Turmeric is king of anti-inflammatories, reigning supreme in this DIY turmeric tincture! This is my go-to recipe for an anti-inflammatory tincture to support well being. This recipe is an easy & affordable way to incorporate turmeric and black pepper into your daily routine!
Say hello to homeostasis!
DIY Turmeric Tincture
Ever notice when the grocery store has stocked the produce section with a fresh, vibrant supply of turmeric? Yeah, me too. I can’t find this year-round in the PNW so when it’s abundant I take full advantage!
As turmeric carries a strong and distinctive flavor, it can be difficult to include turmeric in daily cooking. I sometimes include this in smoothies, vegetable juices, and curries, but the flavor just isn’t apropos in every meal we have. A tincture is a fantastic way to preserve this powerful supplement and ingest it daily.
Turmeric’s Anti-inflammatory: Curcumin
Turmeric is a rhizome (same as ginger- think edible underground root) famous for anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. Curcumin IS the anti-inflammatory compound within turmeric.
When we think about creating a tincture we want to extract curcumin from the turmeric in a bioavailable format, allowing our bodies to reap all the benefits possible.
Turmeric & Black Pepper, better together?
Here’s where black pepper fits into the picture… black pepper and curcumin complement each other, they’re pals. If you ingest turmeric and black pepper together your body is able to absorb higher quantities of curcumin. Compounds in black pepper make the curcumin more bioavailable, maximizing the healing qualities! We’re after those antioxidants and anti-inflammatories!
It’s similar to including vitamin C with iron-rich foods, vitamin C supports your body in absorbing more iron than ingesting iron without vitamin C.
Ratio of Black Pepper to Turmeric in Tinctures
I’ve been making this tincture for over 4 years and along the way, I’ve done a lot of research on the proper ratios of turmeric to black pepper in tinctures. I haven’t found any conclusive answers out there. I have tried a variety of different ratios and percentages; I’ve had tinctures turn out shockingly black pepper forward! (ouch that burns)What I prefer is a ratio of 1:10, one part black pepper to 10 parts turmeric by weight. This isn’t an exact science and if you don’t have a kitchen scale handy, don’t sweat it.
Want more info about turmeric tinctures?
Check out these turmeric tincture Frequently Asked Questions from other readers!
Here’s a list of questions and answers I commonly receive about this recipe:
- What is turmeric tincture good for (what are the benefits)? Turmeric boasts amazing anti-inflammatory properties; there are a variety of research efforts surrounding the anti-inflammatory benefits relating to arthritis, pain management, and Alzheimer’s disease. Turmeric may also help regulate some homeostatic efforts like blood sugar and cholesterol.
- Can I use turmeric powder in place of fresh turmeric root? Short answer: yes, this substitution can work. Long answer: I strongly recommend using fresh organic turmeric root. You will receive the greatest benefit by consuming turmeric that is minimally processed- turmeric powder has undergone exponentially more processing than fresh turmeric root.
- Are there any side effects to taking a turmeric tincture? If you have blood-thinning, or blood clotting concerns, if you are pregnant or nursing, undergoing surgery, or have gall or kidney stones- you may want to research any possible side effects! As with any new addition to your diet, consult your physician prior to beginning a new regiment.
- How can I make this tincture alcohol free? If you prefer to keep this alcohol free, you can substitute apple cider vinegar for the everclear or vodka. Tinctures of alcohol are more shelf-stable than vinegar, but if you are using a tincture daily this shouldn’t be a problem.
- Is it beneficial to add apple cider vinegar to my turmeric tincture? Apple cider vinegar has great healing properties, I personally make this tincture as described and incorporate ACV separately.
- Will turmeric tinctures help my skin? Ok- Yes! Turmeric can help your skin in multiple ways! With inflammation at the root of many skin conditions, the inherent anti-inflammatory properties in turmeric are of benefit. Turmeric offers beneficial contributions to skin irritations like hydration, acne, psoriasis, eczema and expediting the healing process of skin abrasions and cuts. Potential perk: Gives skin a dewy fresh glow. Also, TMI: I have used a turmeric paste to use on a skin irritation / boil / mystery problem on my thumb back in college when I didn’t have insurance. That turmeric paste brought whatever was causing problems up to the surface and OUT.
- Can I use turmeric root to make this recipe? Yes! Turmeric root is the same as fresh turmeric! It’s the same plant turmeric powder comes from.
- How many drops should I take (what’s the dosage)? I have found the appropriate dosage for myself to be between 20-30 drops daily. I am not a doctor and cannot provide medical advice. Consult with your doctor prior to incorporating any new supplements into your diet.
Other ways to add more turmeric to your life…
If you’re into turmeric as much as we are, here are a few additional ways to add more turmeric to your plate! When we first started incorporating more turmeric into our diets- it was a struggle. It felt like a chore and it was just clunky and hard to do, over time we’ve created an entire list of recipes with turmeric!
These recipes have helped our fam consume more turmeric, we hope they can help you also!
This is supremely delicious and easy to slather on everything!
It’s easy to add to soups, baked goods, and beverages.
This is a DIY health shot~ the master tonic for immunity.
Turmeric Black Pepper Tincture
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 2 cups 1x
- Category: Recipes
- Method: Cold Prep
- Cuisine: Elixir
This recipe for turmeric black pepper tincture is a no brainer- 3 ingredients and 10 minutes of hands-on time, plus a 2-4 week waiting period and BOOM! You’re basically a modern day apothecary, wizarding your health and wellness.
- 1/4 lb. fresh turmeric, processed into small pieces
- 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 cup Everclear
- 1/4 cup water
- Wash and chop the turmeric, you don’t need to peel it. You can easily dice it with a food processor and avoid yellow-stained hands that come with handling turmeric. If you don’t have a food processor a knife will work just fine.
- Place the chopped turmeric into a glass jar and add the black peppercorns.
- Pour the everclear and water into the glass jar and put the lid on.
- Shake the jar gently and set aside to steep for 2-4 weeks, shaking gently every couple days.
- Using a nut milk bag or cheesecloth strain the mixture over a bowl and squeeze the turmeric solids to release all the liquid.
- Store this in a sealed container for use as needed.
** You don’t have to use everclear, you can absolutely use vodka and omit the water as most people are more likely to have this around the house. I use high proof everclear and dilute it with water because some compounds are water-soluble and some are alcohol soluble. Even though this recipe dilutes the everclear to the same 40 proof level as vodka, it is likely to extract a more diverse range of nutritional compounds using water AND alcohol.
** I keep this out of direct sunlight while it’s steeping. After it’s pressed I store it in a blue or brown bottle, to prevent sunlight from altering the tincture.
** This beautiful orange root has serious staining power! Your hands, cutting board, counter, clothing, kitchen towels, light colored spatulas, and the like may become discolored from contact with turmeric! It’s a temporary discoloration, but one to note.
Keywords: Elixirs, Turmeric
Sounds like this could be really beneficial. And who woulda thunk turmeric pastes can help skins irritation?!?
I’ll spare you the gory details- but yes! Turmeric is amazing!
Is this supposed to go in the fridge for those 2-4 weeks?
No, room temperature is perfect!
You can do a double extraction so you get the benefits from both the alcohol and the water versions. Do a combination of a tincture and a decoction.
Tumeric with a little black pepper is a superb remedy for staph infection. We have used it successfully in my family for that. Just make a salve with it, adding other natural healers of your choice, such as coconut oil, olive oil, vitamin E oil, aloe vera, raw honey, essential oils, etc.
Question: I bought organic, dried turmeric “fingers”. Can I use those for this tincture?
Yes, definitely! I would give them a rough chop to increase the surface area exposed to alcohol, and if they break down into a fine powder during steeping you may need to strain with a coffee filter!
How can I use turmeric oil for making a pain cream?
How many drops per cup of coco butter?
Brad & Becky Bishop
I am confused about the alcohol/water. I have 100 proof vodka. Should or could I still use water? I read somewhere never to alcohol and water together in a tincture but maybe that’s not right. Would like to make this today. Thank you!!
Hi, this loooks like a great, simple recipe. I read in the comments about adding fresh ginger to the recipe, how much would you recommend. Thank you!
would this be as effective to make a powder of the dried turmeric root powdered and ground black pepper then add to smoothies etc?
Hi Dale— great question! Fresh turmeric just can’t be beat, I highly recommend it over turmeric powder. If it’s only available seasonally where you live, you can freeze it or tincture the turmeric to preserve it. You can add fresh turmeric or turmeric extract to smoothies!
I cannot wait to try this tincture! Can I add something like ginger to it? I want to make it for migraines and pain in general. Would adding ginger affect how much everclear and water I use?
Also – with other tinctures I’ve used, I know to only take about a teaspoon at a time. How much can I take per day for something like a migraine?
Excited for you. No, adding some ginger should be just fine. How much to take is personal preference/ ask your doc or naturopath! For me personally, I usually do 20-30 drops or less– which is the size of a 1 ml dropper tip. Start small and see how things go.
Also check out turmeric honey because it is SO amazing!
Hi Adriana,can you explain to me the value of the measures /1 TB whole black peppercorns
1C Everclear/,thanks in advance.
These measurements are 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns and 1 cup everclear!
how to make turmeric paste?
I think the most common turmeric paste you see is used as a base for golden milk lattes, so it would also have ginger, cinnamon, coconut, and black pepper. To make a turmeric paste, all ingredients are usually blended with a bit of water to ensure the turmeric gets completely broken down then heated on the stovetop to thicken.
You can also use a turmeric paste to flavor curries, soups, and smoothies!
I have Everclear 120 proof, but I know there is an Everclear with a higher proof. Which one did you use?
Yes, I used the 190 proof everclear. I imagine you can still use the 120 proof!
Ok good- I’ll modify to 1+1/4c 120 proof to match your 1c 190 proof + 1/4 c of water. 🙂 thanks!
I live in NE Florida (also vacation home in Costa Rica), have bought fresh turmeric root from the grocery and buried it in my gardens. Very easily grown. The leafy greens that it produces will die off in the winter/dry season, leaving beautiful roots poking out of the soil. This is a great website and info as I did not know the full power of this awesome plant!!
After the two weeks in alcohol and water can I destille the alcohol? Is there an concentrate left on the bottom? Could I remix this concentrate withe an non alcoholic liquid?
In my experience making tinctures, the most concentrated part of a tincture is called ‘the mark’ which is the final portion you squeeze out of the solids when straining through cheesecloth or a nut milk bag. Most of the liquid tincture will easily pass throw the cheesecloth/nut bag with minimal effort during the final filtering- when you need to start twisting and applying pressure, the liquid that comes through is believed to be the most concentrated portion. Not science, just how I learned to make tinctures from a longtime herbalist & farmer!
I wouldn’t remix it with another liquid to do another extraction. For a non-alcoholic version, you could look into a glycerin tincture as I linked for another reader in the comments!
Hope this helps & have fun in the kitchen!
Can you use vegetable glycerin?
This is something I have been curious about but yet to try. If I were to attempt, I would use this recipe from Wellness Mama- I’ve used her as a resource on multiple occasions and always had solid results!
How much turmeric powder would you use instead of fresh turmeric?
So sorry for the delayed reply- I currently can’t speak to using turmeric powder in this recipe. I have been asked this by many readers so I am researching it.
I will say most health food stores sell dried turmeric root (not powder) and I’ve been advised this will work if you can’t source fresh turmeric.
You can get organic turmeric root at Amazon all day.
How long will this be good to use.
The beauty of alcohol-based tinctures is their extended shelf life! As with anything, the fresher the better of course! I try to use within 6 months but have kept and used a turmeric tincture for up to 1 year.
This has helped me enormously, thank you!
how do you know how long to let it soak? is the shorter time for warmer rooms, warmer weather, longer time for wintertime? My husband loves to use turmeric for his arthritic joints, and I am going to try this. Just want to be sure I get the full potency asap. thanks.
I think for fermentation the temperature plays more of a role than for tinctures. I usually let mine sit for the full 4 weeks, you’ll notice the color darken a lot during this time.
For the recipe listed if using vodka, I would only add 2 tablespoons water— you want the high alcohol content to help preserve the tincture! I hope this helps your husband.
Fat also can help the body absorb turmeric nutrients so many people will take turmeric with butter or coconut oil, or with a meal that has those ingredients.
Happy to answer any other questions that come up!!
Also, if I use Vodka, should I add some water, for the water soluble elements. How much?
My tincture is not as clear as the picture posted. Should it be? I used vodka.
These photos were taken just after placing the turmeric in the alcohol, after steeping it becomes much much darker color— a muddy orange/brown. This is normal!
My doctor has me taking 500 mg twice a day. Do you happen to know how many drops that would be?
Hi Linda! So sorry, I can’t say. What I would do if it were me, I’d look at comparable products for sale online and see if they mention the nutritional value 🙂 However, I’m not a doctor so I can’t say.
Please, for arthritis is the tincture drops applicable on the kneel joints and robbed? Can it be dropped in a glass of water to help against the pain?
Yes this can be dropped in a glass of water. I haven’t used this topically- I think others use a turmeric paste for topical treatments.
I actually brought this up with my naturopath and he fully recommended a daily turmeric tincture 🙂 Have some steeping on my kitchen shelves right now!
Been researching and looking into making this- thanks for all the info, I’m be using this recipe!
I’m going to do this ! I’m sooo excited! I’ve also heard CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY has discovered that this mixture turns the stubborn,unhealthy white fat into the brown fats which are healthy and give you energy! It’s not perfected yet ,but…..
During this craziness out there right now, I can’t find fresh tumeric or tumeric root anywhere. I am using tumeric powder.
So I used 86g of the powder and followed the rest of recipe. I just had to tweak it a bit. I did use vodka.
Will I still need to strain it after? Is that possible with the powder? So I guess I am asking if the process is still the same with powder instead of chopped root?
Thanks so much.
I know! Grocery stores are tapped out where we live, too!! Yes, I would still strain it so when you take it via a dropper, or in water, tea, etc it will be very silky and unnoticeable! As the powder is usually very fine, a tight weave nut milk bag or gently pouring over a coffee filter and letting gravity do the straining over a couple hours may work! The powder may settle toward the bottom over time- so you may be able to gently pour off the good stuff?
So many people have been asking about a powder version, alas, not enough time in the day!!! I will try and get to this. (Also, if you’re into immunity measures right now like we are- this fire cider is easy peasy to make as well and loaded with the good stuff!
Take care!!! And do report back any success, please!
I can’t find it currently where I am either. Thankfully I got a BUNCH right as all this pandemic started. I have 6 qt jars fermenting ( is that the right word??) in my pantry as we speak. I took one jar, the one that got the darkest first, and we have been starting to use it even though it had only been 3 weeks. I know It hasn’t had time to get “all the goodie” out, but my husband and I both needed this desperately!!!! So, I figured some was better than none. We take approx 30 drops in a bit of orange juice 2x daily. I have noticed some improvement in my knees and back when I get up in the morning. Can’t wait to see what a few more weeks of this brings!!!!
LOVE the idea of adding this to OJ 🙂 Thrilled to hear you’ve noticed a difference. Thanks for stopping by and enjoy your spring.
Prepped this a few weeks back and just pressed it through cheesecloth today. This is exceptional. I can’t believe how much this tastes like turmeric, really really impressed. I’ve purchased turmeric tinctures before and they tasted sharp, more like chemicals or synthetics than the plant. Thank you! I can’t believe how easy this was. Super useful based on our current situation. I didn’t see other tinctures on your site- do you have other tincture recipes?
Awww, shucks. Thank you. You CAN really taste the turmeric in this, I just started using mine on the daily again recently and had that exact thought! Thanks so much for your interest. It’s on my list! I have had so many questions about tinctures, I plan to circle back and add a few more before winter.
I do have one other tincture, a different type of tincture, a vinegar-based tincture! Same process as using alcohol, just using apple cider vinegar instead. It’s the fire cider recipe.
Have a great weekend!!
I made this about 6 weeks ago and been using it everyday for the last 2 weeks ish. The price evens out to far less than buying a turmeric tincture and the flavor is unmatched!!!
Woohoo! Happy to hear that, Jess!
My local store has fresh turmeric all winter usually so I’m making a double batch after testing this recipe to make sure I liked it. I add a full dropper to smoothies or tea, or I just take straight from the dropper into my tongue! This isn’t super sharp or boozey- the turmeric taste is really pronounced! I love that. Thanks for the idea!!
Great idea, Maria!
Yes, we pretty much always have a jar of this on hand in the pantry. I’m the same, I just take a dropper of it straight in the morning with other supplements. So happy this worked out for you!
I made this about 4 weeks ago and it’s time to filter it now. When I first combined all the ingredients my turmeric tincture was really bright orange like your photo, but now it’s a dark brownish orange. Is that okay? Is it supposed to tchange color like that or do I need to do a new batch? Great details btw, thanks! While I was waiting for the turmeric tincture, I made the turmeric honey and you are a wonderful human– that recipe is freaking fantastic and something I’ll have on hand ALL the time in our house now. Really great turmeric recipes you’ve got here but let me know about the color if you can? It’s my first time making a tincture so i just don’t know.
Many thanks from Washington!
Yep yep, the darkening is totally normal! Congrats on making your first turmeric tincture *high five*
And yes. Turmeric honey is a GEM!
I have been purchasing a tumeric liquid locally. It works so well for me but I go through a small bottle so quickly and it is costly. I want to make my own. My question is, can I add local honey to the mixture. The one I purchase has that and it tastes great and the local honey helps with my allergies. If yes, when should I add honey?
Absolutely!!! I would make the tincture and set it to steep for the 3-4 weeks then add honey after straining. The flavor of this is really good as-is so you may only need a touch of honey.
Let me know how it goes!
Anthony T. Jones
Hi Adriana, I’m about to make this tincture sometime this week. I need to ask what sized mason jar should I use for this particular recipe?
I was also informed that tinctures can be made this in 3 days by using a crock pot, below is the instructional information I was provided on how to do this, please tell me what you think. Thanks
1. Make sure crock pot is in a safe place. Take a small cloth or towel and place at bottom of crock pot (the towel is used to keep the tincture from cooking and the jar from breaking by keeping it off the bottom of crock pot),
2. Place the mason jar on the cloth inside the crock pot and fill with water just below the jar cap.
3. Turn crock pot on lowest setting and shake every 8 – 12 hours for the 3 days
Note: Make sure to check water level when shaking tincture and fill water levels as necessary
4. After 3 days the tincture should be ready
Just wanted to clarify the note on step 3
3. Turn crock pot on lowest setting and shake every 8 – 12 hours for the 3 days
Note: Make sure to check the water level inside the crock pot when shaking tincture and fill the crock pot water level as necessary due to some loss via evaporation.
I have heard of the crockpot tincture method, but I’ve yet to try it! I have only been warned to check on the water very regularly to make sure it doesn’t run out, as you already detailed above… Do tell if you’re happy with the result 🙂 I’d love to compare: make 2 batches and steep one at room temp then crockpot the other. I’m in the process of updating this recipe to include a ground turmeric option– you’ve inspired me to give that a try!
A 1 qt mason jar offers plenty of room for the tincture.
Best of luck and enjoy it!
Thank you for responding and I will definitely make 2 separate batches using each method and will let you know how they turn out and I would love to see your ground turmeric option..ttys 🙂
Hi! I am getting ready to strain out the solids, but I would like to use them in a recipe instead of composting them. What do you do with the turmeric solids? Make muffins? Crackers? Any recipes? Thanks!
Love LOVE this idea!!!! Turmeric Honey or turmeric paste would both be wonderful options!!! You can also freeze turmeric paste into 1 tablespoon portions and use as needed!
Mika & Dan
Made this for my dad and I’m hoping he will use it! He’s got a bad back and has been taking turmeric pills, but hasn’t tried a tincture. His doc said ok to give it a go so we’ll see and I’ll report back.
Some for me, some to give to friends. Perfect.
I am blown away, this is perfect! I used fresh turmeric that we bought and froze a few months ago and it worked just fine. Thnkx, C.
Iam planning to start with black turmeric ,black pepper and brandy, will it work ? please suggest
Hi– yes you can use brandy, just don’t add any water to dilute it! Sounds tasty 🙂
Evelyn G Kimbrell
I’ve made other tinctures (CBD, for instance) and wonder how you decrease the alcohol content after straining. I would prefer to use the tinctures sublingually, but . . . ouch. Will leaving the lid off at the end of the soak diminish the strength of the tincture?
Sorry for the delay– if you are using high proof alcohol you can add water to decrease the alcohol content! I haven’t heard of removing the lid to decrease the alcohol %– you could also look up a glycerin tincture or vinegar tincture as those are alcohol-free/trace amount of alcohol!
Okay, just made some and now I wait. So I assume I drink it once it’s ready? How much per day? My first ever tincture of anything!
For most tinctures, people take a .25ml – 1ml dose! Most tincture droppers are 1ml, but double-check the one you bought to use. Talk with your doctor and do some research. (1ml = 20-30 drops!)
I made this after seeing it. It’s been 11 days and it’s a dark orange color now. I made with EverClear and can’t wait for it to be ready! I had to order my Turmeric from Etsy from Hawaii! It was great quality and Organic! So excited!
So fun! I hope you love it 🙂
I just bought my organic turmeric roots and plan on making it today.I can’t really understand the high proof alcohol (in this case everclear which is gmo) and water combination. The 80 proof vodka can do the same,as it’s got the high proof alcohol already mixed with water.Isn’t it the same thing?
I am trying to understand this.I have lots of books about extracts and tincture and all I see recommended is alcohol with a proof of minimum 70.
Hey West– I keep it in a dropper bottle at room temp!
I made this recipe today and can’t wait to try it as part of my daily routine. It is difficult for me to find fresh turmeric so I usually have to order large batches. With this tincture I can now get turmeric into my diet daily. Thank you!
One issue though. I saw everclear and didn’t realize there were different strengths. I had 151 proof and used the water before I saw the other comments. In a panic, I added 1/4 cup more everclear…don’t ask me why. Do I need to add more turmeric and have I lessened the alcohol content too much by adding water to 75.5% alcohol. Help!!!
Question: how long will the turmeric tincture last? What is the shelf life like?
Hey there– about a year!
Could you boil out some of the alcohol or would that affect the healing properties of the mixture??
How much turmeric powder would equal 1/4 lb. of fresh turmeric?
I’ll try it. But like you, I live in the Great NW, where fresh turmeric is not always available. (Do you know when it’s available here?) I suppose you could substitute ground turmeric at the ratio in your turmeric honey recipe? Thanks for pointing out that some benefits are extracted by water and some alcohol. Might as well get it all.
I have been making this recipe for ages for arthritis but only taking 5ml each day…..I have been told by my nutritionist to take up to 12000mg per day….so I now take 10ml each day, which seems to have a better effect. Please could you tell me how much in mg it’s safe for me to take per day. I use absolutely vodka. Many thanks get blog
Revision needed for my post ..it should have said 2000mg and NOT 12000!!
Thank you for this great recipe. I would now like to try & make Turmeric OIL. It is expensive to buy & great for Joints. Some sell a mix of Ginger & Turmeric, Roots. I think I have an idea how to make this but wanted to know HOW You would go about preparing this. TIA
Harvested my second batch of turmeric but I wanted to do more than just freeze it. I have added turmeric to kombucha for the second ferment with black pepper and carrots. Just love it that way. I always add turmeric to my sauerkraut recipe. Came across your site and tried your turmeric smoothie yesterday, used dates instead of honey. Had it for breakfast and lunch and will make it again. This morning, I made two batches of your tincture recipe, and only had 151 proof of grain alcohol. Covered the mason jars with parchment before adding the plastic lids. Don’t want to stain the lids. Will shake them every day for four weeks as you have suggested. I will make the turmeric honey next, and can’t wait to try your turmeric rice. Thank you so much for posting your recipes.
Thanks so much for the feedback and we’re so glad you are loving our turmeric recipes!