FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
About Our Tinctures
Are your tinctures made with organically grown plants?
Yes. Beneficial Botanicals tinctures are made from fresh plants collected in a pristine growing region of the United States, wild crafted from a remote area that is never sprayed with pesticides nor subject to runoff water pollution. Some plants should only be harvested from an area above a certain elevation because they are especially sensitive to air pollution. Usnea lapponica is an example of this as it is especially sensitive to sulfur dioxide, a by-product from combustion of petroleum and coal. The Usnea harvested for our tincture is from an altitude of 5,000 feet that is isolated from sulfur dioxide pollution.
What is the liquid used in your tinctures?
Our herbal plant tinctures, under the gold label Beneficial Botanicals, are made with food grade alcohol (ethanol and water) as the menstruum for tincturing. The alcohol is distilled with a combination of American grown corn and wheat, made with a triple fermentation process and filtered through four stages. The use of alcohol produces the highest quality tincture, ensuring that the constituents will be preserved in a stable, soluble form. This method of tincturing retains the aqueous properties the plant has to offer, while dissolving and extracting all the resins, alkaloids, volatile oils, and other compounds. The mushroom tinctures that include Chaga, Reishi, and Maitake are made with organic corn alcohol in the double extraction process.
Is the alcohol used in your tinctures gluten-free?
Yes! The alcohol used in our tinctures is distilled. The distillation process separates gluten and other proteins from the remaining compounds. The gluten is removed because it does not vaporize and is not present in the final distilled product. In August 2020, the FDA ruled that distilled spirits made from gluten-containing grains such as rye, barley and wheat may be accurately labeled as gluten-free.
Are minerals lost in an alcohol extraction?
No, the minerals are not lost and will be extracted in a menstruum of food grade alcohol. To extract all constituents of a plant, alcohol and water must be present in the menstruum. Food grade alcohol, such as vodka contains 60% water and 40% alcohol.
What is a “menstruum”?
A substance dissolved in another substance is known as a “solvent” or “menstruum”.
What is the difference between a tincture and a liquid extract?
Tinctures are concentrated herbal extracts that have alcohol as the solvent (menstruum). A menstruum that includes vinegar or glycerin in the preparation is technically an extract – not a tincture. The term “extract” is used loosely in some cases because the general public may not be familiar with the term “tincture” since the plant’s chemical compounds are, indeed, “extracted” and leached into the solvent.
How much alcohol am I taking in a tincture dosage?
When consuming plant extracts with a small amount of warm water, the amount of alcohol is very low. Many of our tinctures are as low as 25% alcohol by volume (ABV). Comparably, 40 drops of tincture containing 25% ABV in 2 ounces of warm water will be equivalent to consuming less than 1/200 of a glass of wine.
Why are Beneficial Botanical tinctures made with alcohol instead of glycerin?
Glycerin does not render the highest potency product and has a much shorter shelf life. Alcohol makes a highly potent and concentrated extraction from which the medicinal properties of the plants can be rendered as the constituents are leached into the menstruum. Many plants have resin compounds that cannot be fully dissolved and extracted with glycerin.
Can I evaporate the alcohol out of a tincture?
Some alcohol may evaporate by leaving the lid off for several hours or days at room temperature. Some sources say 1% of the alcohol might evaporate in 2 hours. With herbaceous plants (as opposed to fungi), heat destroys many of the medicinal properties. DO NOT BOIL tinctures to try to achieve this as it will compromise many of the chemical compounds present in an herbal tincture, rendering it far less potent in medicinal value.
Do you use fresh plants or dried plants for your tinctures?
Beneficial Botanicals products are made from fresh plants, harvesting at peak season, and tinctured without delay. This offers extractions that have very close synergistic ratios to the harvested plant and a quality that cannot be achieved with the processing of dried plants. Fresh plants contain many properties that can be lost or altered when tinctures are made after plants have been dried. (See Q&A above about the liquid used in tinctures.)
How long is your tincturing process?
Tincturing is a 6-8 week process following fresh harvest and then double filtered to offer a higher clarity and consistency in the final product.
Do you use heat in processing?
Hot water is only used for the double extraction tinctures that include mushrooms like Chaga, Reishi, Turkey Tail and Maitake where the chitin must be broken down for digestibility of active compounds. Generally with herbaceous plants (as compared to fungi), high heat destroys some of the medicinal properties so most of our tinctures are processed at room temperature where the solution retains the volatile (carbon based chemicals that evaporate easily in higher temperatures) and semi-volatile organic compounds that are otherwise lost in high heat treatment.
When buying Mushroom Products, which is better –mycelium or fruiting bodies?
According to Christopher Hobbs in his book “Medicinal Mushrooms, The Essential Guide”, he points out that neither the mycelium nor the furiting body is inherently superior. It is the amount of fungal biomass and beta-glucans as well as the total diterpenes, triterpenes, phenolic, and other bioactive compounds in the product that make the difference.
Are the plants harvested with sustainability in mind?
Yes. The plants are conscientiously harvested to preserve their sustainability, so you can feel confident in the quality and care that has been taken to process nature’s offerings. Reseeding botanicals in their natural habitat and resetting logs with mushroom plugs also ensure sustainability.
What is the potency ratio of your tinctures?
The ratio of any tincture refers to the weight of plant material to the volume of menstruum (grams to milliliters). Depending on whether a plant tincture is made from a light and leafy plant, dense root, or seed, the ratios may range from 1:1 up to 1:5. With regard to the double extraction method for mushrooms, calculating ratios become confusing because herbalists use different methods to combine the ratios of the first and second stages of extraction together in order to get a final product ratio.
How do I know there will be uniformity in the dosages?
Since solute components are known to be uniformly dispersed in solvent, uniformity in dosage can be expected. You may see a minor amount of residue that has settled, as even the fine filtering may still leave traces of particles, but this does not affect uniformity of the tincture potency. [ref pdf: Plants, Colloids and Tinctures : Nature’s Pharmaceutics by P N Chenery]
How do I take the dosage of a tincture?
Add the dose of tincture to a small amount of water to swallow. It is not necessary to put the tincture liquid under the tongue as some people believe. Most tinctures are very bitter and are more easily taken in water. Some tinctures are taken specifically with warm water and will be noted this way on the information included.
How should I determine the quantity of tincture to buy?
Each product page will give you the dosages for known uses of each tincture. Click the tab Use/Dosage and check the dosage amount. As a reference, 2 ounces of tincture contains approximately 12 teaspoons.
How should I store tinctures?
When storing tinctures long-term, remember to keep them in a dry and dark or semi-dark location such as a medicine shelf or drawer. Do not store in the refrigerator as it is not a dry place. Do not store long-term in a car. Keep out of direct sunlight.
What is the shelf life of the tinctures?
Because we use an alcohol menstruum, tinctures will last at least 7 years if properly stored in a dry and relatively dark location.
About Our Infused Oils
Are your infused oils made with organically grown plants?
Yes. Plants used for infused oils are conscientiously harvested in pristine areas that are never subject to vehicle exhaust, pesticides or pollution run-off.
Do you use organic olive oil for the infused oils?
We must answer no to this question since we are not always able to obtain organic olive oil when we are ready to process.
What is the shelf life of infused oils?
The shelf life can generally be determined by considering the oil used in the infusion. Our infused oils are made with olive oil (unless otherwise noted) which has a shelf life of 2-3 years from the date that the olive oil is made. If the infused oil is kept long-term in an environment that is low humidity, out of direct sunlight, and at room temperature, you can expect a shelf life of 1-2 years. You may refrigerate infused oils to extend this time a bit. If you do, you will notice that the oil may turn cloudy or even harden some, but will return to its original viscosity when brought back to room temperature.