Tinctures are liquid extracts made from herbs that you take by mouth. They are usually extracted in alcohol, but they can also be extracted in vegetable glycerine or apple cider vinegar (non-alcohol). Tinctures are easy & convenient to use. Because they are taken directly under the tongue, thy enter the bloodstream very quickly and the action in the body is much quicker. Nutritive tinctures may take several weeks of continual use before best results are seen. For some herbs, such as roots, barks, berries and non-aromatic seeds, it takes a powerful liquid such as alcohol to extract the medicinal properties from the herb. Extracting with a less powerful liquid will only result in a less-effective product, really, a waste of your time and money. For those who prefer a non-alcohol product and there's not one available, you can put the drops of the tincture into a small amount of hot water (the amount is not important), and this will dissipate the alcohol content, leaving only the beneficial herb matter behind.
Tea vs. Tincture?
Teas and tinctures are made from the same combination of herbs. It's just a different way of taking them. Some people enjoy teas and the relaxing aspects of taking a time-out to drink a cup of tea. Tinctures are also very convenient, as nothing needs to be brewed. You simply take the drops of tincture and you're done. You can easily carry a bottle of tincture with you and it is available to you at all times. It comes down to personal preference. Two droppersful of tincture equals one 8 oz. cup of tea.
How much tincture is a dropperful?
Tinctures are usually taken by the dropperful (also known as a squeeze). A dropperful is the amount of liquid that fills the glass tube of the dropper when the bulb on the dropper top is squeezed and released. The liquid may fill the glass tube only a small portion of the way, but that is considered a "dropperful". A dropperful equals approximately 30 drops.
To take a tincture, it is best to take the drops directly under the tongue. The gets the herb directly into the bloodstream. If necessary, it is fine to dilute the tincture in a small amount of water or juice. It may be flavored with lemon or honey to disguise the taste. You may also put the tincture into a cup of water or hot water for an instant cup of herbal tea. Heat your water first, before adding the herbs. Heating the herbs in a microwave may kill or weaken their healthful benefits. Taking the tincture directly under the tongue and avoiding any liquids or foods for at least 15 minutes afterwards provides the best results.
Usually 20-60 drops 3x/day is the universal recommended dosage.