How to Make The “Popeye” Spinach Tincture
Spinach… tincture? You might think of spinach as a delicious salad green or even the sludgy green substance in the can like the one scarfed down by the notorious Popeye when he needed muscles to fight his way out of whatever sticky situation he was facing.
The funny thing is there is something to the notion that spinach builds muscle because it actually does. Did you know it’s also great for weight loss, metabolism, and the skin? It is and so much more, and turning your spinach into a long-lasting tincture is a great way to strengthen the remarkable effects of this modest leaf. Before we dive deeper into the health benefits of spinach, let’s first talk about what a tincture even is.
What is a Tincture?
A tincture is a concentrated plant extract typically made from alcohol. Other solvents are also used, such as vinegar or vegetable glycerin. These are better options if you don’t want to use alcohol or want to dull the harsh taste alcohol sometimes produces. You can also mix solvents. For example, the recipe below has the option to use a 10:1 ratio of alcohol and glycerin, which will help dilute the flavor while extending the shelf life a bit.
Solvents extract the plant’s healing properties while preserving the shelf life. Most tinctures can last for five or more years. Also, alcohol tinctures, in particular, absorb into the bloodstream much quicker and more effectively than other extraction methods. And don’t worry too much about the taste. We will talk about different ways to use your spinach tincture in just a minute.
Why Make a Tincture?
It may seem a little silly to go through all the trouble of making a tincture instead of simply eating spinach leaves, but many health benefits of spinach are amplified by tincturing. As mentioned above, condensing your spinach into a tincture concentrates the beneficial chemical components of this super-green, allowing for use in therapeutic dosages.
Benefits of Spinach Tincture
Spinach comprises numerous helpful vitamins and minerals like A, C, K, B, folate, iron, magnesium, potassium, calcium and quercetin. But the real superpowers of spinach come from the muscle-building natural steroid Ecdysterone, which is likely the secret to Popeye’s success.
Spinach also contains Thylakoid, which increases weight loss and metabolism while suppressing hunger hormones.
As if that’s not enough, spinach is chock full of immune-building chlorophyll and antioxidants.
Your spinach tincture may also:
Supports Healthy skin
- Reduce cancer cell growth
- Boost Metabolism
- Ward off Inflammation
- Amplify cognitive function
- Improve blood flow and blood pressure
- Protect eye health
Spinach and Oxalates
There are opposing views about the oxalates in spinach and their impacts on the body. Oxalates can cause kidney stones and poor mineral absorption in some people, and some people seem to be sensitive to them. If you knowingly have kidney stones or an issue with oxalates, you may want to forgo taking spinach tincture until a doctor gives you the all-clear.
Yet, recent studies show that people who eat balanced diets with proper amounts of calcium aren’t as likely to be impacted by dietary oxalates. Nevertheless, at least in the intestines, iron absorption may still be thwarted. Spinach and iron have a complicated relationship. The oxalates in spinach could hinder intestinal absorption of dietary iron from other foods or supplements within the first couple of hours of consumption, which is something to keep in mind.
But there are enormous benefits of spinach itself. It’s an excellent source of many essential minerals, including iron. In addition, consuming spinach in tincture form allows absorption through the blood before it even enters the intestines.
You will need:
- 7×6 inch piece of cheesecloth
- 1cup spinach—or enough to fill a pint jar three quarters of the way full
- 1 pint-sized mason jar
- 1 ¼ solvent (grain alcohol, vodka, apple cider vinegar, or glycerin). Or fill the mason jar until just above the spinach leaves. Be sure to keep an eye on it and add more if it goes below the greens.
- A funnel
- A rubber band
- 2 tablespoons of Organic Vegetable Glycerin (optional)
- A tincture bottle with a dropper (optional)
This recipe uses the folk method for tincturing, which basically means eyeballing the liquid to plant ratio. Of course, you can get a lot more accurate and complicated with measurements, but the folk method is easy and a great place to start.
- Gather all of your ingredients together.
- Put the spinach leaves into one of the jars and cover it with your solvent of choice. Make sure it covers the leaves completely.
- Make sure your solvent covers all the leaves. You should check your jar often over the next few weeks and add liquid if too much evaporates.
- Cover your jar with the cheesecloth and secure it with a rubber band. Place the jar in a cool, dry place like a cabinet or a closet for four to six weeks.
- Gently swish the bottle every couple of days.
- Once the tinctured has matured it’s time to drain it through the cheesecloth—you may want to also use a clean piece and run through a couple of times to clear all of the sediment.
- Put it back in a cool, dark place and keep it for up to five years.
- Add to dropper bottles if desired (optional).
How to Use
The most common way to take a tincture is by dropping it under your tongue, which is also the quickest way to get the herbs into your bloodstream. If you don’t have a dropper bottle, you can buy a dropper at the drug store.
Adults and children over twelve can take up to 30 drops up to three times a day, but until you know your dose and potency, you should start a bit lower and work your way up.
Children’s doses differ by age and all dosages depend on your tincturing process. Consider this a general guide. Children can usually receive two or three doses a day. Typical dosages are as follows:
- 12 to 18 months: 7 drops
- 18 to 24 months: 8 drops
- 2 to 3 years: 10 drops
- 3 to 4 years: 12 drops
- 4 to 6 years: 15 drops
- 6 to 9 years: 24 drops
- 9 to 12 years: 30 drops (or 1 dropperful)
Talk to your doctor before giving a tincture to a child under a year old.
Things You May Like to Know:
- Taking a sip of water can get rid of the taste.
- You can dilute the tincture in water, juice or tea if you don’t like it. Chamomile, lavender, lemon balm, and ashwagandha make great tincture-friendly teas.
- You can add a few drops of lemon or honey.
- If you’re worried about the alcohol, drop your full dose into hot water or tea and let it sit for five minutes. The alcohol will dissipate.
- Alcohol tinctures can last upwards of five years; Apple cider-based tinctures will last for about a year, and vegetable glycerin-based will last for 3-5 years.
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