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November 11, 2016
There is such a wonderful array of benefits and ways to use of liquid herbs. It’s enough to excite any herbal medicine enthusiast.
Herbs in liquid are generally called tinctures, or sometimes liquid extracts, and are traditionally blended by macerating plant material using a certain percentage of water and alcohol (known collectively as the menstrum). The percentage of alcohol varies for each herb depending upon the unique chemical constituents to be pulled from the plant matrix into the liquid.
Tincture is also an umbrella term which can include macerations of plant material in non alcoholic menstrums such as vegetable glycerine, vinegars or combinations of both; however most often the term “tinctures” is associated with blends created from an alcoholic maceration.
Liquid herbs, a.k.a tinctures, are most often taken internally through oral administration and offer immediate absorption into the bloodstream while requiring very little energy from the digestive tract to break down and absorb herbal contents from a capsule or a tablet also containing fillers.
Liquid extracts and tinctures are ideally best diluted in warm water –as the warmth facilitates the delivery into the body and can help improve circulation. Placing tinctures immediately under the tongue can be done- but often at the cost of burning the sensitive tissues – diluted in warm water is preferred. Liquid herbs can also be diluted into juice, a smoothie or herbal tea.
For those individuals who might be sensitive or have any concerns about the alcohol content; simply boil water, measure the needed dose of tincture into a glass and pour boiling water over the tincture and cool down to room temperature; the majority of alcohol will evaporate. When storing these plant liquids, keep away from direct sunlight and heat and keep the lid securely fastened,
When considering the various methods of extraction of plant constituents on the market, alcohol extraction offers one of the highest delivery systems of a wide assortment of chemical components in the plants. It also avoids using toxic solvents such as propylene glycol which is both harmful to both the environment and to the body). Alcohol can extract and stabilize many of the more stubborn chemical constituents found in a plant such as: lipids, resins, and many alkaloids and the preservative properties inhibit many enzymatic reactions and ensure an extended shelf life. Alcohol also offers antimicrobial properties so thereby providing a secondary benefit for using plants topically and internally.
Be sure to consider and include a liquid herbal solution in your natural health and wellness routine. Talk to your local independent health and wellness store or a natural health expert to learn more.