Thank you tom for this helpful info. Tom Hope all is well.
As far as making tinctures, also do not forget to label your product and put an expiration date 15 years from the date you strained it even though it may well be good for decades after. I have used tinctures 15 or more years old and they were fine. Dr Schulze tasted tinctures nearly 100 years old and found them fine. Throw away your tincture if it develops mold which generally happens if the fluids dry up from say a lid not capping it right.
Also store it in a glass container. It should be a blue, brown or green dark glass or one can paint the outside of the bottle that is clear with paint or black marker prior to bottling it or store in a paper bag or dark cupboard as light deteriorates it
Transfer some of what you are currently using to a tincture bottle with an eyedropper top for ease of use refilling it as needed.
Tincture bottles look like this
They can be found online or at health food stores.
If you can't find 100 proof vodka, then use 80 proof distilled from grain. This will be fine except for plants that are very resinous. The cheapest brand that is distilled from grain is fine.
If you don't want to strain it in 2 weeks, one can just leave as is shaking on occasion to strengthen it and strain out what is needed when you want to take some.
Making my own tinctures has saved me up to 90% of the cost and nearly always something. Be sure to always use organic or wildcrafted bulk herbs as these contain far more of the phytochemicals that cure and prevent disease.
I personally like mountainroseherbs.com for bulk herbs as they have a large selection of organic and wildcrafted bulk herbs and often one pays only slightly more for 4 ounces of herbs than many companies charge for one ounce.
Tinctures are far more absorbable than capsules and easier to use than teas. The alcohol in them also extracts more of the healing plant chemicals than water used in tea does. Don't let it scare you off, once you do your first tincture, you will see it is not hard to do.
Anything you make will be stronger and better than most things on the market and it is very easy once you do it, you will see.
Here is a visual of someone making one. Only tincturing for 2 weeks is fine. You can do 2 weeks, a month or 6 weeks or what you wish when deciding when to strain it (unless you do not strain it ever).
Also put the expiration date 15 years into the future. for example if you strained it 9/15/2012 then the expiration date would be 9/15/2027 and as I said it is likely to be good even much longer than that.
A dropperful is obtained like this. Squeeze the bulb on the eyedropper, then insert into the tincture, then release so the tincture goes into the eyedropper and withdraw from the bottle.
Figuring how much to take based on one's weight
It will look about half full that is one dropperful. Most tinctures are taken in 2 dropperful doses 3 to 5 times a day. The dose is figured on an adult weighing 150 pounds. If you weigh under 125 or more than 175, or are figuring a child or animal dose then use Clark's rule for dosing explained here,
for example, someone weighing 300 would take a double dose so they would take 4 dropperfuls which is figured at 30 drops per dropperful or 120 for their dose of 4 dropperfuls. How we arrived at this dose was by putting their weight in a fraction over 150. to see this, it is 300/150 = 2 so 2 x the dose.
If they weighed 75, it would be half the dose or 1 dropperful (30 drops) Note this is an estimate of how it is figured in reality it may be a little less or more than 30 drops but this is what you call it -30 drops equal 1 dropperful and the average person takes 2 dropperfuls so that would be 60 drops. don't need to count the drops, just take the dropperful as does not need to be exact.
anyway for the 75 pound person it would be figured 75/150 = 1/2 so 1/2 the standard dose or 1 dropperful,
A man of 225 lbs. would be 225/150 = 1 !/2 so 1 1/2 times the standard dose of 2 dropperfuls or 3 dropperfuls (90 drops). If 10 pound cat would be 10/150 = 1/15 so 1/15 of 60 (standard dose) = 4 so the 10 pound pet dose would be 4 drops..15 pound dog would be 15/150 or 1/10 so 1/10 of 60 - 6 drops and so forth.
I also posted more info on how to make a tinture here