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Ever heard of liquid herbal extracts? If you haven’t already, chances are you’re about to. They’ve got the wellness industry abuzz over their benefits, and we’re calling it now: They’re about to be huge.
So what exactly are liquid herbal extracts? And, why would you want to consider trying them? Well, today we’re taking a deep dive into all this and more.
Below, find your expert guide to liquid herbal extracts.
As you might guess from the name, liquid herbal extracts are essentially a fluid containing, well, herbal extracts. If you’re familiar with tinctures and you’re thinking they sound similar, they are. But there’s one major key difference: The potency of the formula.
“Most liquid herbal preparations are described in terms of their herb:menstruum ratio, with menstruum being the solvent. Unlike tinctures, liquid herbal extracts have a herb:menstruum ratio equal or larger than 1:1,” explains Wanderlust’s naturopath, Deanna Mascioli.
If your head starts spinning with science chat, we’ve got you. What this all means in a nutshell, is that liquid herbal extracts are more concentrated than tinctures.
Now, for the fun part! Like tinctures, liquid herbal extracts are made through a method of extraction using water and alcohol.
“Herbalists have used alcohol as a solvent in herbal extracts for many years, and it remains a popular extraction method today. The extraction involves minimal processing which allows the taste and aroma to come through. Often, liquid herbal extracts are complemented by natural oils to make the taste more palatable,” says Deanna.
The ratio of herbs to alcohol used is dependent on what concentration is desired. “At Wanderlust, most of our liquid herbal extracts are a 1:1 concentration. This means that 1kg of dried herbal material is used to produce 1 liter of herbal extract liquid or 1 g of herbal material per 1 mL of herbal extract liquid,” explains Deanna.
Liquid herbal extracts come in a huge variety of formulas that can be taken orally to treat a range of different issues. Just to name a couple – ashwagandha has been found to help stress by researchers while valerian was shown to significantly improve sleep quality.
One of the biggest drawcards of liquid herbal extracts is “they are rapidly absorbed,” says Deanna. In other words? You’ll reap the benefits of the formula you’re taking much faster. For example, if you’re taking a liquid herbal extract to promote better rest (like Wanderlust’s Valerian), you’ll find yourself drifting off to dreamland much sooner.
Liquid herbal extracts can be taken in a variety of ways. It all comes down to individual preference. If you’re new to liquid herbal extracts, Deanna suggests diluting them in juice or herbal tea. They can taste a little bitter at first while your taste buds adapt so watering liquid herbal extracts down with something else can make them more palatable.
If you’re a seasoned liquid herbal extract user, you can take it directly under the tongue. Or, try Deanna’s favorite method and “dilute the directed dose in 30mL of still or sparkling water before consuming immediately.”
If you are currently taking pharmaceutical medications, we recommend that you consult with your healthcare professional for further information on the suitability for you.