In phytotherapy the mother tincture (or hydroalcoholic extract ) represents one of the main natural herbal remedies that is obtained starting from raw materials, typically plants , and alcohol . However, in recent years, alternative formulations have also been developed that are having great success, such as hydroglycerine extraction which allows for alcohol-free mother tinctures.
Table of Contents
Mother tincture, what is it?
The mother tincture consists of a liquid preparation obtained from the cold maceration of fresh or dry plant material, in a solution based on distilled water and another solvent (usually alcohol). In this way part of the active ingredients are extracted from the phase watery and part of the alcoholic one .
T ale extraction technique, maceration in solvent, serves not to alter the active ingredients, but rather to preserve them for a long time , which therefore allows them to be used for a long time.
In fact, the hydroalcoholic solution represents the starting point of other herbal preparations, and it is precisely for this reason that it is called ” mother “.
Furthermore, it can be obtained by using any medicinal herb and in fact it is possible to obtain echinacea mother tincture , artichoke mother tincture , hawthorn mother tincture and dandelion mother tincture , just to list a few.
Particularly interesting is the mother tincture propolis , obtained from one resin produced by bees which boasts many benefits and which helps to counteract oral cavity disorders, such as herpes simplex , burns , inflammatory states of the tongue or gums , respiratory system disorders and colds .
Mother tinctures are often used as a base for homeopathic dilutions , when instead they are used as they are (generally dissolved in a little water) they are considered a phytotherapeutic product as the phytocomplex of the plant, or the set of its active ingredients, is not altered . .
However, it should be emphasized that the benefits that can be obtained change in relation to the type of plant that is used in the preparation and the type of plant material used.
Absorption by the body is rapid , if not immediate, as it is a liquid extraction. Very often mother tinctures of different plants are associated, since, acting in synergy, they are able to bring greater benefits. In fact, this hydroalcoholic solution is useful for solving or mitigating various problems.
What is Mother Tincture used for?
This interesting product is used in herbal medicine for the treatment of various ailments, as it ensures numerous benefits that depend on the plant used for its preparation.
As we know, each plant has its own peculiarities in terms of properties and consequently will respond to different needs.
Here, to promote digestion, we recommend the mother tincture based on lemon balm , fennel or rosemary ; to improve circulation, instead, we recommend the mother tincture with butcher ‘s broom or bilberry . Still, to solve problems of anxiety, stress and insomnia, the mother tincture with escolzia or passion flower would be preferred.
How to make the mother tincture?
To make the mother tincture it is necessary to start from fresh or dried plants, which in herbal medicine are called drugs , so as to maintain the beneficial properties contained.
In order to use the plants in the best possible way, they must meet 2 conditions :
- The plant is collected in its natural habitat , possibly uncontaminated
- The plant is also harvested during its balsamic time , that is to say when its production of active ingredients is greater.
Again, we are talking about the plant, but in reality it is about various and small parts of it, such as the roots , the stem , the leaves , the flowers , the fruits , the bark etc.
The vegetables must be macerated in a solution of water and alcohol . Usually, the average strength used for the hydroalcoholic solution is 50 degrees , but a lot depends on the type of drug used.
In fact, there are various extraction methods, but generally in the preparation of mother tinctures a dosage of 1:10 is used, i.e. 10 parts of hydroalcoholic solution for one part of drug.
Maceration must take place cold for at least 3 weeks , taking care to regularly shake the glass container placed in the dark. After the necessary time has elapsed, the product obtained must be filtered and the vegetable residues subjected to pressing. To preserve the mother tincture for a long time, it must be stored in dark glass containers and kept in a cool and light-free place.
How to take Mother Tincture?
The mother tincture is taken orally , by diluting the drops in half a glass of water. As a rule, the doses depend on the basic plant with which it is made.
However, in general, 20 to 120 drops per day are recommended, preferably between meals. The expected period of use, on the other hand, is about 2 months, but it can vary according to the intake for prevention or treatment .
The method of use is therefore very simple and also provides greater effectiveness , because the active ingredient can be absorbed immediately through the intake of the liquid, which is not possible with tablets , which are therefore absorbed in a longer time . .
We always recommend the opinion of your doctor or nutritionist for the duration of the intake.
What are the most sought after mother tinctures?
The most sought after mother tinctures in the herbalist scene are:
- Mother tincture of Ribes Nigrum
- Echinacea mother tincture
- Mother Tincture of Propolis
- Mother Tincture of Artichoke
Mother tinctures contraindications:
Mother tinctures, by themselves, do not present particular contraindications . If not those of the plant itself.
For this reason it is always better to ask for advice from a specialist in case of administration, with extreme caution especially for children.
Remember, however, that the mother tincture is not recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding women as well as for those suffering from liver diseases or for those who have problems with alcohol, unless you opt for an alcohol-free mother tincture .
Ultrasonic extraction: a new "greener" technique
For some years, thanks to the discovery of innovative extraction techniques , mother tinctures obtained with different methodologies have begun to be offered on the market.
This is the case of the non- alcoholic Mother Tincture , obtained most of the time thanks to an ultrasonic extractive process in a hydroglycerine solution .
The use of glycerin instead of alcohol makes the ™ more advantageous because:
- It has a reduced calorie intake
- It has a sweet and pleasant taste
- It is suitable for those who follow a vegan diet
- It is suitable for those who cannot take alcohol
- It is suitable for children and pregnant women (we always recommend the opinion of your nutritionist )
Furthermore, the ultrasonic extraction is defined more functional than the classic hydroalcoholic extraction because:
- It is an extraction technique which has been awarded the Bio accreditation since this extraction is a purely physical process in which no chemicals are used or added . In fact, natural solvents (oil, water and alcohol ) are used, regardless of the solubility of the active ingredients.
- Very satisfactory yields are obtained in terms of active ingredients since there is an almost total exhaustion of the vegetable .
- Significant reduction in production times since the ultrasounds breaking the cell walls decrease the transfer times of the active ingredients from the plant material to the solvent.
The extraction is carried out thanks to the creation of stretching forces that cause the disintegration and mechanical rupture of the cell walls, favoring the escape of the material from the cytoplasm.
Furthermore, the reduction of the particles significantly increases the solid / liquid contact surface and the mechanical action performed by the ultrasounds increases the diffusion of the solvent in the tissues and breaks the cell walls due to cavitation and stretching.
The use of ultrasound allows the total extraction of all the active ingredients contained in the plant (whether they are water-soluble, fat-soluble, essential oils, mineral salts, amino acids, trace elements or vitamins) without the use of heat , so as to preserve the integrity of the phytocomplex which is entirely transferred to the solvents.
Alcohol-free mother tincture
As anticipated in the previous paragraph, the mother tincture with glycerin (and therefore, without alcohol) is an innovative type of mother tinctures that, having been obtained with the ultrasonic process , can be used by a larger number of people and has no i limits and i problems with a product containing alcohol.
We at Vonderweid, thanks to our twenty years of experience in the field of food supplements and after a long process of research and development in our laboratories for the production of non- alcoholic mother tinctures , we have been able to obtain a product with the desired characteristics.
Our non-alcoholic mother tinctures are classified as Food Supplements and are regularly notified to the Ministry of Health .