Alcohol is the best base to use for drawing out the active ingredient in herbs.
Tinctures are alcohol based herbal remedies that last for several years if stored properly. Depending on the remedy the herb used for a tincture will vary. Tinctures can be taken on an empty stomach before meals. Adults should take about 20 drops in a glass of water two times a day and children less than 10. Babies should not take tinctures, consult your physician.
To make make a tincture add, approximately 3-4 tablespoons and slightly crush in a pestle/mortar. Place the herbs in a large dark glass jar that holds least 1 cup. Pour about 1 cup of vodka/brandy and cover all of the herbs. Close the jar and leave in a cool dark place. Shake the bottle daily for about 3 weeks. After the 3 weeks strain the liquid and slowly pour the contents into a glass bottle.It is best to get a bottle that has a droplet cover. Store the tincture in a dark place.
Remedies can also be made from flowers by placing flowers and leaves in water under sunlight then transferring into alcohol.
Like I mentioned in my water based herbal preparations post, I mostly make make remedies from horsetail, nettle, and marshmallow root because I am trying to finish my stock before purchasing new herbs. The herbs you use should be for areas you need to improve.