What are Tinctures?
Tinctures are concentrated mixtures of liquid herbs. Botanical medicines, or herbs, can be used to treat a whole variety of medical concerns - from sleep, hormones, digestion, mood to allergies and many more. Herbs can either be taken by themselves or mixed with additional herbs to form blends that may work synergistically or have different actions that compliment each other.
Though there are some herbs with significant toxicity, tinctures are typically quite gentle, safe and without many side effects, which makes them an ideal remedy for someone who doesn’t feel comfortable taking medication, doesn’t tolerate medication well or for children.
Aside from tinctures, botanicals are prescribed in their full plant form as tea, are used in cooking (spices are for the most part all herbs) or as poultices. Tinctures are the strongest form of all of these options because the concentrated liquid is full of just the desired medicinal compounds leaving the rest of the plant behind.
How Are Tinctures Made?
Tinctures are typically made as single herb concoctions and then are mixed together in their final form to make multi-herb blends. To make a tincture, the desired herb is chopped into small pieces and placed into a solvent liquid. The most commonly used liquid is alcohol (of varying concentrations) or glycerin. The herbs sits in this solvent liquid for several weeks and the medicinal compounds are extracted. Once the process is finished, there will be solid matter that has not dissolved - that is the remainder of the herb that doesn’t necessarily have medicinal effects and it is discarded.
Different parts of a single herb can have different medicinal qualities. For example: in dandelion (Taraxacum officinalis) the root has liver supporting properties whereas the leaf has diuretic properties. A trained herbalist or botanist will know the desired actions and the important plant part to isolate.
Commonly, ingredients from herbal tinctures can be extracted from various parts of the plant:
· Dried leaves
· Fresh leaves
Tinctures that We Provide At BeWell
At BeWell Health Clinic, we have blended four different tinctures that address the most common issues we see in our patients:
1. Be Focused Tincture
Choose this if you are having difficulty staying on track or getting easily distracted Bacopa monnieri (Water Hyssop), Ginkgo biloba (Ginkgo), Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary), Eleuthrococcus senticosus (Siberian Ginseng), Capsicum annuum (Cayenne)
2. Be Zen Tincture
Choose this if you are feeling stressed, anxious or uneasy Valeriana officinalis (Valerian), Humulus lupulus (Hops), Scutellaria laterifolia (Skullcap), Passiflora incarnata (Passionflower)
3. Be Energized Tincture
Choose this if you are feeling tired or drained Eleutherococcus senticosus (Siberian Ginseng), Scishandra chinensis (Magnolia vine), Rhodiola rosea (Golden Root), Camellia sinensis (Green tea)
4. Be Immune Tincture
Choose this if you keep getting sick Withania somnifera (ashwaghanda), Astragalus membranaceous (Milk-vetch), Rhodiola rosea (Golden Root), Glycyrrhiza glabra (Licorice), Avena sativa (Oatstraw)
Benefits of Tinctures + Common Uses of Tinctures
Tinctures can be used for so many different reasons and provide a great alternative to medication or adjunct to medication. Below are a few common examples of when tinctures are used.
1. Combat Colds
Tinctures are especially useful when you feel the first signs of a cold or flu. Commonly used herbs are echinacea, elderberry or astragalus. If caught early enough, herbs can prevent the cold from getting as severe or can decrease the length.
2. Boost Immune System
If you get sick frequently or more frequently than people around you, tinctures can be used to boost your immune system while addressing common underlying causes of a depleted immune system - like stress. For this, adaptogens and immunomodulators are used. Common examples are ashwaghanda, astragalus and ginseng.
3. Help With Restlessness
For someone who experiences difficulty with sleep because of an overactive mind, tinctures can be a good option. Valerian, lemonbalm, passionflower or hops are all examples of herbs that calm the nervous system without the habit forming effects of medications.
5. Skin Concerns
For persistent skin issues, tinctures can provide a solution by targeting a different action. Usually, detoxification promoting or liver supporting herbs that have an affinity for the skin can be used. This is a complimentary treatment that would be safe to use alongside topical treatments that you may have been prescribed or have found helpful as part of your skin care routine.
6. Balance Hormones
If you experience heavy, painful or irregular periods you can use herbs to balance this. The four female reproductive hormones are responsible for harmoniously synchronizing and producing a healthy menstrual cycle and an imbalance in any one of these hormones (which can be caused by multiple different factors) can result in uncomfortable symptoms. Herbs provide a non-medical means of balancing them.
Are you interested in getting a complimentary tincture shot? Call us at 647-715-3900 or book online here.