I recently received a comment from a blog reader asking me what my thoughts were on making Instant Pot tinctures. While I replied to that specific comment, I thought I’d write a blog post about it because I figure it’s something other people have wondered as well.
So, the short answer to that question is, no, I have never made a tincture in my Instant Pot. Now don’t get me wrong. I love my Instant Pot for cooking. It makes my life easier, and it’s very versatile. I just don’t think it’s a fit for most herbal preparations and here are two reasons why.
2 Reasons Why I Don’t Recommend Instant Pot Tinctures
First, when alcohol is heated, it creates pressure. I have had personal experience with hot-process tinctures blowing up on me. Trust me, it is no fun. Not only is it very dangerous, but it is a huge pain in the butt to clean up.
Now I know the Instant Pot locks. I know it’s well-sealed, and it’s supposed to be very safe. However, I’ve only used it for food so far.
Because I’ve had this previous experience, I’m just a little bit nervous about pressurizing anything with alcohol in it.
Okay, so that’s one reason why I don’t make Instant Pot tinctures -- alcohol when heated, creates pressure. And I just don’t feel like that’s super safe.
Now, the second reason I don’t make Instant Pot tinctures is that an Instant Pot gets very, very hot. So even at low pressure, it reaches about 230 degrees, and I believe at high pressure, it’s about 245 degrees. This is way too hot for herbs.
When you’re processing herbs at a high temperature, the heat can denature the chemicals in the plant. This can destroy vitamins and enzymes, basically destructuring the plant’s constituents. The constituents are one of the primary things that you want from a plant. These are the things that contribute to the plant’s actions in the body. So if you heat your tincture mixture too high, then you’re going to lose some of the effectiveness.
Most herbalists and sources I’ve found recommend keeping heat infusions around 150 degrees. A warm crockpot (145-165 degrees) or a heating pad on low are probably your best options for not getting your herbs too hot.
And so from what I know about processing herbal preparations, I just don’t feel that an Instant Pot is the best tool to use simply due to the high temperature it reaches.
But What Making A Tincture Quickly?
People will claim that Instant Pot tinctures are very quick. It’s been a while since I’ve looked into it, but I think you can make Instant Pot tinctures in a day to a week. I’m not exactly sure how it’s done, but I think the tincture is first pressurized and then left to sit for the rest of the week. After that, they filter everything out, and the tincture is bottled and stored. Again, I’m not exactly certain about that.
Now, if Instant Pot tinctures appeal to you because they’re quicker than the standard 4-6 weeks, you have two options. And these options will not reduce the effectiveness of your tincture due to the high heat.
First, you can go buy the tincture from a local health food store or an online shop. Or, you can use what’s called a percolation tincture. A percolation tincture is a kind of advanced technique of tincture making. Basically, you take dried powdered herbs and pack them a specific way in a percolation bottle. Next, you very carefully pour alcohol over the herbs. This will give you a strong, effective tincture in about 24 hours. Now, I’ve never made one. As I said, they’re an advanced form of tincture making, and I know you can mess them up easily. If you’re interested in learning more about percolation tinctures, Google them or search for them on YouTube.
Okay, so that’s just my two cents on Instant Pot tinctures. Again, I haven’t made one myself. However, based on the research that I’ve done, I’m not planning to in the near future.
Love and light,