DIY: Pain-Relieving Tincture |

DIY: Pain-Relieving Tincture

admin September 10, 2012

Written by Kate Tietje

We haven’t taken any over-the-counter (OTC) pain meds in my house in about four years.  We don’t even own any ibuprofen, Tylenol, or other such things for adults or children.

While we’ve found remedies for nearly everything, there is occasionally a situation where someone is experiencing “general pain,” none of the remedies I have seem quite right.  Sure, I know — arnica works for headaches and muscle aches, clove is good for teething/oral pain, and so on.  (If you didn’t know that — pay attention!)  Sometimes, it would be nice just to have a generic “pain” formula for non-specific pain.  Especially if you know that only a visit to a chiropractor will solve it, but they’re closed for the night.  You have to sleep somehow.

Finally, I remembered that pain = inflammation.  Something goes wrong, and the body creates inflammation, which is the body’s attempt to heal, creating pain for us.  If I could find herbs that would address inflammation, they could reduce pain, at least enough to think straight to find a more appropriate remedy, if needed.

This pain relief tincture is what I came up with.  Devil’s claw is a powerful anti-inflammatory, but it’s so safe that no one’s ever overdosed on it.  Ginger is in the same category.  Skullcap helps relaxation and promotes rest/sleep.

This pain relief tincture is made with alcohol.  Alcohol best extracts the plant’s medicinal compounds, which is why I chose it.  It would be possible to use glycerin or vinegar, but less effective for this purpose than alcohol.  If alcohol is a concern for you, remember that this tincture isn’t meant to be taken frequently, and you’re only using a few drops at a time.

100-proof alcohol is necessary because the ratio must be 1/2 water and 1/2 alcohol.  100 proof is exactly 50% alcohol and 50% water.  Some professional tincture makers buy alcohol like Everclear, which is 99 or 100% alcohol, so they can perfectly control the ratio and the type of water used.  However, for beginners, I recommend 100-proof.

If making your own tincture seems tedious, consider a premade option like Earthley’s Pain Potion, which I formulated.  Pain Potion combines five herbs to extract their anti-inflammatory, cooling, and soothing properties to help relax muscles and ease pain 

Pain Relief Tincture


  • 1 cup of 100-proof vodka
  • 4 tbsp. devil’s claw
  • 3 – 4 small slices of ginger
  • 2 tbsp. skullcap


Step 1: Add your devil’s claw to a small mason jar.

Step 2: Add the ginger slices.

Step 3: Add the skullcap.

Step 4: Now, add the vodka.

Step 5: Put a lid on it, shake it, and let it sit for 6 weeks in a dark/cool place.  Then, you’ll decant/strain the mixture.

Step 6: Store in a glass jar (preferably dark brown and away from heat and light).

To use, simply take 2 – 3 drops under the tongue or add them to a small amount of water.  It’s strong.  Then go rest.

Disclaimer: This post is not intended as medical advice.  These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA, and nothing in this post is intended to diagnose, treat, or cure anything.  If you have questions, please do your own research or seek advice from a health professional.

How do you relieve general pain?

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  1. I have a question: I have only been able to find devil’s claw root ‘powder’. I looked at Mtn. Rose and Bulk Herbstore. Any other suggestions? I’ve never used a powder in a tincture, so I’m not sure. Thanks!


  2. Can you tell me what part of Skullcap you use? I have only heard of using Skullcap root, and it looks as though you are using leaves, ect.
    Also, it looks like you are using Devils Claw root. Is that correct?


  3. Thank you for this! How long does this last before expiring?


  4. I am really excited to give this a try! Have you ever used this for your children? What ailments have you used it on, personally? Have you ever used it topically?

    Thanks for your time and help!


  5. Might have to try this as I sometimes joke that due to fibromyalgia I sometimes “live” off of ibprofen. However I know the risks of taking it for an extended amount of time and I’ve always hated the extensive wasteful packaging. At this rate I’ll have both pain tincture and homemade vanilla extract processing in my broom closet!


  6. does it process better if u periodly shake it?


  7. This is wonderful to know. Question … how often can you repeat dosage? Is there a maximum number of dosages or days that you should take this? Thanks!


  8. Sometimes I wonder why I’m not carded too! Sometimes people can be way too trusting…. This tincture sounds great. I’ve been thinking about how I needed to make a new one for pain. I’ll be trying this soon!


  9. Is there any way to make this go faster? Would the properties still be similar if it were all boiled, or left in a crockpot with vinegar or glycerin? Like Genny I “live off of” ibuprofen and meds that I’m really trying to work myself off of (by way of elimination diet), but the pain is still there and needs handled.


  10. i do not use any tinctures w/ alcohol. can you offer an alternative formula for this? this seems like a perfect remedy for fibromyalgia pain and arthritis.


  11. This sounds like something I need in my medicine cabinet! Thank you for posting. Have you tried this for little kids, too?


  12. I’m new to natural things. Where Do you prefer to purchase your herbs, via online or at a health food store? How do you know if the herbs are a quality product? I’d like to try this out for cramps.
    I’m 47 and have been lucky enough to have been carded until last year. LOL


  13. Hi…ignorant of tinctures…but don’t like alcohol taste. If I use glyceran…do I heat it….in crockpot?…or just let sit for six weeks?…do u have a good recipe for rose water….infused with distilled?….do I heat?….add witch hazel?…thx much for ideas. Judy


  14. My wife keeps vodka in the home and often soaks a cloth in it for our younger kids to suckle when they are actin up. Would adding devil’s claw root make it healthier for them? I live in a small town and wouldnt know the first place to look for it.


  15. I have fibromyalgia. Would this help with my pain? Thanks!


  16. Have you ever used tumeric for pain?


  17. Has the author answered any questions? Cause some I’m curious to know but it’s crickets from the original post 9 years ago


    • Do you have a specific question regarding pain relief tinctures? What exactly are you curious to know?


  18. Do you use American skullcap or Chinese skullcap in this recipe?


    • American Skullcap would be my choice. It can help reduce nervousness, spasms, anti-inflammatory, and in general help one to relax. Chinese Skullcap is helpful if there is a viral component to the pain though.


  19. A very useful post for the community, because in this day and age it is rare for people to use traditional ingredients which are very clear that they can cure all diseases.

    good luck to everyone.


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Hi, I’m Kate.  I love medical freedom, sharing natural remedies, developing real food recipes, and gentle parenting. My goal is to teach you how to live your life free from Big Pharma, Big Food, and Big Government by learning about herbs, cooking, and sustainable practices.

I’m the author of Natural Remedies for Kids and the owner and lead herbalist at EarthleyI hope you’ll join me on the journey to a free and healthy life!

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