What is a tincture?
A tincture is a liquid extract made from plants. Tinctures are extracted in either alcohol, vegetable glycerine or apple cider vinegar. Alcohol extracts more medicinal phytochemicals / phytonutrients completely and have an unlimited shelf life. Some herbs will not give up their medicinal properties to a solvent less potent than alcohol.
Alcohol-based tinctures are safe for use by pregnant and breastfeeding women, as the amount of alcohol ingested per dose is the equivalent of eating a very ripe banana. They are not recommended for children, mostly because they will hate the taste! Vegetable glycerine tinctures, which are alcohol-free, have a 3-5 year shelf life, and are a bit less potent than alcohol-based tinctures (depending on the herb used – for some herbs the potency will be the same). They are a great choice for children or those who simply prefer a non-alcohol tincture. Apple cider vinegar tinctures have the shortest shelf life, and again, are not as potent as the alcohol-based tinctures. However, apple cider vinegar has some great health-promoting benefits of its own, giving these tinctures a double benefit. I like to put a little ACV in my morning mix. Herb Lore offers tinctures only in alcohol and vegetable glycerine bases.
Note: Two droppersfull of tincture equals one 8 oz. cup of tea. Placing your tincture in hot (boiling) water will dissipate the small amount of alcohol in your serving.
How long will each size of tincture bottle last?
There are different ways of taking a tincture which depends on the type of tincture being used as well as the reason for use. For example, for nutritive (also known as tonic) herbal tinctures, one would want to use these on a daily basis – typically two droppersful (or squeezes – it will NOT fill the entire glass tube) 2-3 times a day. These types of herbs are like multi-vitamins – they take time to accumulate and work. You wouldn’t expect overnight results by taking a multi-vitamin only once or twice – the same goes for a nutritive, tonic tinctured herb. At this rate, you can expect a 1oz tincture to last 1 week; a 2oz tincture to last 2 weeks; and a 4oz tincture to last a month.
For herbs that you take only once in a while, such as an herb for sleep or relaxation or to calm uterine cramps for example, your tinctures will last you a longer time, as you are not using them several times, each and every day. The length of time each size tincture will last depends on how frequently one uses it. As a ballpark figure, each ounce of tincture contains approximately 42 droppersful (i.e. 1oz = 42 droppersful, 2oz = 84 droppersful, and 4oz = 168 droppersful). A dropperfull only fills up the dropper maybe half way.
Personally, I make fresh ground coffee and put two droppersfull of Ceylon Cinnamon- nutritious and delicious! Sometimes I add a few drops of Cayenne! Before leaving for the day, I drink a shot of Morning Mix- Cayenne, Turmeric, Spanish Moss, Lemongrass in a shot glass with Apple Cider Vinegar and Lemon juice. That gets you going! The Cayenne opens up your circulation getting all the nutrients distributed throughout the body.
Store your tinctures and all of your herbs in a cool, dark cupboard. This includes your cooking spices, which most people keep above a hot stove. Keeping them in a heated area can cause your herbs and spices to become weak more quickly. You may carry and keep tinctures in a purse or briefcase. Be sure not to leave your tinctures in a hot area for long periods of time, such as in a car, as heat can negatively impact the quality of your herbal products.
Feel free to research any herbal remedy before using. I provide information on each tincture offered. The information is endless, so my list is not exhaustive. There is always more to learn, and KNOWLEDGE is POWER, when you use it!