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Your herbal tinctures contain alcohol. Why is that?

The alcohol in our tinctures is crucial for extracting the active ingredients of a herb, as well as stabilizing and preserving them. Alcohol acts as a carrier substance conveying active ingredients within the body. Beyond that, besides limiting microbial activity, it has been suggested that small amounts of alcohol enhance immune function. Most of our finished tinctures contain between 30 and 50 percent alcohol, depending on the plant and which part is being used. Typically, resin-containing materials (eg propolis, myrrh) require more alcohol for the process of extraction—up to 95 percent in some instances. To give you a concrete example of the amount of alcohol we’re dealing with, the suggested dosage of our Ashwagandha Tincture calls for 2.66 ml three times daily, rendering a daily total of about 8 ml of tincture. Since the tincture consists of 45% alcohol, this gives a daily alcohol intake of 3.6 ml. A typical shot of liquor amounts to 44.4 ml of total liquid. If, as is standard, the beverage is 40% alcohol, this amounts to 17.76 ml of alcohol in one drink. Hence, it would take almost five days of ingesting the maximum daily dose of ashwagandha to achieve the equivalent of one alcoholic drink. To give you a further basis of comparison and context, researchers at Indiana University found that a standard glass of orange juice contained between 0.2 and 0.5% alcohol. Thus, at 0.5% alcohol, an average 10 ounce glass of orange juice has 1.5 ml of alcohol. In other words, a full daily dose of Ashwagandha Tincture has as much alcohol, roughly, as two and a half glasses of orange juice. However, if you want to almost completely remove the alcohol in a tincture, just add the drops to a cupful of water that has been brought to a boil for 10 minutes or so. Because alcohol evaporates very easily, almost all of the alcohol will be removed by this method with minimal degradation of the medicinal properties of the tinctured herbs. The resulting mixture can be taken as soon as it cools.

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