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Dried herbs or Glycerites vs. Tinctures

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Some experts in the online health world, such as Dr. John Douillard of Ayurveda fame and Anthony WIlliam, the Medical Medium, are telling us to avoid tinctures, the herbal preparations using alcohol.  THey agree that alcohol extracts the medicine from plants well, and that it preserves the medicine well for a long time.  In their opinions, the presence of alcohol creates problems when the medicine gets into the cell.  The negative effect of the alcohol makes it not worth it for the medicine.

Douillard prefers dried plant parts, while Anthony William prefers glycerites.  In their opinion, drying or putting into glycerites doesn't damage the medicine when it gets to the cell, so they recommend these methods instead of tinctures.

What do you think of this issue?

I would also love it if Dr. Tilgner were to chime in.

John S
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Location: Roseburg, Oregon
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Hello John,

So what do they think of the fact that the body also makes alcohol each day as part of the daily processes. I forget the amount it makes although it is probably easy to look up online.

I am not convinced about the tinctures. I have used too many tinctures in the last 40 years with good results. Sometimes the results with tinctures has been better than with teas or other forms. There are some herbs I like better in tincture form and some I like better in tea form and some I like better in a salad or soup.  I dislike glycerites and never use them, although my  past company use to make them for customers as they were requested a lot. Be careful of glycerites on the market that are made from solid extracts as solid extracts are often damaged due to the processing. Also be careful of glycerites that are not preserved as they often grow bacteria. They get a particular smell to them that is  a tiny bit off-putting when this happens. You can use essential oils to help preserve them, but they just don't have a long shelf life. I find the glycerite also has to be a minimum 70% glycerin which makes them hard to press out, but they are better preserved that way.
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I would be interested in how the Drs in question deal with herbs that are highly resinous and don't really extract well in anything except alcohol. Maybe vinegar instead? I'm not fond of glycerites for the exact reasons stated by Dr. T. One too many has gone bad too quickly! Obviously a practitioner might need alternatives for someone who has an allergy to alcohol or who is in recovery.
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