|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.|
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).