Introduction to Tinctures
What is a tincture?
A tincture is a naturally derived herbal extract made by steeping herbs, mushrooms, or plant material, in a “solvent” (i.e., a substance that elicits a reaction, or dissolves something). This solvent is most typically alcohol, as it’s the best at extracting these otherwise hard to access active constituents, and also doubles as a wonderful natural preserver.
The mushrooms and herbs get steeped in specific percentages of alcohol for usually around 3-4 weeks to extract their medicinal properties. The physical plant matter is then drained to leave behind the alcohol-based extraction that has concentrated the bioactive components into a tincture.
Ceremony’s mushrooms are dual-extracted using alcohol and hot water to ensure maximum potency.
Note: To evaporate the alcohol, add the dose of tincture to a cup of just boiled water, and allow it to cool.
What does “dual-extraction” mean?
Dual extraction a two step process that is the most effective at extracting active ingredients out of medicinal mushrooms specifically, using alcohol (as described above) and a hot water decoction, and then combining the two to form a finished, concentrated formula that contains the active ingredients.
Mushrooms contain both fat-soluble and water-soluble active constituents, and therefore require this dual-extraction method to ensure both kinds of beneficial properties make it into the final product.
To note, herbs only require the alcohol extraction to ensure the effective ingredients are being drawn out.
Why a liquid tincture?
A few reasons! Efficacy, bioavailability, ease of use, and shelf life.
a.) Efficacy: Tinctures are highly concentrated formats- you’d have to consume a lot of fresh (or dried) mushrooms and herbs to try and recreate the effect of this condensed extract, which isn’t feasible (or probably physically possible) at one sitting.
b.) Bioavailability: Unfortunately so many modern day stressors negatively impact our digestive system and undermine our body’s ability to break things down (like hard capsules). Liquid tinctures are notoriously easy to digest and are the preferred format of most herbalists for this reason.
c.) Ease of use: If our product doesn’t fit seamlessly into your current routine, it’s unlikely you’ll consistently go out of your way to use it. As pretty as we think our bottles are, we won’t reach our goal of supporting people’s health if the format is impractical and doesn’t actually get used. The fact that the taste blends quietly into the background of our favourite beverages, and doesn’t require blending or change the consistency at all, means that this is easy to incorporate daily without having to suffer through ingesting it.
d.) Shelf life: Alcohol (which is used to extract the bioactive components of the herbs and mushrooms) also doubles as a wonderful natural preservative, so that we don’t need to add any artificial preservatives in order to keep our products fresh. Our microbial testing supports a 5 year shelf life of all our tinctures.