Homemade Non-Alcoholic Herbal Extract aka Herbal Glycerite

Herbal extracts are arguably the most potent way to deliver the healing and balancing benefits of herbs to our bodies. And, compared with alcohol-based tinctures, herbal glycerites are faster to make, alcohol-free, and taste better. A plus for kids! Keeps 3 to 5 years.
Author Wardee Harmon


  • herbs of choice single or multiple
  • non-GMO palm-derived glycerin (I prefer this to soy-derived glycerin or GMO glycerin)
  • pure water boiling
  • quart size jar or jars
  • 8- quart Instant Pot OR crockpot tall enough to fit quart size jars*
  • fine mesh strainer
  • pot or big bowl


  1. Put herbs in quart size Mason jar to 1/3 full (for dried soft herbs) or 1/2 full (for dried hard herbs) -- not packed down.
  2. Then pour a bit of boiling water over the herbs to help release nutrients (optional).
  3. Pour glycerin over all to fill the jar to just below the bands. You may have to add glycerin a bit at a time and stir with a spoon to help it soak down in. It's so thick!
  4. Then cover the jar with a metal band and lid and screw down tightly (so nothing leaks during the cooking).
  5. Put a towel on the bottom of the pot (whichever you're using).
  6. Put the jar(s) on top of the towel.
  7. Then fill the pot to the shoulders of the jar(s) with water.
  8. Set slow cooker or crockpot to low for 3 days. (If using the Instant Pot, the slow cooker setting only goes up to 20 hours. This is fine, just keep resetting it so that it "cooks" on low for a total of 72 hours and be sure to adjust the Slow Cook setting to Low.)
  9. Then keep an eye out that the mixture doesn't boil or leak out over the 3 days. (Some crockpots run hot; you can turn it off at night if you fear it's getting too hot.)
  10. Turn off crockpot or Instant Pot.
  11. Remove jar(s).
  12. The glycerin should be quite dark now from the herbs.
  13. Then put the strainer over a big bowl or pot.
  14. Dump the contents of one jar into the strainer and let the liquid drip into the pot.
  15. Pour some boiling water over the herbs to help rinse all the glycerin off. (Use as little as possible.)
  16. Then stir with a big spoon to help the herbs drip out fully, and also press the herbs with the spoon to squeeze out as much glycerin as you can. You can also use your hands and squeeze!
  17. Compost the herbs.
  18. Then pour the finished glycerite into a glass jar and cover tightly. Or you can use a funnel and separate into 2- or 4-ounce amber dropper bottles.
  19. Label.
  20. Finally, store in a cool, dark location. Even better to keep in the refrigerator.

Recipe Notes

Usage: Consult your naturopath or doctor or do your own research; most people take 1/2 teaspoon daily of extract(s) they feel are beneficial to their health goals. I cannot give medical advice, so please do your own research. This is just a general guideline.