Parasites and worms on your farm and homestead are one of the top leading causes of livestock death. But thankfully we can make a homemade anti-parasitic tincture for our livestock (yes, even chickens!) By offering our livestock herbal supplements and this tincture on a regular basis, we can help prevent parasites from infesting our beloved animals, and treat our livestock should an issue arise. The issue, however, is that you’ll need to make this tincture now in case you ever need to use it later for an infestation. It takes 4-6 weeks for this tincture to be created!
The Benefits of a Homemade Anti-Parasitic Tincture
Unfortunately there are a lot of de-wormers and anti-parasitic products on the market now days. What people don’t realize, however, is that almost all of them are filled with chemicals. In fact, those very chemicals go right into the meat that you’re eating if an animal has been treated with an anti-parasitic market treatment.
There are also herbal products on the market that work well, but they aren’t always very forthcoming with information or ingredients, which could be detrimental to your livestock. Because of this, we enjoy making our very own homemade anti-parasitic tincture, that way we know what’s going into the medicinal product, and we can even tweak it as we see fit for certain livestock types or issues.
What’s in this Homemade Anti-Parasitic Tincture?
So you might be asking this question—what’s in the tincture? In 2017 I worked hard on perfecting this tincture for my book that was coming out, The Homesteader’s Herbal Companion. But I tweaked it even more for my book, The Homesteader’s Natural Chicken Keeping Handbook (Spring 2019). We have used this tincture many times in the past as a preventative, but I wanted to know that I was offering the best option to everyone for a general range of livestock.
This tincture is made of:
- organic clove
- organic black walnut hulls
- organic thyme
- organic stinging nettle
- organic grapefruit seed (optional)
- organic garlic cloves
- organic pumpkin seeds (optional)
- 80-proof vodka (for the extraction)
If you don’t want to use vodka as the extraction method, you can make a glycerite with glycerin instead. As you may notice, all of these herbs that I use are completely organic, otherwise we’re defeating the purpose of natural medicine.
You can purchase all of these herbs from my favorite herb store here.
How to Make a Tincture
If you have a copy of my first book, The Homesteader’s Herbal Companion, I go in-depth on how to create a tincture for your family or your livestock. You can utilize the list of herbs in the book to create your own tinctures, or swap out some of the ingredients in this tincture with herbs that you think might work better for your farm. Either way, making a tincture is very easy, and they have a shelf-life of 5+ years if stored properly (in a cool dark place).
Here’s how you make a tincture.
- Choose your dried herbs and extraction liquid (normally 80-proof vodka)
- Add dried herbs to a jar, cover with vodka (a 1:5 ratio is a must, herb to vodka). It’s easier if you crush up the herbs so that all the dried herbs are submerged in the vodka.
- Shake well and allow the tincture to rest in a cabinet or pantry (out of sunlight) for 4-6 weeks. Shake once each day.
- Strain the tincture and place the strained liquid in an amber colored glass eyedropper bottle. Store in a cabinet or pantry indoors until ready to use.
How to Use a Tincture
Now that you know how to make a tincture, you’ll need to know how to properly use the tincture.
- Prepare the proper dosage per weight (see below)
- Use tinctures when an issue arises or as a preventative once a week, once every 2 weeks, or once a month
- Give tincture directly to animals orally, or place in waterers or feed
Tincture Dosage for Livestock
1 eye dropper (30 drops) per 150 lbs • 50-75 lbs (15 drops) • 25-45 lbs (10 drops)
Make dosage according to weight ratio off of 150 lbs for 25 lbs or less
Making Your Homemade Anti-Parasitic Tincture
Now that you know the basics, it’s time to make your tincture! Follow the recipe and instructions below, and make this before you need it!
Internal Parasite Tincture
.5 oz clove, ground
.5 oz black walnut hulls, ground (or powdered)
1 oz thyme
1 oz stinging nettle
1 oz grapefruit seed (optional)
2 garlic cloves, smashed
16 oz 80 proof vodka
- Pre-measure all herbs and vodka. If omitting the grapefruit seed, reduce vodka by 1 oz.
- In a large glass jar, add all herbs. Cover the herbs with the entire 16 oz of vodka. Make sure the herbs are submerged. If it helps, you can crush the herbs a bit before doing this step.
- Shake your tincture liberally and then set it in a cool pantry or cupboard, away from extreme temperature changes and direct sunlight. Shake your tincture each day (multiple times, if you want) for 4 weeks.
- After 4–6 weeks, strain your tincture from the jar. Pour your strained tincture into a colored glass eye dropper bottle, label, and store in a cool place until ready to use.
- Use 1 eye-dropperful in waterer or administer 2 drops by mouth (or dosage from dosing guide).
- Use tincture as a preventative once a month by mouth or in waterer, according to your own schedule. If parasites arise, use once every four to eight hours for 2–3 weeks.
Note: If you’d like to add pumpkin seed to this tincture (because they are naturally anti-parasitic), add 1 oz of pumpkin seed and 1 extra oz of vodka.
SAFETY NOTE: Black Walnut Hull in high dosages can be toxic to horses. Please consult a vet or use in small increments when needed.
Amy K. Fewell is an author, family herbalist, entrepreneur, homesteader, and homemaker. Living in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, her and her family live a natural homesteading lifestyle where they promote self-sufficiency and liberty. Amy is the founder of the Homesteaders of America organization and annual events. You can discover more on this website and at homesteadersofamerica.com