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Tincture Anatomy: A Beginner's Guide to Herbal Extracts

Tincture Anatomy: A Beginner's Guide to Herbal Extracts - Harmonic Arts

Elizabeth Ferns |

Tinctures provide a convenient vehicle for potent plant and mushroom medicine. The tincture process begins with distilling herbs in alcohol and water to extract their therapeutic compounds. When ready, the herbs are strained out, and you’re left with a tincture packed with wellness benefits!

Let’s dive into the anatomy of our tinctures, how to add them to your routine and why alcohol is an effective delivery method.

Disclaimer: This blog is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice. Please consult your health care practitioner before adding any new herbs to your wellness routine. 


Anatomy of Our Tinctures

Depending on the type of tincture, there will be at least three components included in the formula: an herb, alcohol and spring water. Understanding the unique characteristics of each herb is crucial to the tincture process. For example, it’s easier to extract medicine from some herbs when they’re dried as opposed to fresh. The maceration times and liquid ratios vary between herbs as well, along with selecting the right ratio of liquids to distill the herbs in.  

All our tinctures are formulated by Clinical Herbalists and handmade on Vancouver Island. They feature organic or wild-harvested herbs, ensuring high quality and potency. We formulate our tinctures by first identifying the underlying cause of the wellness need or health imbalance. From there, the primary therapeutic action is determined, and we select a guiding herb. In our tincture blends, supportive herbs are added to reinforce the primary action and support related organ systems. 

Guiding Herb 

Our Single Herb and Mushroom Tinctures contain a single guiding herb. Our Tincture Blend formulas begin with a well-rounded guiding herb that best targets the wellness need in question. This guiding herb directs the added supportive herbs, enhancing the synergy of the blend.

Supportive Herbs 

These herbs are selected for their unique actions and complementary benefits. They boost the performance of the guiding herb and support organ systems related to the wellness need. 

Alcohol & Spring Water 

We use organic cane sugar alcohol and spring water in our tinctures.  


Why Use Alcohol?

Alcohol is the best solvent for extracting plant chemistry, and results in a more potent tincture. It drives the medicinal compounds of the tincture deeper into the body for proper absorption. 

Alcohol tinctures: 

  • Can be easily diluted. 
  • Are absorbed quickly into the body. 
  • With proper storage, they are long-lasting and will maintain potency. 
  • Contain only a small amount of alcohol.

Join Co-Founder and Clinical Herbalist, Yarrow Willard, for a quick overview of Harmonic Arts' tinctures in this video. 


Understanding QCE

The Quantity of Crude Equivalent (QCE) is a measurement used to describe the amount of an herb we started with before extracting its plant medicine to create a tincture. We display this in ratio form to help customers determine just how potent our products are.

For example, our Ashwagandha Tincture has an extraction ratio of 1:4. This means that every 1ml of tincture contains the equivalent of 250mg of Ashwagandha.

The QCE is not to be confused with our recommended dose. Each tincture will have individual dosing recommendations stated on the label.


Our Tincture Offerings

You can find support for everything from immunity to stress relief with our wide offering of herbal tinctures.  

Mushroom Tinctures 

Enhance whole-body harmony and immune system intelligence with the world’s top 5 medicinal mushrooms. We offer Chaga, Cordyceps, Lion’s Mane, Reishi and Turkey Tail Mushroom Tinctures, along with our top-selling 5 Mushroom blend. 

Tincture Blends 

Our therapeutic Tincture Blends are organized into wellness categories for easy navigation. Find the right tincture for Immunity, Cough/Cold, Digestion, Cleansing, Mind/Mood, Sleep/Anxiety and Women’s Health. 

Single Herb Tinctures 

These are perfect if you’re looking for the support of a specific herb. We have over 70 Single Herb Tinctures, from Ashwagandha to Yarrow. 


How to Add Tinctures to Your Routine

Tinctures are convenient and easy to use. You can take them on their own, or add to water, coffee, or mocktails. The dropper makes it easy to adjust your dosage. Tincture bottles are easy to take on-the-go, which means you’ll never have to be without your herbs and mushrooms! 

Looking for  inspiration? Check out our favourite tincture mocktails: 


Click here to shop our tinctures.