There are many ways to ingest medicinal herbs into the body, including capsules, tablets, teas, powders, medicated enemas, nasal oils, topical massage oils, and herbal extracts (elixirs), tinctures, and syrups.
The word tincture is familiar to many but actually falls under a broader classification of herbal extracts. Herbal extracts are differentiated by the solvent used for extraction (alcohol or glycerides) and the methods used to produce the finished products. There are different processes for making these products, either quickly requiring more equipment or the old fashion way by macerating (marinating) herbs in the solvent.
One of the benefits of a tincture is that the herb and alcohol enter the bloodstream more quickly, but glycerides are good alternatives for children, animals, and adults with alcohol sensitivities. Personally, I do not ingest alcohol, and all the herbal extracts I make are made with glycerin.
Glycerin was first used by herbalists around 1846 because of its effectiveness in extracting constituents from plants. It is made from vegetable fats and is a clear, colorless, and odorless liquid with an incredibly sweet taste. It is used as an ingredient in toothpaste, shampoos, soaps, and herbal remedies. It has a shelf life of about 24 months.
Dosages: Most adults would use 1-2 droppers 1-3 x day directly under the tongue.