How much alcohol is in a tincture?
I have had this question from several people. Some folks have an aversion to alcohol-based products. Whether it is a preference, genetic or an ailment, they prefer to stay away from alcohol.
When I make tinctures, as an average, my ratio is 1:1 so it’s about 50/50% alcohol to water in the tincture. Sometimes it is 25/75%, alcohol/water or water/alcohol, depending if the herb I use is wood-based, generally roots, bark or usually the lower part of the plant and is dissolved by alcohol. Or, water-based parts of the plant; usually the leaves, stems, flowers, otherwise called the aerials of the plant. I have access to a chart, which assists with determining the best (most effective) ratio for the most common herbs. When in doubt, I use a 50/50 ratio.
One ounce of tincture is about 30 ml and one ounce of tincture lasts about 6 weeks for one dropper per day, every day. One dropper of tincture is approximately .712 ml total (30/42). Since my tincture blend is 50/50, you would get about .357 of an ml of alcohol per dose. This is just slightly over 1/3 of a CC (cubic centimeter) per dropper of tincture.
That can be easily evaporated within seconds of adding tincture to your hot water. For example:
Set a kettle as if you were making tea, allow the water to get hot (near boiling), pour yourself a cup of the hot water and add the tincture to the cup of water, then drink that when it’s cool enough for you to drink. The boiling point of alcohol is 79 degrees C and the boiling point of water is 100 degrees C. So, even if you pour the directly from the kettle into a cup, there are several degrees it has to cool before alcohol would evaporate.
I have looked into alternative methods of tincturing. Each of them reduced the shelf life of each of them from years to months. Since it could be months between shows and I don’t move product that fast (yet), I really can’t afford that chance of spoilage. Alcohol acts as a preservative that will keep tincture “good” for years and almost indefinitely. The tincture I made back in 2009 is still as good (if not better) as if I made it today!
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