FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Note: This informational content is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgement of your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare provider. It should not be construed to indicate that the use of the products sold on this website are safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your healthcare provider before taking products for medicinal use.
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 tinctures, under the label Beneficial Botanicals, are made with food grade, 80 proof grain alcohol. The grain alcohol is distilled with a combination of American grown corn and wheat, made with a triple fermentation process and filtered through four stages. Since we don’t use dried herbs that would need to be hydrated with water, 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.
Is the alcohol used in your tinctures gluten-free?
The grain alcohol we use for tincturing is generally not considered to be gluten-free. However, there is much controversy over whether or not vodka and other grain alcohol contains gluten after the distillation process. According to Steve Taylor, Co-Director of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Food Allergy Research and Resource Program, “Distilled spirits, because of the distillation process, should contain no detectable gluten residues or gluten peptide residues.” He goes on to say that “Proteins and peptides are not volatile and thus would not distill over.” Published in Scientific American, an article by Fred Minnick (November 18, 2013) stated “No existing studies show that distilled spirits cause adverse reactions in those affected by gluten.” Mary Schluckebier, Executive Director of Celiac Sprue Association (CSA) says that as many as 10 percent of CSA members report symptoms when drinking distilled grain-based products.
What is a “menstruum”?
A substance dissolved in another substance, 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. Beneficial Botanicals offers some products by Herb Pharm that are “liquid extracts” and labeled as such with the contents of the menstruum.
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. Comparably, 40 drops of an extract containing 50% alcohol in 2 ounces of warm water will be equivalent to consuming less than 1/100 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.
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 clarity and consistency in the final product.
Do you use heat in processing?
No. Heat destroys some of the medicinal properties of a plant. Our tincturing process is “cold”, which means tinctures are processed at room temperature. The solution retains the volatile (carbon based chemicals that evaporate easily in warm temperatures) and semi-volatile organic compounds that are otherwise lost in heat treatment found in the processing of dry herbal extracts.
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. Depending on whether the tincture is made from a light and leafy plant or a denser root, the tinctures are made with 1:1 or 1:2 ratios. These ratios of plant material to menstruum offer the highest quality of fresh extraction.
How do I know there will be uniformity in the dosages?
The tincture solution is a homogeneous mixture. Since solute components are known to be uniformly disbursed 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.
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 sheet included.
How should I store tinctures?
When storing tinctures remember to keep them in a cool 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 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 cool and dark location.
Why don’t you include dosages and other specific plant product information on your Ebay listings?
Most plants are used for multiple ailments, so the dosage requirements will vary. The best way is to direct the shopper to our information pages. Listing all the uses of all the different plant tinctures on Ebay, along with each of the other important parts of information such as warnings or drug interactions, is too cumbersome to include for all our Ebay listings. Other information we want our customers to find on our plant profile pages include trials and studies on the plants they will be ingesting. Ebay is not the best platform to lay this all out, so we encourage consumers to check our site for information to make informed decisions. Also, we strive to continually update our information as new reports come out on the study of plants and their extraordinary usefulness as an alternative for many ailments.
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.
Is the oil infusion accomplished by hot or cold infusion method?
They are made by cold infusion method.
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 in an environment that is low humidity, out of direct sunlight, and at a room temperature of 75 degrees or less, 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.