Removing Alcohol from Tincture
Answered by: Kerry Hackett
Question from: Gaye Jones
Posted on: February 21, 2008

You mentioned in a previous reply regarding milk thistle that the alcohol should be removed before ingesting. How does one remove the alcohol from a tincture? My dachshund has liver issues and I’m considering using milk thistle in a 50% (every 20 drops has 190 mg. of herb).

One can never completely remove all the alcohol from a tincture so in this case, it might be best for your dog to use Milk Thistle (Carduus marianus) as either a glycerine-based tincture or ground seed. The glycerine tincture may be given at one to two ml per 10 kg of animal and the ground dried seed at 50-100 mg per kg of animal. In both cases it would be best to split these daily amounts in to three even doses. One note: if you use the seed, grind it just before you add it to your dog’s food so that the contents of the seed stay fresh as long as possible.

When I mentioned removing the alcohol, I was referring to the old process of placing a recommended dose in a cup, adding one to two tablespoon boiling water and letting the mixture sit uncovered until the water has cooled to lukewarm. This theory relies on the concept that alcohol, as a volatile substance will be carried away from the liquid with the evaporating steam/water. As mentioned above however, this will only remove a portion and not all alcohol so when in doubt, use the dried herb or glycerine-based tinctures.

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