You might not realize it, but there are several ways you can consume herbal extracts. You can make an informed decision about your health and the herbs you take once you understand these different forms of herbal extraction. So, on that note, to give you an overview of the various ways you can consume herbs and plants, here are the different types of herbal extracts you should know about.
Tinctures are a powerful extract of a herb usually in alcohol or glycerin. Alcohol is a long-lasting option typically lasting for several years. Glycerin tastes a lot better but has a much shorter shelf life of only 1-2 years. Tinctures are a great way to take a herb quickly and are very effective in absorbing the medicinal benefits of the herb. This is because the liquid is in direct contact with your digestive system once swallowed.
Tinctures are the preferred method of herbal extraction when the taste of the herb is an important part of the medicine. Bitter herbs are taken to improve digestion, as the tongue has certain receptors which, when coming into contact with bitter flavors, stimulates the vagus nerve and gets the digestive juices flowing!
This is essentially hot tea! Herbs that tend to be high in volatile oils (think lavender and chamomile) are best suited for this. A nice relaxing cup of herbal tea is an easy and effective way to consume these types of herbs for a calming and balanced effect.
This requires a bit more prep time but is still fairly easy. A cold infusion involves soaking herbs in cold water and drinking the leftover goodness. You can leave the herbs to soak for 4 hours up to overnight. This is best for extracting mucilage-rich herbs such as hibiscus. Mucilaginous herbs acquire their properties from the polysaccharides in the plant.
When left in water, these polysaccharides swell and produce a gel-like substance that coats and soothes any irritated tissues. The leftover water will be slimy and thick but full of benefits.
Yes, there’s a lot of infusions! This infusion involves leaving herbs overnight to extract the most mineral content. You will want to use hot water for this. The longer the water is in contact with the herbs, the more minerals it will extract. Opt for mineral-rich herbs for this overnight infusion, such as nettle leaf. This is a great way to receive your minerals throughout the day as you can easily sip on this mineral-rich water.
This is a form of herbal extracts that you are probably familiar with. Capsules are an easy way to consume herbal medicine and are probably the most accessible. They are a great option for those of you who don’t enjoy the weird taste of some herbs. Capsules are created by grinding dried herbs into a powder form. This fine powder can then easily assimilate into the body once the capsule has dissolved.
Capsules work a little slower than tinctures, but they are still pretty quick. They ensure that you receive the full power of the plant without any extra faff. The specialists at The Kratom Connection recommend keeping herbal extracts out of sunlight as this can weaken the bonds between their components, making them much less potent. Just ensure that you are consuming good quality products to get the most benefits. You can consider ordering fresh herbs online after reviewing trusted providers.
Essential oils are created through a distillation process which produces a highly concentrated herbal extraction. This process is also known as a decoction. It is best suited for hard plant material such as seeds or roots. The long simmer process helps soften and extract the plant properties.
The cover is kept on to prevent violation oils from escaping. Once the oil has been extracted, you are left with a liquid that has the same aroma and benefits as the herb or plant itself. Due to their strength, they are mostly used externally and are heavily used for aromatherapy. They are rarely consumed internally.
Flower essences are based on the idea that flowers have healing energy which is usually a fairly weak concentration. Flowers are left in spring water in the sun, which helps to extract the energy of the flowers. The water is then filtered and preserved with brandy. It is alleged that essences work with an individual at an energetic level.
These different types of extracts provide various ways in which you can consume herbal medicine. Different types of herbs help cure different ailments, so the best extract for you will depend on your health condition and goals. Be sure to only consume fresh, quality herbs to ensure you’re getting all the medicinal benefits.