice to use with kids, since it makes the medicine taste sweet. But glycerites don’t last as long (two years as opposed to five or so).

  1. Joelle says

     How are the properties of a tincture or extract different than those of an essential oil?  I use a lot of essential oils in my homemade beauty/cleaning/healing products, but I’ve always wondered about extracts and tinctures.  

    • says

      Essential Oils are much more concentrated and for health and beauty
      products are great. Chamomile in particular though, is incredibly
      expensive as an essential oil, and many of the health benefits can be
      gotten from a tincture. A tincture is stronger than a tea or
      decoction, but not as strong as the essential oil. For internal use,
      teas and tinctures are almost always better though, because unless
      there is a serious problem that warrants very high doses of a certain
      oil, they are often too potent for much internal use. For cleaning
      though, things like lemon or lavender essential oil are more
      concentrated and are even naturally disinfectant.

    • says

      a couple of drops usually helps a lot, and I don’t ever give more than about 1/4 tsp. Rubbing it externally on the stomach and feet helps a lot too if you’d prefer not to give internally.

    • says

      a couple of drops usually helps a lot, and I don’t ever give more than about 1/4 tsp. Rubbing it externally on the stomach and feet helps a lot too if you’d prefer not to give internally.

  2. says

    So, just because my husband is going to ask, do you give this to kids with the alcohol still in it (don’t many OTC drugs have alcohol in them too?)?

  3. says

    If I may, I’d like to add something here. I’ve recently begun to study Alchemy and this is what I’ve learned.

    The alcohol is an essential part of the tincture because it is an ingredient to give life back to the dead plant and transform it into something more than it was. And it’s funny that I use the word ‘essential’ because that’s exactly as it is, an essence. The alcohol should be the purest possible, unflavored vodka or Everclear in highest proof you can acquire. Pure grape alcohol is rare to find, but is the absolute best quality. 

    As for removing the alcohol, well, again, the alcohol is an essence in the tincture, if you remove it, it’s not the same. As has been mentioned, it can easily be diluted. Still, keep in mind, you’re only using drops at a time. 

    Remember that Tinctures come from a time in history when alcohol was seen the spirit of a plant, not a party beverage. Every alcohol we have today, consumable or not, was found by fermenting plant materials with was seen as a way to release the volatile spirits within the plant and these spirits were used in healing and rituals. It just turns out that over time some people learned of the extreme effects these spirits had over the human body after consuming large quantities.

    • waggie says

      I appreciate this wonderful information that you give.  I never had thought about the alcohol being the spirit of the plant it was made from.  It made me wonder if tinctures could also be made using Apple Cider Vinegar (or other vinegar) since it is made similarly to alcohol.  

  4. ANgie says

    I love your site! I noticed your sleep tincture is recommended only for children 2 and older, while this one is safe for infants. Is there a reason for that? I’m looking for a calming tincture for my 2 month old.

      • Donald Bentz says

        hi wellness mama. i have tinctured licorice root with dandelion flowers from my yard using roots and stalks– its great for too-much-coffee anxiety and irritability. Im going to tincture 2 cups of German Chamomile now cos the tea i drink doesnt travel as well. Thx i will follow your instructions! IS it Ok if there is air and space at top of the jar?
        blessings to you,

  5. MoonMom says

    I have a teething 9 month old – how would I go about using this on him without the affects of alcohol?

  6. Guest says

    For baby’s with colic, you just rub some on the tummy’s, and to help baby’s with teething.. you just rub it on there gums?

  7. says

    What is the shelf life of the tincture? I am due in 2 months and would like to have some prepared before the baby gets here, but I don’t want to make it too soon if it expires quickly. Thank you! :]

  8. Rachael says

    My kids won’t take it as it is. I’ll try the evaporation trick but wonder if doing this reduces the quality of the tincture…

      • Rachael says

        Thanks for the reply! A total side note: I “know” your father from an online Catholic message board. He linked to you once on a discussion on “wheat belly” with the disclaimer that you were his daughter. I replied that I was a fan. :) thank you for all of the great resources here… I’d love to hear how you manage all this with four young children. I also have 4 but they’re a little more spaces out than yours, I think. But not by much! I feel so incredibly overwhelmed most days that I just don’t think I could handle going grain free even when I know we should! We are all very settled in our taste and texture preferences and I just haven’t found the strength. :/ I have one daughter who is particularly picky and she can go meal after meal with our eating if she doesn’t like a food. Anyhow, keep up the great work!

        • says

          I completely understand! Have you ever read the book “A Mother’s Rule of LIfe?” It was really helpful to me in time management and being able to get things done without being too overwhelmed. It definitely is still exhausting at times though! I’m working on a resource for moms of the 20% of diet and health things that you can do that will give 80% of the results without taking up all your time… I’ll try to remember to come back and let you know when I finish it… :-)

    • Sheree says

      Adding the hot water to the herbs isn’t necessary, you can just use the alcohol. However, using both the water and the alcohol helps best extract the herbal properties. I have read that some herbs respond best with using the hot water to extract the properties, and of course, using the alcohol will preserve the tincture and also extract the beneficial properties of the herbs. If you made an alcohol tincture, it shouldn’t “rot” quickly. It should last for a couple years or possibly longer. Tinctures made from glycerine or apple cider vinegar will not last as long.

  9. Shalene says

    You mentioned using chamomile during labor. I don’t have time to let a tincture mature, but would chamomile tea help during labor?

  10. mountain girl says

    I made your recipe, but used glycerin instead of alcohol. It’s finally finished and strained, but can I continue to keep it at room temp, or should I refrigerate?

  11. Dena Barnes says

    to get the alcohol out, can i let it evaporate in a glass of water longer than 15 minutes? Say I’m getting baby ready to bed down but don’t know if he will be ready in 15 mins or an hour….or will something change if it sits longer than 15? also, how long does this take to start working? thanks!

  12. says

    Hi Katie,

    I love your blog! Thanks so much for all the fabulous tips!! I was curious is this would work for dogs. I have a huge dog who absolutely flips out in the car when bikers pass. We live in the city, so this is a lot and very annoying. Do you think this would help calm him? And if so, would he have to ingest it?

    Thanks for your help!

  13. Deanna says

    I know you’ve answered a million questions about the alcohol content, though my 5 month old son isn’t drinking water yet, so how would you evaporate the alcohol? I’ve used 1 drop on his poor teething gums, but he was still upset so I wondered if I should use more. But then I’m hesitant bc of the alcohol content that hasn’t been evaporated yet…

  14. TABITHA says

    I have a question about the type of alcohol you use. I am wondering if you use Organic alcohol or if it matters. wouldn’t a cheap grain alcohol most likely
    have GMO’s in it?

  15. Madeline says

    I have a question for you. While I wait the 4-6 for my herbal tincture to be finished I bought one from the health store. Is the potency different with theirs because I have all 11 month old who is 17.5 lbs and if I give her 15-25 drops diluted in .5 oz of juice it does nothing for her. I don’t want to give her too much because of the alcohol but I feel like I have to give her 3 times what you recommend for it to kind of work. My thoughts are either my child needs a horse tranquilizer to get anything to work or the stores tincture is much less potent and I should expect your recipe to be stronger. Any thoughts or advice? I love your page by the way!! Thank you!

  16. bert says

    When we try to go to the link you provide for “other herbs” that you don”t grow yourself, we get a security warning. Is the site safe to go to?

  17. Elysia says

    Wow how the time has flown by! My tinctures are just about ready. I made 3: chamomile, calendula & lavender. I’d love to use them to make gifts for my family – all of my cousins have babies, ages 0-4! A question for Wellness Mama & readers… :-) If you could pick anything, internal or external, made with one or more of these tinctures, what would they be? For you or for baby. Looking for ideas…

  18. Sarah says

    Hello! Where do you buy your amber glass jars? I’m soooooo excited to make a batch of these for baby Christmas gifts!

  19. Jackie says

    Is there any alternative to chamomile? I was drinking chamomile tea at night before the last nursing to help baby sleep and it worked great until she became intolerant to it. I tried to wait a month and it still seems to bother her, she seems to scream a few hours after consuming it. I really want to find a natural teething remedy. Since this takes 4-6 weeks it may have to go for the next round though… any suggestions…

  20. Jenny D. says

    Ha, ha!!! Never mind, I was reading the measurements as 11/2 instead of 1 and a 1/2. Oh boy, I’m completely blaming that on my “baby brain.”

  21. shay says

    I am going to be growing fresh chamomile this year…is fresh better than dry? I have insomnia and mood swings, I know this will help but I need a non alcoholic alternative…. Any suggestions? Or is the best way always with alcohol? I live with a recovering alcoholic but he would benefit from this also, he has sleep trouble as well….

  22. Laura says

    Hi there,

    I love your site! I made this, let it site 8 weeks and now bottled. I notice today there stuff in the bottle. Sort of like ferment strands. I’m assuming this is probably normal. Should I have strained this finer? Think it’s okay to use? I’ve been using it just fine for a month, I’m not too worried. Do you experience this? Thanks!

  23. Charlotte says

    I think I messed up this tincture! I’ve made it once before (and it worked wonders on my baby’s colic and teething!), but didn’t pay attention when making the second one. I strained out the chamomile leaves after they sat in the water for a couple hours. I was waiting for it to get cool so I could add the vodka. So basically, what I’ve had in the cupboard for a week is TEA with vodka. Should I dump it? I’m guessing it’s not a real tincture without the flowers in there, but wanted to check before I toss it.

    • says

      It will still have some benefit, and you can actually just add some more flowers and leave for another week or so. The heat has already extracted the good parts of some of the chamomile and the alcohol can do the rest over time

      • Charlotte says

        Thank you! I’m glad it’s not a waste. This stuff is so helpful, I’ll keep making it as long as I have kids in the house. My sister is 20 and getting her wisdom teeth, so she tried some tincture for the pain. Advil wasn’t helping her, but this did! She had immediate relief. Now I know it really does help my baby with his teeth.

  24. maeghan myers says

    I am exclusively breastfeeding, how would I give my 2 month old some internally? Just a few drops straight in his mouth, or do I take it? Also I have heard of people who are allergic to ragweed should not take chamomile..?

  25. Shirley says

    Do you know if this might help a baby with an acid reflux problem? My 18 month old is on a prescription for her reflux but her Dr. is always open to trying herbal remedies. Do you think I should ask the pediatrician about this? I know I will be using it to help my 7 year old sleep at night and stop giving her the melatonin. Thanks so much for posting this.

    • Layla says

      I know I am a little late.:-) I was seeing a neurologists for insomnia and migraines. He said that melatonin only helps if there is a deficiency of melatonin. Otherwise, the body gets rid of it as waste. Just a heads up ;)

  26. cheri says

    Just wanted to say that I tried this recipe, and it has worked wonders! I took a small bottle of it to work with me. Just as things were about to get stressful(as they always do) I used some with a small cup of water. It helped me from feeling overwhelmed. I just wish it didn’t take so long to make (steeping time)!

  27. Jamie says

    Kia ora Wellness Mama. My baby is teething now but my tincture has only just been made. What can I do to ease her teething pain now? Will a brewed tea help at all? How should I give it to her? She is six months.

  28. Arete says

    I’m curious…. If I use apple cider vinegar to make this, do I also use the boiling water? Or in that case would it be JUST the ACV?

  29. anita says

    Hi Katie, thanks for all great tips.
    I heard that valerian root can help kids with sleep, do you know anything about it? Is it safe to give to 18 month old? Thank you

  30. Lauren says

    Hi Katie, so i made this awhile ago (like 4-6 months, instead of 4-6 weeks). got busy with toddler/morning sickness/moving to a new city… so my question is should I still strain and use or toss and start over? Thank you very much! And thanks for all your wonderful resources! My family has benefited greatly!

  31. abruunee says

    So when buying the flowers how many ounces do you think I’d need to buy for one cup? Can’t really afford bulk atm and this stuff will last us a while (don’t have kids so it’s for adults lol) and so I also don’t think bulk is good because this is the main reason I’d be buying the flowers… Anyways thanks if you answer :)

  32. Iris says

    Is this safe to give to an 11 yr old boy nightly to help him sleep? He suffered a bad concussion a few yrs back and since then it takes him about 2/3 hrs to fall asleep. If so how much nightly?

  33. Andie says

    How much vegetable glycerin instead of the alcohol for use with my 8 week infants? Same volume as the alcohol and same number of weeks? Love your work and thanks so much for sharing????

  34. Everett says

    I have done little bit of research on tinctures and how they are made. If i chose to only use alcohol and no boiling water then how would that change the dosage? Thank you

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