Top Notch Tinctures

By on March 5, 2016

Tinctures are an incomparable means of accessing the healing power of herbs.

There are several different ways of taking herbal medicine—capsules, tablets, extracts, teas, and tinctures—to name just the most obvious. When all the pros and cons are tallied, tinctures stand right at the very top of the list as easily the most effective and elegant way of tapping into the remarkable therapeutic benefits that herbs bring to people whose health is in some way compromised.  

Liquids offer Best Absorption
A unique advantage of using liquid tinctures is that they require no digestion, since they are absorbed immediately as they enter the stomach. This makes them particularly valuable for people with compromised digestive function—an aspect that is especially relevant when it comes to herbs derived from bark, roots and other hard, woody material that is difficult for the body to digest and absorb.

Not only are they highly bioavailable, but tinctures allow for the optimal extraction of a plant’s medicinal components. By relying typically on a solution of alcohol and water, tinctures capture the full spectrum of a plant’s active ingredients in a way unrivalled by any other method of extraction. The great beauty of tinctures is that they retain a herb’s vital healing constituents as found at an optimal stage, as soon as possible after harvest, with very little loss of potency. Of all dosage forms, tinctures best reflect a plant’s integral chemical signature and have a relatively long shelf life.

The Power of  One Herb and the Crafting of Formulas 
Single herb tinctures are often effective in treating a given health condition. Take milk thistle, for example, which has been recognized for centuries as a first-rate liver restorative and protectant. 

Nonetheless, like all of life, disease and wellness can be complex affairs with many subtle factors and layers of significance. Take a condition like Lyme disease, for example. While it poses a bacterial challenge to the body, there are immunological and neurological aspects to it as well, not to mention the stresses it places on a person’s overall physical constitution. 

Enter formulas that combine the actions and benefits of two or more herbs to accomplish a healing purpose that takes into account the many dimensions of health in the human person. Formulas are really a perfect illustration of the timeless axiom that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Another word for this is synergy, and it’s not an easy end to achieve. This interaction of parts is elaborate and elusive in its mystery. A particular herb on its own may have only a fraction of the pharmacological action it displays when it’s part of a larger matrix that includes several herbs. Gaining a proper understanding of this uncanny facet of the botanical world is the endeavour of a lifetime.

In the end, the creation of herbal formulas is every bit as much an artful craft as it is a science, one that draws on the empirical wisdom of centuries as manifested in the world’s great healing traditions. It’s an area of expertise, moreover, that is a unique and unrivalled hallmark of our business. Our herbal formulas, which touch on all the main body systems, originate from the consummate skill and knowledge of our founding co-owners, Jeremy and Monique Rivett-Carnac, as well as our Director of Research, Dr. Terry Vanderheyden. The enduring effectiveness of these products is a testimonial to their mastery of medical herbalism in all its range and subtlety.  

Transcending the Ages
Rediscovery and innovation—these two concepts have been at the very cornerstone of the St. Francis approach to creating combination tinctures. Nowhere has this been more evident than in the case of Deep Immune®, our immune system formula. In many ways it’s our signature product and represents a unique marriage of Western herbalism with the traditional Chinese approach to plants as dynamic agents of healing.t

Mark Sebanc works as a researcher and writer at St. Francis Herb Farm. 

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