Ever wonder which is the best way to take herbs – capsules, tea or liquid extracts? While capsules are convenient and herbal teas are easy to make, liquid herbal extracts offer some benefits no other method of ingesting herbs can.
This is because when you ingest a liquid herbal extract, it is quickly and easily absorbed, digested, and utilized by the body. The minute the liquid extract touches your tongue, it is instantly absorbed into the blood stream; the body goes to work right away to utilize the action of the herbs. Because they are extracted in alcohol, the herbs are absorbed into the bloodstream quickly.
Benefits of Using Liquid Herbal Extracts:
- They allow for optimal absorption
- They bring about changes in the body much quicker than other methods of taking herbs
- They have a long-shelf life
- They allow you to get to know the taste of the plants
- They are more concentrated
- Many different herbs can be combined to make a customized formula
- They can easily be taken in water, juice, or tea
- They are convenient and easy to take
Why Alcohol Extraction?
With most plants, alcohol is a better solvent than water for extraction of the constituents of the plant. Constituents are parts of the plant that have an action on the body. Alcohol preserves the constituents for many years and allows for easy absorption of the liquid extract by the body. The alcohol protects the extract from bacteria and fermentation and does not require refrigeration. Because alcohol extraction is superior to water extraction, it also makes the herbal medicine stronger than other methods of taking herbs such as capsules, decoctions, or infusions. Alcohol extracts also bring out the aroma and flavors of the herbs, allowing the user to get to know the herbs they are taking. The taste and aroma of an herb have their own therapeutic benefits. For example, bitter herbs stimulate digestion. The flowery aroma of other herbs may promote a sense of wellbeing.
How to Take Liquid Herbal Extracts
The preferred method is to add the suggested number of drops to a little bit of water. 6-8 ounces of water, juice or tea will be sufficient. For those who don’t mind the strong taste, or the sting of the alcohol of a liquid herbal extract, they can be taken straight from the dropper. Be sure that you shake the extract well before each use.
If you are sensitive to alcohol you can put the drops in a small glass and pour boiling water over it. Most of the alcohol will evaporate. You can then add a bit of agave syrup or honey to enhance the flavor.
If the water becomes a cloudy white, do not worry; this is very common with bark and resin extracts.
How to Store Liquid Herbal Extracts
Most liquid herbal extracts have a long shelf-life of up to 2 years on average. To ensure your liquid herbal extracts maintain their quality, be sure to store them in a cool, dark place. A dry cupboard, away from the stove, microwave or refrigerator is best. Never touch the dropper to your body, especially the tongue, as this may contaminate the blend with bacteria. Make sure the cap is screwed on tightly after each use.
If you have never tried a liquid herbal extract, try one today and feel the difference.