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Why Do Tinctures of the Same Herb Vary So Much?

Herbal tinctures and elixirs may vary quite a bit from brand to brand, year to year and country to country. Why does this occur?

Herbs differ in levels of chemical compounds and life-force energy depending on several factors such as:

  • where they are grown

  • nutrients in the soil

  • level of soil contamination

  • weather conditions

  • when and how they are harvested

  • the conditions in which they are stored

  • and, most importantly, the intention with which the are collected, handled and processed

There are hundreds of chemical compounds in each plant. Depending on which compounds are desired, they may be extracted with any of the following individually or in combination:

  • cold water

  • hot water

  • glycerine

  • vinegar

  • alcohol/water combination

There are several ways to extract as well such as:

  • maceration - can take weeks or months with cut/sifted herbs which are in chunks or strips

  • cold percolation - can take a few days with powdered herbs

Tincturing is both an art and science. One needs to know what they want the end product to look like, then work backwards to create it.

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