Tincture Handbook: Part 5 - Glycerin Liquid Extracts for Glycerites

by Jason J. Duke - Owner/Artisan

Fresh Content: September 8, 2022 23:51

Herbal Vegetable Glycerin Extract (Glycerite) 

A tincture made with vegetable glycerin and water is called a glycerite and is used for extracting mild tasting culinary spices or in the extracting of medicinal herbs for low potency, or for dissolving powder extracts. Glycerites are added to cooking, easy-to-take internally, and/or applied externally, often by mixing with cosmetics.

Powder extracts are the raw materials used to make supplements and may be dissolved in glycerin and water to make a glycerite for personal use or sold commercially.

Glycerites are less effective for extraction than hydroalcohol since many of the volatile constituents found in herbs will not be fully extracted into glycerin. Even though glycerites are the recommended way for individuals who want to moderate the effects of herbs and and/or abstain from any alcohol consumption, they are not as effective as hydroalcohol.

Glycerites are not recommended for superfoods, tonics, adaptogens, bitter tonics

Understanding Glycerin and Water Usage in Tinctures

Glycerin preserves and moderately extracts some of the constituents from the macerated herbs without being oxidized.

Rule of ThumbA rule of thumb is a general practice based on necessary experience and use to successfully accomplish something.
"The more water that is used in making a glycerite, the stronger the potency the glycerite is going to be. Usually, the most water that may be used is 50%, which will make a moderate potency tincture, whereas a 0% water glycerite will make a low potency tincture.

Distilled water is used with glycerin so that the pure water, without minerals and other particles, can extract the greatest concentration of constituents and nutrients from the macerated herbs into the menstruum.

Types of Glycerites Tinctures

The type of glycerite is dependent on the volume of glycerin in the menstruum, which varies as follows:

  • Amount of glycerin and distilled water used
  • Serving size and dosages
  • Expiration timeframe
  • Desired potency and use

50/50 Glycerite
50% Glycerin and 50% Water

Medium Dosages
20-60 drops

Expiration is 18 months

A 50/50 glycerite with a 50% glycerin to 50% water menstruum is for making a moderate potency tincture and is used for all types of herbs, including medicinal herbs, and especially tonics, superfoods, and adaptogens.

2/3rds Glycerite
67% Glycerin and 33% Water

Moderately Large Dosages
1-2 droppers

Expiration is 24 months

A 2/3rds glycerite with a 67% glycerin to 33% water menstruum is for making a moderate-low potency tincture and may be used for all types of herbs.

3/4ths Glycerite
75% Glycerin and 25% Water

Large Dosages
1-3 droppers

Expiration is 24 months

A 3/4ths glycerite with a 75% glycerin to 25% water menstruum is for making a low-moderate potency tincture and is used for medicinal herbs and for people sensitive to herbs.

Full Glycerite
100% Glycerin

Largest Dosages
1-3+ droppers

Expiration is 24 months

A full glycerite with a 100% glycerin menstruum is for making a low potency tincture and is used for medicinal herbs and for people most sensitive to herbs.

Tincture Handbook

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