Tinctures provide a straightforward and speedy form of herbal medicine that allows us to draw out both the water-soluble and alcohol-soluble elements from plants for a potent, well-rounded medicine. Tinctures are also highly shelf-stable, lasting for many years.
In contrast to teas, which necessitate that we prepare leaves and flowers separately from roots, barks, and berries due to their composition. Tinctures allow all parts of the plant to be combined and processed simultaneously. Powdered herbs can also be tinctured in the same mixture as cut and sifted herbs.
What are herbal tinctures?
Herbal tinctures are concentrated herbal extracts made by soaking either fresh or dried plant parts in a liquid combination of alcohol and water. This liquid solvent is called the menstruum. The alcohol pulls out or extracts the active and therapeutic properties of the plants, the alkaloids, vitamins, and minerals.
After the extraction process is complete, the concentrated liquid is separated from the herbs. This liquid is then filtered and the used plant parts are composted. The concentrated liquid that remains is now called a tincture.
There are various solvents that can be used to extract medicine from plants in tincture making. Each solvent has its own set of advantages and disadvantages for medicine making. For example, water, glycerine, vinegar, oil, and honey can all be used to extract herbs.
Technically speaking, a tincture is liquid herbal extract made with alcohol, while the term “tincture” is sometimes applied to other liquid herbal extracts made without alcohol. The alcohol used in tinctures is the same ethanol produced by fermentation that you find in beer and wine.
Alcohol acts as an excellent solvent for many phytochemicals, especially those with limited solubility in water. It is also an excellent preservative so that tinctures can keep several years. Like other extracts, tinctures bypass the need to digest whole herbs in the gut and are easily absorbed, giving them an advantage over taking pills or capsules.
Benefits of taking a tincture
Quick and Convenient
A tincture is a liquid extract made from herbs. Tinctures are usually taken by mouth and are a convenient way to take herbs. They are easy to store, easy to take with you, and easy to ingest. A few drops of a tincture in a glass of water or tea, or just on the tongue, takes only a moment.
Tinctures are typically taken in small doses, several times a day. They can be used for acute conditions that come on suddenly and require immediate treatment, or for chronic conditions that need to be managed over time.
Potent and Long Lasting
The main reasons tinctures are often preferred over other herbal preparations are that they are more easily assimilated by the body and offer a stronger concentration of medicinal properties than dried herbs.
In addition, tinctures have a much longer shelf life than fresh or dried herbs. When properly prepared, tinctures can last for 5 years or longer. They are therefore an excellent way of preserving the medicinal properties and health benefits of dried and fresh herbs.
Some herbs have very unpleasant tastes. Bitterness can make them difficult to drink as teas. Tinctures can be diluted with water, tea, or juice to make them more palatable while still retaining their medicinal value. One of the biggest advantages to tincturing herbal medicines is that they can be prepared in advance and stored away.
Many herbs are only available seasonally, but tinctures are not dependent on seasons. A family going through therapy could keep their favorite support formulas at the ready rather than waiting for herbs from outside sources to arrive. Tinctures also offer families a way to easily transition from using nursery or pharmacy-bought products to pills or teas made with desired herbs for specific purposes.
Easy to make
Tinctures are a popular way to consume the natural health-boosting chemicals found in some plants. They’re usually inexpensive to make and can be easily prepared at home. Tinctures can be made from a wide variety of plant materials, including herbs, spices, and even vegetables.
To make a tincture, the plant material is soaked in alcohol or another solvent for a period of time. This process extracts the desired chemicals from the plant material and into the solvent. The solvent is then evaporated, leaving behind a concentrated tincture that can be taken orally.
What herbal tinctures do we recommend?
There are many different herbal tinctures on the market today, and it can be hard to know which ones are the best. Our has formulated a range of herbal tinctures that target different aspects of your wellbeing. These liquid herbs include:
The Defend Tincture
The Defend Tincture is a unique product that helps to proactively fortify the immune system. This is done using a blend of well-known and clinically-proven ingredients, such as echinacea, goldenseal, and black cohosh. The Defend Tincture is easy to use, simply mix it with water or juice and drink it once a day.
The Defend Tincture is a great way to proactively protect your health and keep your immune system strong. If you are looking for a natural way to fortify your immune system, then the Defend Tincture is the perfect product for you.
The Balance Tincture
This unique tincture is formulated to help your body maintain a healthy balance in the face of stress. The ingredients in The Balance Tincture have been shown to help regulate your body’s response to stress, helping you stay calm and focused in the midst of chaos. Simply Take 30 drops (1ml) 2-4 times daily, or as needed.
The Deep Sleep Tincture
The deep sleep tincture is a natural way to help you sleep better and for longer. This herbal remedy is made with a blend of lavender, chamomile, and passionflower, all of which have been shown to help improve sleep quality. The tincture also contains valerian root, which is a natural sedative that can help you fall asleep more easily.
To use, simply take 30 drops of the tincture 30 minutes before bedtime. You can also add the tincture to a cup of tea or a glass of warm milk. The deep sleep tincture is safe for daily use and does not cause drowsiness during the day.
The Energy Tincture
The Energy Tincture is a caffeine-free, invigorating blend that is designed to boost your energy levels. This blend contains herbal extracts that have been traditionally used to increase energy levels and vitality. The Energy Tincture is easy to take and can be taken as needed to help you stay energized throughout the day.
Ways to Tincture Herbs
Herbal tinctures may not be safe to create at home. Certain parts of plants can be toxic and harmful to humans when used topically or ingested. A person should fully understand which parts of a plant are safe before attempting to make their own tinctures.
To make a tincture, you will need:
- Alcohol or vinegar
- Airtight jar
The first step is to gather the useful parts of the herb(s), which may include berries, leaves, roots, bark, or all of these. Be sure to remove any unwanted parts. Next, wash and coarsely chop the herbs.
When creating a herbal tincture, it is important to remember that the final concentration of alcohol in the tincture will depend on the types of herbs used. Those herbs with more water-soluble components will require higher proof alcohol, such as 80-100 proof. On the other hand, those herbs with fewer water-soluble components will only require 180-proof alcohol.
Place the chopped herbs into an airtight jar. Then, pour alcohol or vinegar into the jar and seal it. For fresh herbs, use a 1-1 plant-to-alcohol ratio. For dried herbs, use a 1-4 ratio.
Once the jar has been sealed, it will need to sit for 6 or more weeks to allow the alcohol time to absorb the active components of the herbs. During this time, be sure to shake the jar occasionally.
Once the tincture is finished, open the jar and strain the plant parts from the liquid. It is important to label the jars with some basic information about the tincture, such as:
- common or Latin names of the herbs used
- parts of the plants and whether they were fresh or dried
- the type of alcohol and its concentration
- date of creation
Side effects of taking tinctures
Tinctures are a popular way to consume CBD, but there are some potential side effects to be aware of. While CBD is generally considered safe, it can interact with other medications you may be taking. It’s also important to be aware that tinctures may contain other ingredients that can cause allergic reactions or other side effects.
Following are the known adverse effects associated with tinctures:
- Interactions with other medications
- Rashes, hives, and swelling of the airways and tongue
- Swelling of the kidneys or liver due to long-term use of herbal tinctures or their alcohol content
- A steep drop in blood sugars, blood pressure, or clotting problems due to certain tinctures
- Headache, light sensitivity, and giddiness may be observed with dandelion tinctures
- Goldenseal and milk thistle tinctures can be highly toxic in high doses and even cause death
- Tincture burns (ulcerations in the mouth or stomach)
- Milk thistle may act like estrogen hormone and is dangerous in women who have cancers of the breast and uterus
- Bloating, gastritis, heartburn, constipation, gas, and nausea may also be caused by some tinctures.
Herbal tinctures are a great way to enjoy the benefits of herbs without having to take them in pill or capsule form. They are also easy to make at home with just a few simple ingredients. If you would like to learn more about herbal tinctures or other herbal extract, contact focusherb today.