My journey in herbal medicine began in 2009. My first herbal course "Alternatives to Antibiotics" with Robin Rose Bennet, was life changing. The idea that I would not need antibiotics to heal my chronic sinus infections vibrated through my body. My core told me, this is, in fact true. Since this course, over seven years ago, I have not needed antibiotics. The one time I did attempt to take them, being desperate for a remedy, it didn't work and I returned to what my body loves; herbs to heal.
So what is a tincture?
Most store-bought tinctures are concentrated, liquid extracts made from herbs, water & alcohol. They are called "hydroethanolic extracts" that is, a combination of water and alcohol. So the quantity of alcohol you receive is minimal when you dilute it in water and take your "medicine."
An at home herbalist may make a Fresh Plant Maceration. This fresh herb soaks in 50% alcohol for 2-6 weeks and then extracted for use. This would be a more potent blend.
Tinctures are used, like medicine. You take it 2-3x day in a 1/4 cup of water for 7-10days with infections. As there is no chemicals or fillers, your body recognizes it, digests it and a cascade of healing begins.
5 Reasons to use tinctures
- They are quick acting and a convenient way to take herbs. They are stored in a dark bottle; usually sold in 1 or 2 ounces and you can take them with you to work or school to always have on hand. You add your dosage to water and sip! Quick and efficient!
- Tinctures have a long shelf life, frequently lasting many years. The alcohol content preserves the tincture from bacteria and fermentation, even when left at room temperature. They may never really go "bad". (Please store them in a cool dark place and keep out of reach of children.)
- They reduce antibiotics us. See this chart from the CDC "Antibiotics aren't always the answer." Most viral infections do not respond to antibiotic use. Some doctors will not prescribe antibiotics based on this, but what is a parent to do? See my Natural Remedies course coming up to find the answer!
- They reduce Antibiotic Resistance. By reducing the use of antibiotics, with natural remedies, we can use the antibiotics for when we really need them. By using tinctures, you can help your child or yourself with ear infections, croup, the common cold, the flu, sinus infections and more! Read more about Antibiotic Resistance here.
They heal your gut! That's right. Some tinctures are bitter, promoting digestive secretions and speeding up digestion. You will experience less stomach discomfort AND overtime you will not be decreasing your good gut bacteria, leading to a host of other problems.
What is the dose?
Dosage depends on the weight and age of the person being treated. An adult dose is 60 drops. To treat an acute condition you can take a tincture 1-3x day.
- Age -- Dosage
- Younger than 3 months -- 2 drops
- 3 to 6 months — 3 drops
- 6 to 9 months -- 4 drops
- 9 to 12 months -- 5 drops
- 12 to 18 months -- 7 drops
- 18 to 24 months -- 8 drops
- 2 to 3 years -- 10 drops
- 3 to 4 years -- 12 drops
- 4 to 6 years -- 15 drops
- 6 to 9 years -- 24 drops
- 9 to 12 years -- 30 drops
- 12 and older —30-60 drops
What tinctures does Tara use?
Tara purchases tincture's from Herbalist & Alchemist, Herb Pharm and Mountain Rose herbs. These tinctures are the highest quality, organically grown and ethically wildcrafted. She combines the tinctures into a personalized recipe for what you specifically need, following Dr. Aviva Romm’s recipes and from over 7 years of experience as a herbalist and mother of twins.
What can tinctures help with?
- Insomnia, anxiety & depression
- Digestion; constipation
- PMS & Menopausal symptoms
- Common Cold & Flu, ear infection, sinus infection etc.
- Children’s Health: teething, irritability, tummy discomfort etc.
How do I take it?
To take a tincture, you would drop the suggested amount in a 1/4 cup of water and drink. In emergencies, you may place the tincture directly on your tongue.
Can children use tinctures?
Tinctures are part water, part alcohol. Giving your child 7ml, they will receive 50% water and 50% alcohol . When added to water and juice they receive even less.
Tips for giving to children
- Babies can receive the tincture through the mother’s milk or in a bottle.
- Toddlers love taking tinctures with a fun straw or a syringe.
- For pregnancy and children, you can pour boiling water over the tincture to dissipate the alcohol. Let cool completely and add juice for children to disguise the taste if needed.
How often should I take it?
Tinctures are taken based on the urgency of your symptoms. For sinus infections, you may have to take it 3x day for 3 days. For stomach complaints, you can take before or after eating.
Tara offers Health Consultations in her studio in Cold Spring, NY.