Herbal Extracts

A liquid solution of herbs and alcohol is known as Herbal Extract. Fresh or dried herbs are clubbed with alcohol, after which the solid matter is removed, leaving only the oils of herbs, mixed with alcohol. This entire process is known as “extraction” and such an extract that is derived is known as herbal extract.

Solid extracts that are commercially available have the herb and alcohol ratios printed in the label. However, when dried herbs are used for herbal extracts, the ratio is one part of dried plant and four parts of water and alcohol (liquid). In the case of fresh herbs, usually a ratio of 1:1 is followed. For instance dried herb strength of 1:4 actually indicates that the herbal extract was derived by using four parts of liquid (water and alcohol) and one part of the dried plant.

Herbal extracts are available as alternative medicine, dietary supplements, as flavouring agents and is also used for cooking purposes. Herbalists and practitioners of Alternative medicine also refer to herbal extract as tincture.

The main advantage of herbal extracts are their ability to preserve the active constituents and their long shelf life, which could be anywhere from one to three years. They can then be added to regular tea, water or juice and consumed directly, which is an easy way to add supplements into day to day life.