Herbal extract

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Tincture is a liquid solution of herbs and a fluid menstruum, usually ethanol. The dried or fresh herbs are combined with alcohol, then the solid matter is removed leaving only the oils of the herbs mixed with the alcohol. For example an extract made from peppermint and alcohol would be called "peppermint tincture."

Most commercially sold tincture extracts have a herb to alcohol ratio printed on the label. When dry herbs were used to make the extract the ratio is commonly 1 part dried plant to 4 parts liquid, (alcohol and water). When fresh herbs are used the most common ratio is 1:1. This does not indicate the amount of that herb in the bottle, rather the ratio used in making the extract. Example: Dry herb strength: 1:4 means that the mixture used to produce the extract was 1 part dried plant and 4 parts liquid, (alcohol and water). This is not the same as an ingredients list which is also present on most commercial extracts.

Herbal extracts are sold as dietary supplements and alternative medicine and commonly used for flavoring in baking and other cooking much like vanilla extract.

Other fluids used for tincturing include vinegar (referred to as an acetous tincture) and glycerin. These fluids are less effective in extracting a wide variety and quantity of plant compounds and have greatly lesser shelf life, but are desirable when alcohol needs to be avoided or in the few exceptions where the desired active ingredient of the plant is more dissoluble in acetic acid...
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