A tincture: what is it? Examining their usage and advantages

Herbal preparations in liquid form are called tinctures. Depending on the plant, several parts of the plant may be used, such as bark, roots, seeds, leaves, fruits, or merely flowers. Certain tinctures contain a blend of plant components.

Read More: topical tinctures

Tinctures’ health advantages have long been admired. In honor of the debut of our own line, this week’s blog examines the functions and advantages of each product.

In order to create tinctures, the necessary plant portion is soaked in alcohol, which draws out the nutrients that are active and forms a concentrated liquid. This enables your body to absorb them more easily. A certain weight of the whole plant component is added to the menstruum, the liquid portion of the tincture, during the tincturing process, and this mixture is then macerated (allowed to infuse) for a predetermined period of time. Following a process of straining and pressing, the combination is reduced to a liquid known as tincture and the plant portion, which is disposed of. Depending on the plant being utilized, tinctures are produced using varying proportions of water, alcohol, and plant material.

What advantages can herbal tinctures offer?

Tinctures are a very efficient method of supplying the body with beneficial phytonutrients in a highly concentrated form from plants. They may be used to target many health areas and are rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream. The widest range of chemical components’ advantages may be obtained from entire plant extracts used to make botanical tinctures. The process of creating a tincture organically maintains the advantageous active ingredients. For people who dislike swallowing pills or capsules, tinctures might be a simple substitute.

Let’s now take a deeper look at some of the most popular herbal tinctures on the market, their applications, and the research supporting their health benefits:

The applications and therapeutic advantages of elderberries

The European or Black elder tree produces elderberries (Sambucus nigra fructus), which are picked in late August or early September. Leave the creamy-white blooms on the tree in the spring, and they will develop into small, spherical, deep purple-black berries that dangle in bunches from umbels at the end of the branch over the summer1. It is a member of the family Honeysuckle.

The herb was traditionally used to improve urine flow, reduce fever, and have a drying effect on the body. It was employed as a flavoring and fabric dye in addition to being utilized to produce a wide variety of foods and beverages, such as wines and preserves2.

These days, elderberries are well recognized for their antiviral properties, advantages to the immune system and respiratory system, and impact on blood lipids1. Elderberries naturally contain vitamin C, but they’re also frequently paired with extra vitamin C. You can learn more about the advantages of vitamin C here.

Benefit of whole extract: elderberry chemistry

Elderberry is a full organic dried berry liquid hydroethanolic extract that contains several components related to its health-promoting properties. It is extracted using 45% ethanol as the solvent. It includes vitamin C, which offers further antiviral and antioxidant benefits, as well as monomeric anthocyanins, which have antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties3. Malic acid from it has antioxidant properties and helps lower arteriosclerosis1.

Summary of the Evidence

Elderberry has been the subject of extensive research worldwide, yielding a wide range of uses and outcomes. The antiviral, antioxidant, immune-modulating, and blood-lipid-lowering elements are frequently the subject of research, and the findings are generally encouraging.


There is a wealth of studies on elderberry’s antiviral properties, particularly in regard to the influenza virus. In a 2004 trial, sixty adult patients with influenza-like symptoms were examined for 48 hours as part of a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled investigation to determine the safety and effectiveness of oral elderberry in treating influenza types A and B. Following five days of four times a day administration of an elderberry extract, it was seen that the elderberry group had symptom alleviation four days faster than the placebo group, and that the elderberry group also used much less supplemental relief medication4.

There was talk during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic about a possible connection between elderberries and cytokine storm; however, more recent studies found that elderberry extract had no effect on pro-inflammatory cytokine expression5.

Symptoms of upper respiratory tract

Because elderberries contain anthocyanins, particularly cyanidin 3-glucoside and cyanidin 3-sambubioside, they can help strengthen the immune system. Elderberry can be quite helpful in helping the body heal from upper respiratory symptoms, such as cough, sore throat, nasal discharge, and others, which are frequent throughout the winter. According to a 2019 meta-analysis of randomised, controlled clinical studies, taking elderberry supplements as soon as upper respiratory symptoms begin significantly shortens the duration of symptoms overall when compared to the control groups6.

Blood lipid levels and cholesterol

Numerous studies have also been conducted on the potential benefits of using elderberries to prevent cardiovascular disease due to its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and cholesterol-lowering properties. This was corroborated by intriguing findings from a 2004 randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial that examined the use of a small amount of elderberry juice. This study looked at the effects of drinking elderberry juice for two weeks on the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides as well as antioxidant status in a sample of thirty-four participants. Six more individuals consumed a higher dosage of elderberry in addition to a high-fat meal. According to the study’s findings, there was a little difference in the cholesterol concentrations and antioxidant capacity in the experimental group7.

More current cell culture research on the cholesterol-lowering effects of elderberries was published in 2021. This study looked at gene expression related to intestinal cholesterol absorption and production. According to the study’s findings, elderberries are beneficial in preventing hypercholesterolemia8.

The effects of elderberries on cholesterol will be better understood with more research.


Although the dosage varies according on age, elderberry is thought to be safe for both adults and children. Kindly refer to the label for further details. It should be mentioned that this and other tinctures include alcohol.