What’s A Tincture?

These herbal concentrates pack a potent punch. Use tinctures for optimal wellness and to reconnect with The Order of the Universe. 

Harvested from the earth, plant medicine is one of Nature’s greatest bounties. Just a few drops of an herbal tincture can have expansive effects on your mood, health, mental state, energy, and overall wellness. Here’s what you need to know. A tincture is a concentrated herbal extract made by soaking parts of the plant in alcohol. Recently, studies published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have reported on the health benefits of plants and tinctures. Our ancestors across cultures have relied on plant medicine to heal and restore balance for millennia. In short, they can work wonders. 

To make a tincture, an herbalist calculates the concentration of alcohol that works best for the plant being tinctured. The solution then steeps for several weeks until ready. The alcohol consumed from 1 milliliter of tincture is less than that of eating a ripe banana or a drinking bottle of kombucha. Still, if the idea of consuming alcohol in your plant medicine is off-putting, you can easily evaporate the alcohol by dropping your dose in a shot of boiling water. Wait until the water stops steaming and enjoy.  This is advised for people with an addiction or sensitivity to alcohol, people with special diets, or people who avoid alcohol for religious purposes. 

Benefits of Taking a Tincture

A few drops of a tincture (1-3 drops), called a micro-dose, can have a powerful effect on your mental, emotional, and energetic health. People may turn to tinctures as an alternative or supplement to pharmaceutical medicine. It’s important to understand, however, that even though tinctures can be fast acting, they’re not a quick fix, but rather meant to be incorporated into your holistic wellness routine. 

In the modern world, we have manmade systems that produce food, light, temperature, and general environments to keep us moving at a pace that isn’t true to our biology. As such, when we disconnect from Nature, our bodies and our psyches let us know there is something off balance. Using herbal remedies  is one way we can begin to reconnect with Nature, time, and ourselves. Sometimes, letting go of preconceived personal or societal notions and pressures is enough to shift the dynamic back to one of better balance. And yes, of course, sometimes, there is a more significant chemical or hormonal imbalance that needs to be addressed. We are so lucky to live in a time when we have chemistry in the form of a pill to do that when needed. Another course of action is to support the body, mind, and spirit to find its own way back. Herbal tinctures provide that very support.

How to Use a Tincture

To fully reap the benefits of an herbal tincture, it’s best to drop a dose under your tongue and hold it there for 20 to 30 seconds. This allows for quick and effective absorption through the capillaries. You lose a lot of potency if it passes through your gut. 

Herbal tinctures are highly concentrated, and because of this, can carry a strong taste. If the taste doesn’t suit your palate, dilute in water, juice, tea, or take with honey. You can also use herbal tinctures in craft cocktails if that’s your pleasure. For the sober-curious who want to enjoy an herbal mocktail, add a tincture to a sparkling beverage.  

Side Effects of Taking Tinctures

People who are pregnant or breastfeeding and people with underlying medical conditions should consult a physician before taking a tincture. You also want to check with your doctor if you’re taking prescription medication, as concentrated herbals might interfere. Remember, plant medicine is potent and can have counter-interactions with other substances. Note that in East Asian herbal medicine, herbs are almost always used in synergistic combination with other herbs, which is why it’s important to seek the knowledge of a licensed, skilled, and experienced herbalist.

 Be wise about consumption, and always stop immediately if you’re feeling unwell.