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Frequently Asked

Integrating tinctures into your everyday rituals for their preventative and wellness-promoting properties may seem like quite a leap for some. Here we offer some responses to many of the questions we receive regarding the use of tinctures.

What is a tincture?

Check out our blog post, Tinctures, Tonics, and other Potions for more detailed information here.

What is the difference between a tonic and a potion? 

Check out our blog post, Tinctures, Tonics, and other Potions for more detailed information here.

Are your tinctures alcoholic?

Short answer: yes!

Long answer: alcohol is an excellent extractive and preservative used to extract alcohol soluble plant constituents and stabilize water soluble constituents for long term storage. All of our tinctures are between 30-40% alcohol.

When taken at the recommended dosage, you will not feel effects from the alcohol. For example, our standard tincture size is 2oz, which is often taken over the course of 2-4 weeks. Taking this tincture daily would be the equivalent of drinking one glass of red wine over the course of 2-4 weeks. For most people, this is a negligible amount of alcohol consumed over that period of time.

Tell me about the booze you use.

We use organic cane alcohol distilled by a small company in Oregon. This alcohol is an incredibly pure alternative to commercial grain alcohol products, which may introduce unwanted chemical residues in our tinctures.

This organic alcohol is three-stage filtered to assure the highest level of purity and tested by an independent lab to ensure that it meets United States Pharmacopoeia (USP) standards.

How long will tinctures last?

As alcohol is an excellent preservative, in general, tinctures will last many years. We recommend using our tinctures within two years of production date, ensuring longevity by keeping your tinctures out of direct sunlight. A dark, cool room will do the trick, although our amber glass bottles do protect against light exposure to some degree.

Over time, the plant constituents extracted may precipitate out and settle on the bottom of the bottle. If this happens, simply shake the bottle gently before use. We recommend shaking before each use to awaken the potion anyway.

If you want to find out the year of production, look for the batch number on the side of the label, and shoot us an email with the batch number and product name and we'll let you know when the tincture was produced.

How many servings are in a bottle?

Our suggested serving sizes vary among our tinctures. One "dropperful" (one squeeze of the rubber dropper top) amounts to roughly 25-30 drops. One dropperful roughly equals 1 ml. At two dropperfuls (2ml) / serving, a 2oz bottle comes to about 30 servings.

If you take our tinctures daily at the recommended dosage, a 2oz bottle will likely be sufficient for a 1-month supply.

If you are enjoying a potion or bitters blend regularly (but not daily), a 2oz bottle is likely to last 2-3 months.

As always, we recommend a dosage that resonates with you. Experiment with dosage, working your way up from a low dosage, listening to your body to find the pocket!

Can I take more than one formula at a time?

Check out our blog post, Working with Multiple Formulas for more detailed information here.

Typically I recommend working with no more than three separate formulas at any given time, and I often shift formulas depending on seasonality and my personal constitution.

I also encourage my clients and customers to stick with a formula (or two) for around 3-6 months to really get a sense of the benefit of the formula, and encourage to try new formulas as the seasons and our bodies shift.

For example, I might recommend more stimulating (warming) formulas in the colder months of the year and more calming (cooling) formulas in the warmer months of the year. Herbalism is a dynamic and energetic practice and just as plants bloom and mushrooms flush at different times of year, so to our herbal formulas may shift (in correspondence with our own bodily seasons).

Do allergic reactions occur?

Everybody is different and depending on a variety of factors, it's possible that you may have developed a sensitivity to an herb at some point. Please read ingredients carefully and know your allergies! If you are aware of any allergies or sensitivity to plants or mushrooms, you may also have sensitivities to plants/mushrooms within the same taxonomic family–look the problem herb's taxonomic family and cross reference to herbs in the stated in the formula.

I do my best to include any possible cautions that are common to herbs in any given formula. You can also test a product by taking a drop or two and wait 24 hours. If an allergic reaction occurs, discontinue use. Please email me at alex@firstcurveapothecary.com with any concerns.