glass jars image by Benjamin Vess from

The safest way to make iodine from a tincture is with kelp. Kelp and other sea vegetables have the highest plant sources of iodine. The George Mateljan Foundation states that kelp has 276.7 percent of the recommended daily value of iodine in 20 grams, or 1/4 cup powdered kelp. Tincturing kelp turns it into an herbal iodine tincture.

Making kelp tincture is relatively easy to do. Make sure the source of kelp is organic and from as unpolluted waters as possible. Traditionally, tincturing is begun on the new moon and harvested on the full moon.

Start the Tincture

Have on hand a clean, quart-sized Mason jar with a tight-fitting lid. A Kerr or Ball canning jar with a seal and rim is best.

Pour organic kelp powder from a reputable supplier into the jar. Fill the jar halfway with kelp.

Pour inexpensive 100 proof vodka over the kelp powder. Vodka is the menstruum which will pull the essential oils out of the kelp and into the tincture. Pour vodka until there is a two-inch "float'" of vodka above the level of the kelp powder.

Observe as the kelp expands. Close the jar, shake it, and allow the kelp to settle. Add more vodka until there is a two-inch "float" again.

Repeat Step 4 over the course of an hour. Keep adding vodka until it looks like the kelp will no longer expand.

Label the jar "Kelp Tincture" and mark the date you started it. Keep the tincture jar on a countertop or other visible place. Over the next three days, shake the jar every time you pass by it.

Macerating the Herbs

Pour the contents of the entire jar into a Vitamix or blender on the third day after the tincture was started. Use a spatula if needed.

Give the kelp tincture a good whirl for a few minutes. Pour the kelp back into the jar. Use the spatula to get the kelp off the bottom of the blender.

Add more vodka to get the two-inch float above the kelp mash. Screw on the lid. Shake well, and allow the kelp to tincture for a solid two weeks. Shake the jar once a day. Mark a calendar as a reminder.

Harvesting the Tincture

Gather together a clean, medium-sized glass or porcelain bowl and a clean, 100 percent cotton dish towel or nut milk bag. Try to avoid metal or plastic bowls, if at all possible. Lay the dish towel open in the bowl.

Pour the contents of the jar onto the dish towel in the bowl. Grab the ends of the dish towel, and wring out the tincture into the bowl. Squeeze as hard as you can to get every drop of tincture possible.

Discard the kelp in the compost pile.

Use a funnel to pour the tincture into amber glass bottles with eye droppers. Close the bottles.

Label the bottles "Kelp Tincture," and mark the date it was bottled.


Usual dosage for all tinctures is two droppers three times a day. Use more or less as needed.


Kelp or iodine tincture has not been approved or evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to cure, heal, aid or treat any disease. Please consult a qualified health care professional before using this or any other product.