Advantage of Extracts
A liquid extract, or “tincture” of an herb is a combination of alcohol and water, the major advantage being that the herb is captured when in its most potent medicinal state, either when fresh or freshly dried. The presence of alcohol preserves this potent state indefinitely.
When in liquid form, the active ingredients of the herbs are immediately absorbed into the bloodstream and assimilated by the body, promptly producing the desired results. Capsules do not have this advantage as they must be first broken down and then assimilated, while many people have challenged assimilative powers. Extracts retain the taste and smell of the original herb. This is important in terms of medicinal action (i.e. bitter taste stimulates digestive function).
How to Store Extracts
Do not refrigerate but do store in a cool, dry place. If kept this way, extracts can retain their medicinal potency for up to 6-7 years.
How and When to Take Extracts
Herbal extracts can be taken any time of day, with or away from food. Add the prescribed amount of extract to a little bit of water, juice, herbal tea or a smoothie. Bitter-tasting herbs taken for digestive and liver support are best taken around mealtime because the bitter flavor provides the added benefit of digestive stimulation.
Removing Alcohol from Extracts
One dropperful or 30 drops of an extract is equivalent to consuming 1/60th of an ounce of alcohol, a very miniscule amount. However, if you’d rather avoid the alcohol, add the extract to a cup of boiling water or an herbal tea, Letting it sit for 5-10 minutes uncovered will evaporate about 60% of the alcohol.
30 drops = 1 dropperful. Extracts are usually taken by the dropperful. Dropper tops are calibrated to hold approximately 30 drops each time the bulb on the top is squeezed once – this is considered one dropperful. There are approximately 1200 drops per fluid ounce. The average amount of herb in a #0 capsule is 400 mg, equivalent to approximately 30 drops of extract. The average amount in a #00 capsule is 500 mg, equal to approximately 40 drops of extract.
Herbal Extracts for Pets
Extracts are safe and effective for animal use. The best way to administer extracts is to mix it into their food. A rule of thumb is to use 10 drops of extract for every 10 pounds of body weight per dose. For example, an 80 pound dog would take 80 drops 3 times daily.