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Tinctures, Glycerites and Elixirs

Tinctures, Glycerites and Elixirs are concentrated liquid herbal extracts. These extracts are prepared by adding plant material to a mason jar with a solvent, and leaving it in a dark place, such as a cupboard, to infuse for four to six weeks. It is then strained, and the liquid is re-bottled. They're a convenient way of taking your herbs when you need to take them throughout the day, such as for acute or chronic conditions. The one-ounce bottles are small so they're portable, which makes them deal for traveling. I just slip them in my purse.

Tinctures are a type of extract made with spring water and alcohol. You can take the drops directly in your mouth; or if you don't like the taste of the extract, you can place the drops in water, tea or juice. To remove some of the alcohol from a tincture, place the drops in boiling water, or hot tea, for one to two minutes. It will remove about 50% of the alcohol.

Non-alcoholic tinctures are called Glycerites, because they're made with vegetable glycerin and water. Glycerites are a good alternative to alcohol tinctures for those who choose not to use alcohol-based tinctures, as well as for children. We give my Lavender Glycerite to one of our dogs, who has anxiety. He will lick it right out of my palm. You can take the drops directly in your mouth or in water, tea or juice. Glycerin is sweet, so Glycerites taste better than alcohol-based tinctures.

Elixirs are an herbal extract that are sweetened with honey. They have a long history in herbal tradition – it was how people took their medicine back in the day. The herb is infused in honey and alcohol for at least a month, then strained and bottled. Elixirs can be taken alone, drizzled over fruit or other food, or added to a cup of tea. If you don’t like the taste of tinctures, then you may find elixirs to be more palatable.

Check out my herbal extracts, at

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