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Infused oil vs. tincture?

 
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I have always used herbs in cooking, but only recently became interested in the medicinal aspect.  I've made one oil infusion (dandelion) and turned that into a salve.

Yesterday I read the tale of a guy who used an echinecia tincture to treat a rattlesnake bite.  I know a tincture is alcohol based, but is otherwise constructed like an oil infusion.

Is there a reason for using either oil or alcohol?   Are they interchangeable?

Since joining this forum,  I am looking at the weeds in the yard with a new eye.
 
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Different chemicals will dissolve in different solvents, so something that will come out of the herb and dissolve into the alcohol may not come out and dissolve into the oil, Therefore while sometimes it may be interchangeable which base to use othertimes it may not give you the result you want and it could conceivably even give you a bad result if you extract something that isn't wanted at all.
 
Ellen Morrow
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Skandi Rogers wrote:Different chemicals will dissolve in different solvents, so something that will come out of the herb and dissolve into the alcohol may not come out and dissolve into the oil, Therefore while sometimes it may be interchangeable which base to use othertimes it may not give you the result you want and it could conceivably even give you a bad result if you extract something that isn't wanted at all.



That makes sense.   Now to learn which solvent extracts which quality...
 
Ellen Morrow
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Perhaps what I need to do is seek out a written reference that explains all the ways to get all the good out of a plant.

What are some good herbal books?  All of my old books have stuff like "good to repel witches".  I think I would rather treat a wound or heal an ailment.
 
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If I were to make an herbal product, I would decide how I want to use it to decide whether to use oil or alcohol. If I plan to use it to massage I would use an oil application.  If I wanted to take it by mouth I would use water or alcohol.

I use "Prescription for Herbal Healing" by Phyllis Balch.

This book was highly recommended.  It says "An Easy to use A to Z reference to hundreds of common disorders and their herbal remedies."

Pages 8 through 11 explain the different uses such as tablets, teas, infusions.

She explains the herbs, their uses, and application such as tincture, teas, or tablets.

Dandelion: she says tablets, teas, or tincture forms.

Echinacea: which species are needed for the specific condition. Then she goes into the application for conditions, etc.

Under Essential oils, it says "A volatile substance responsible for the odor or taste of the plant.

Of all the herbs I looked at I did not see any uses of oil.  

Starting on page 424, she talks about applications such as aromatherapy, massage, ointments.

Under ointments, she says use beeswax and vegetable oil like olive oil.  Keep the product in the refrigerator.

I hope this information has been helpful.
 
Ellen Morrow
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Anne, thank you so much!  That book sounds exactly like what I want.
 
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