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What is a Tincture? 

An herbal tincture is an alcohol (or glycerine) extract of medicinal herbs. The most well-known example you may be familiar with is oil of oregano. 


Tinctures are made when an herb is soaked in ethyl alcohol (generally 90% high proof) for weeks to allow the medicinal constituents to be pulled or extracted from the plant material. You then remove the crude herb and you’re left with a potent, medicinal liquid. 


Wait – Isn’t Alcohol Harmful? 

The type of alcohol used makes it very safe for consumption and the amounts consumed (considering the low daily dosing) make it quite negligible. Actually, milk thistle, rosemary and schisandra are a common blend I use to help manage non-alcoholic liver disease. I wouldn’t do this if it was harmful to the liver!


However, since tinctures taste like an alcoholic shooter you’d get at the bar, those with past or current alcohol abuse should be mindful of this. 



I don’t make my own tinctures (or dried teas for that matter!) I use a local, Canadian company from Toronto: Perfect Herbs for sourcing my tinctures. Perfect Herbs make the tinctures on site but outsource their herbs from many different farms – both locally and all over the world. They have high standards for their suppliers – many are organic, sustainably grown, and wild harvested. 



Perfect Herbs send their tincture batches to a 3rd party lab to ensure quality and purity, prior to bottling.


How I formulate:

I order large volumes of select herbs from Perfect Herbs and pick and choose which combination of herbs and in what amount is best for each person. I really enjoy this and my dispensary is always growing. Say for example, I have 5 herbs that can be used to treat anxiety. Herbs have more than one ‘primary action’ and can have other actions for say, impact on sleep quality or effect on digestive function - allowing formulations to be individually customized.


If I don’t have an herb in stock, there’s about a 5-10 business day turn-around for me to order it in. 


Benefits of Tinctures:

  • You get the synergistic effect of multiple medicinal constituents from a plant- ie. they all work together (in a way we don’t fully understand) to benefit health. Compare this to herbal capsules or extracts that isolate a few constituents from a plant that are the most well studied. 


  • Optimal absorption – there are no binders, fillers, or capsules lining that can affect digestion and assimilation. 


  • Purity – herb and alcohol, that’s all there is. No stabilizers, binders, fillers, or preservatives. There’s also the quality assurance that this has been tested by a third party lab.


  • Individual Customization – Herbs are selected for YOU that best support your health needs and goals. 


  • Dosing flexibility – therapeutic doses can range from 0.5mL – 15mL per day, with 10mL being the average starting dose. Depending on response, we can easily increase or decrease the dose, unlike capsules or tablets that don’t offer the same flexibility. We can also play around with the ratios of herbs in a formula – increasing one, while decreasing another based on outcomes we’re after. 



  • Taste – Oil of Oregano or Goldenseal are probably the worst tasting tinctures out there so if you can get either of those down, all the others aren’t as bad in comparison. Most people need to chase their dose with some sips of water! That being said, some find their compliance is much better when they stick to capsules that they can just swallow!

Cost (+hst):

  • 50mL - $12.50

  • 100mL - $20

  • 100mL High potency - $24.50

  • 250mL - $44

  • 500mL- $78


Most common conditions I support with tinctures:

  1. Perimenopausal symptoms (hot flashes, mood changes, sleep disruption)

  2. Anxiety, stress or burn-out

  3. PMS, fertility or abnormal menstrual cycle management

  4. Insomnia or sleep issues

  5. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NASH) – usually represented with elevated liver enzymes, fatty liver based on ultrasound, and/or resistant abdominal fat loss

  6. Digestive upset – burping, bloating, gas, etc. 

  7. Immune support for kids – elderberry and echinacea glycerite anti-viral tincture

Herbal Tincture Formulation: Treatments
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