Someone asked me yesterday why I like alcohol tinctures. I’m not sure I fully answered that question so here goes. It is a complicated response but the goal for me is to get the healing power of plants in you effectively and fast. Alcohol is able to get things out of the plant that are not water soluble like essential oils, alkaloids and resins. These are also medicines. Basically, we want as many healing properties we can get from nature and they are all perfectly residing in the plant. Remember everything works synergistically in that plant for a reason. Nature is smarter than any man-made product in my opinion. We still cannot even identify all of the biochemical compounds in an apple!
This is why tinctures are so effective because they extract more of the things that make the plant a healing agent. The quality of the alcohol also makes a difference which is why I use organic moonshine 🙂 It is a clean, pure and very effective edible way to extract the magic from plants. Most people learn that taking 20-40 drops at a shot has as much alcohol as eating a ripe banana or fermented food. The fact we can get it directly absorbed into the bloodstream where it can start to help fast without getting annihilated in the intestinal tract is a huge bonus. Then we have the bonus of an added shelf life. Now when you are using my stuff it is also very concentrated so you are using a very small number of drops anyway…more like 5-10 at max.
It’s clearly cost effective but remember the quality of the materials used and concentration of the herbs also makes a difference. When people buy stuff they never ask where they got the material or what kind of alcohol is being used. That is a mistake because if the plant was sprayed with pesticides or if it is genetically modified then guess what...you are now eating that and it is far from medicine. Small growers have a great advantage because they can control everything. There are also large growers that I respect like Gaia Herbs. We tend to use glycerites for kids not because of the alcohol as much but rather the strength of the tinctures. I use glycerites for younger children and animals. If people worry about the alcohol, I just use a glycerite (esp. for people with an alcohol problem).
Glycerites are wonderful but they are not normally as powerful and they don’t last as long. So, I hope I alleviated any fears you might have about an herbal tincture. This way of making herbal medicine has been around for centuries and has been effectively able to help people and animals.
I also never recommend people just taking herbs because they read them in a book or online. Yes, most herbs are great with no side effects but there are some that can have side effects. Many interact with prescription medicines and many can have the opposite effect that you are trying to achieve because you don’t know enough about the specific genus and species with respect to your health. For example, thyme can be a powerful herb for many common health issues but there are literally hundreds of varieties of this plant. Which one has the properties and energetics you need? Working with someone that has extensive training and experience with herbs is necessary to avoid wasting time, ensure it is cost effective, and to make sure it is safe.
It takes me a great deal of time to match the appropriate herbs with a person or animal. Then I have to figure out the appropriate concentrations and mix the formulation. This can be quite time consuming if the person has several underlying health issues.
Now some of you are reading this blog going…woman…give us the name of some herbs to check out…! So here are some herbs worth discussing with your health care provider (remember they are not appropriate for everyone). Herbs to check out: Hawthorne Berry, Motherwort, Cinnamon, Sida Acuta, Chinese Skullcap, Holy Basil, Ashwagandha, Isatis, Lomatia, Andrographis, Huacapurana Bark, Cats Claw, Artemisia & Clove. Note this does not even come close to a comprehensive list of my preferred herbs for Lyme or any other autoimmune issue but they are ones I would suggest researching with your practitioner to see if they are a good fit for you.
One of my favorite herbs is Holy Basil. There is something about this time of year and being surrounded by this herb as I make herbal medicine that just makes me feel full of energy. Aside from the fact it smells amazing, it is also an extremely powerful herb. It is commonly used for everything from bug bites to adrenal fatigue. I love it for nourishing the immune system and targeting viruses and bacteria like e.coli and enterococcus.
You will note I never just sell things to the public because I don’t know their health history and why they need them. I truly feel the best way to help people is to customize the herbal products and wellness protocols. We are not sheep and no two living beings are the same.
If you want to make a complimentary appointment please click here: www.pondbrookholistichealth.com/appointment
Monica Sava Bruenn PhD, FDN, CHN, Herbalist
Phone: (203) 482-6800