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Herbal Tinctures (Herbal Extracts)

Handmade Herbal Tinctures
This photo shows the visual difference between tinctures made from fresh and dried herbs. The mason jar contains a tincture that I made using dried lavender buds. The large vial on the left contains tincture that I made using fresh lavender. The small vial on the right contains a tincture that I made using dried chamomile.  
Each year, I grow a variety of herbs for culinary, aromatherapy and skin care use. Now that April is here, I'm gearing up for the warmer weather and once again having lots of fresh herbs on hand.

I enjoy using room mists, linen sprays and body sprays. They're inexpensive and a great way to easily enjoy aromatherapy and natural plant based aromatics on a daily basis. See AromaWeb's Recipe Box area for recipe ideas. I sometimes use homemade liquid herbal tinctures in place of some of the alcohol or water that a recipe calls for to naturally fragrance my sprays and mists. Properly stored herbal tinctures last indefinitely and are a wonderful way to enjoy the aromatic and therapeutic benefits of the herbs I grow year round. Dried herbs can also be used and usually result in an even more concentrated extract.

I use herbal tinctures primarily for topical/room fragrancing applications. Google herbal tinctures or herbal extracts for details on other ways that you can use them.


What is the Difference Between a Tincture and an Extract?

The terms are often used interchangeably. An herbal extract generally refers to both powdered and liquid herbal concentrates. A tincture is a liquid herbal extract made with alcohol as the solvent. Glycerin can be used as the solvent in place of alcohol. Glycerin based tinctures, however, do not last indefinitely and are not as convenient for use in personal care applications. Glycerin based tinctures, are best suited for use in personal care applications that normally work well with glycerin as an ingredient (i.e. salt/sugar scrubs and mouth rinses).

Click here to read the rest of this article and to view the Herbal Tincture Recipe on AromaWeb....

Comments

Marlene Affeld

Thanks for the informative information on tinctures. I grow a lot of variety of mint and love to use it in sachets and bath products.

Wendy Robbins

Hi Marlene, I'm glad that you enjoyed the tincture post. I'm a huge fan of mint as well! You might enjoy my post "Growing and Enjoying Peppermint, Spearmint and Other Mint Plants:"

http://www.aromatalk.com/aromatalk/2009/06/growing-and-enjoying-peppermint-spearmint-and-other-mint-plants.html

Thanks for your comment!

-Wendy

janell

HI Wendy,
Great article on tinctures. I'm a big fan of anything herbal. I'm a N.D. and I love having my clients use anything natural. There's so many bad products that can lead to health issues. My favorite is Lavender or Eucalyptus mist sprayed on plain dryer sheets for that fresh feel. I look forward to following your blogs and more on Pinterest. Janell

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