Alcohol in Herbalism and Apothecary Practices
For centuries, alcohol has been a cornerstone in the world of herbalists and apothecaries. Serving as a solvent, preservative, and extraction medium, it’s essential for creating tinctures, elixirs, and other herbal preparations.
Why is Alcohol Vital for Herbalists and Apothecaries?
Solvent Properties: Alcohol efficiently extracts and preserves the active compounds from plants. This ability makes it invaluable for creating potent tinctures and remedies.
Preservation: Alcohol acts as a natural preservative, extending the shelf-life of herbal products without the need for artificial additives.
Enhanced Bioavailability: Alcohol-based tinctures can improve the absorption of herbal compounds in the body, ensuring users get the full therapeutic benefit.
Is all alcohol safe to use for herbal tincture recipes?
Unfortunately, no. While a product labeled as "ethanol" will always be an alcohol, not all "alcohols" are food safe ethanol. Furthermore, ethanol comes in 2 primary forms: denatured and non-denatured. Only nondenatured ethanol is safe to use for herbalist tinctures and concentrations that will come in contact with humans, whether consumed directly or applied topically to the skin.
Even if you intend to remove the alcohol after the infusing step, choosing the right alcohol is important to ensure the recipe is safe to consume.
Choosing safe alcohol for herbal tincture recipes.
It is critical to read the labels and product description of the alcohol you are using for your tincture or extract recipes. "Ethyl Alcohol" is the only safe alcohol for tinctures or other preparations involving consumption or direct application to the skin/body. Ethyl alcohol is not a brand, it is the official scientific designation for the type of alcohol we think of used in the beverage alcohol industry. Ethyl alcohol is also available to non-beverage consumers, including customers seeking to make herbal tincture preparations.
Examples of "safe alcohol" for herbal tincture recipes?
Culinary Solvent from CulinarySolvent.com and Everclear 190 Proof from your local beverage-alcohol supplier are both examples of pure ethyl alcohol that can be used for tinctures, extracts, or herbal preparations involving alcohol.
Where to buy Alcohol for Herbalists
Buy pure food grade ethyl alcohol for tinctures, extracts, concentrates, or other herbal preparations direct from the distillery in Maine from CulinarySolvent.com. Use the links below to browse alcohol for herbalists by bottle size. Bulk jugs, 55 gallon drums and larger volumes are also available, contact us for best prices and delivery options.
Where can I buy USDA Certified Organic alcohol for herbalists?
You can buy USDA certified organic alcohol for herbalists direct from the distillery in Maine at CulinarySolvent.com. Blend organic botanicals with Culinary Solvent's organic food grade alcohol as your tincture base to create an organic product top-to-bottom. Licensed commercial processors may use our MOFGA.org certification as chain of custody proof for their own organic certification procedure.