A tincture is a concentrated liquid herbal extract. It is made by soaking herbs and other plant parts in alcohol for weeks to extract the active constituents. Alcohol is considered an excellent solvent because it is food grade and can extract herbal constituents (such as resins and alkaloids) that are poorly soluble in water. After a period of weeks, the herbal mixture is strained and the herb parts are removed, leaving behind the concentrated liquid.
Tinctures can be made from a single plant or a combination of plants. Fresh or dried leaves, roots, bark, flowers, and berries may be used to make tinctures. The plant part depends on the species of plant or the medicinal uses for the plant.
Some people enjoy teas and enjoy the relaxing aspects of taking a time-out to drink a cup of tea. Others may not care for tea or do not have time to brew and drink a cup of tea. For these people, a tincture is perfect. You take the drops and you are done. Tinctures are also very convenient, as nothing needs to be brewed. You can easily carry a bottle of tincture in your purse and have it available to you at all times.
Alcohol-based tinctures have a virtually unlimited shelf life if stored in a cool, dark location. Refrigeration is not necessary.