Rule of thumb to Herbal Extracts and Tinctures!
Herbal tinctures or extracts are highly concentrated, freshly chosen herbs, purified in a liquid form only to bring forth aged strengths prepared to rectify. Owning great accessibility; refrigeration isn’t necessary, both can preserve or keep for years, making a perfect antiseptic amongst other remedies. When made with alcohol or glycerin, tinctures extract important properties from herbs leaving the less valuable starches and inactive substances like cellulose behind. *Note; making alcohol tinctures require no heat at all. Variations do exist though, in which this can be quite confusing for the consumer. To break it down, a concentrated liquid extract/tincture is, and can be, blended into pill form, or reconstituted with glycerin or alcohol. Now for extra strength or double-extraction even triple-extraction, this can be prepared by making a regular tincture, straining out the old herbs replaced with the new, then by combining one after the other, more enzymes are acquainted and ready to accommodate. With more, vinegars have been known to be used and prepared like tinctures also, the herbs are infused into the vinegar instead of alcohol or glycerin. Although not as efficient at drawing out the herbal properties as well as the two; herbal vinegars offer the convenience the same as glycerin, without the alcohol. Remember, a number of factors will influence the potency of your extract/tincture; as with all plants, the preparation will be exposed if not properly concealed and contained. Adopting totally organic and permaculture methods; freshness is key, the storage, to knowing your soil, and what’s truly all natural. Storing tinctures in a air tight dark glass container located away from direct sunlight and out of the heat is the typical extract environment you want. When in doubt about potency or shelf life, use the herbs color, taste, and aroma for a better judgement. Usually larger pieces of herbs last longer than the finely cut or powdered forms.
Herbal Tinctures: Are one of the oldest ways to preserve herbs, lasting for many years. Prepared in alcoholic liquors such as grain alcohol, vodka, gin, or brandy, 100, or 80 proof. These are made best with freshly harvested herbs which are superior to tinctures made from dried herbs. Tinctures work quickly when administered under the tongue in small dosages. Alcohol tinctures extract herbal resins and alkaloids, not water.
Herbal Extracts: Are made with vegetable glycerin and water, which are good for children. Fluid extracts sometimes called liquid extracts are more of a concentrated form of herbal medicine than a tincture. A fluid extract is made by combining one part herb with one part fluid.
Herbal Vinegars: Are made with fresh herbs and organic vinegars stored for 4-6 weeks.