Tinctures are concentrated liquid extracts of the soluble constituents of roots, barks, seeds, or the aerial parts of plants, used to preserve their vital properties. Being aqueous (watery) in character, infusions and decoctions have a very limited life – not more than a day or two. Tinctures made from alcohol (usually ethyl alcohol) or glycerine and water ensure preservation for a number of years.
The properties of all parts of the plants are at their height when dried so that is why we prefer to use freeze-dried or sun-dried materials.
Tinctures are best taken either directly on the tongue or in a 1/4 glass of water or juice and sipped slowly before meals. Should you prefer to take tinctures without the alcohol, simply place the drops in hot water and the alcohol will evaporate, leaving the herbals still as effective.