This Centuries-Old Remedy is back.
Tinctures have been around since 1000 AD, people used it to alleviate many health problems, from regulating hormones to easing anxiety to improving digestion and so much more. Keep on reading to find out what are the benefits for this great old-remedy that’s back on track.
What are tinctures?
Tinctures are a concentration of herbal extracts made by soaking specific plants in alcohol for a few weeks. The alcohol works to pull out the active ingredients within the plant, creating a liquid (not very tasty, by the way).
“They are a great way to get medicinal compounds straight into your bloodstream through the mucus glands in your mouth, thus bypassing the digestive system where the liver often filters out ingestible medicines before it enters your bloodstream,” explains Sarah Polansky, founder of Prismatic Plants.
Tinctures have been used in Asian cultures for centuries and now they are starting to become a trend in the western world as more people are interested in herbal remedies and alternative medicine. “We definitely owe a nod to cannabis for opening up the floodgates to the utilization of tinctures for therapeutic purposes, as cannabis tinctures have become one of the most popular forms,” explains Kate Seiberlich, Founder of Uphoric Urth.
How do they work?
A tincture, herbal tea, and vitamin pill are different from each other, according to Triniti Gawthrop, founder of Ami Wellness. “A tincture offers the opportunity to use fresh ingredients, which could be very difficult with a tea,” she says. “Plus, water isn’t as effective of a menstruum (extracting liquid) as alcohol, so it offers a less complete extraction.” You would have to drink five to six cups of well-steeped tea to equal the same dose as a few drops of a tincture.
With vitamins, the thing is they are often a very processed version of the ingredients in a tincture, and after being ingested, they need to be digested and absorbed before they can start to actually work whereas tinctures are minimally processed, they quickly absorbed, easy on your digestion system, and depending on the formulation, can start to work within minutes.
Are they safe?
Herbal remedies, as any natural remedy, might work well for a lot of people, but there are some risks, too. First of all, tinctures might interact with other medications and, in some cases, it might cause severe problems like blood clots, liver damage, or increased effect of medication. You also need to take into account that some herbs might cause allergic reactions. Before you get into the tinctures world, check with your doctor!