Difference between Fluid Extract and Tincture
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Melinda
Posted on: December 19, 2004

Hopefully this doesn’t sound like too silly of a question, but what is the difference between a fluid extract and a tincture? I make tinctures at home with dried herbs, however Richters sells fluid extracts which I was considering trying. I just don’t know how they differ from tinctures or if they could be used interchangeably. Or if they can’t, what would I use them for?

Any good sources you could suggest for learning more about them (plus I’m always looking for good sources dealing with medicinal herbs in general) would be great too!

A fluid extract (sometimes called liquid extract) is a more concentrated form of herbal medicine than a tincture. A fluid extract is made by combining one part herb with one part fluid, for example, 250 grams of herb to 250 ml. of alcohol. The ratio of fluid to herb for tinctures varies from 3:1 (i.e. 3 parts fluid to one part herb) to 8:1, depending on the herb. There is usually sediment in fluid extract bottles. The bottle must be shaken well to combine it with the liquid. The dosage of fluid extracts is much smaller, usually given in drops. The dosage of tinctures is usually given in milliliters. The disadvantage of fluid extracts is that they lose more of the plant’s essential oils, due to the method of preparation.

We have listed several good sources for learning about herbs on our web site at www.richters.com. Choose "Q&A" from the main menu, then enter "source" for the search. You will find resources in the answers to questions "Source of Introductory Information on Medicinal Herbs" and "Resources for Medicinal Actions of Herbs".

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