Understanding Tinctures, Capsules & Tablets

Understanding Tinctures, Capsules and Tablets

Tinctures

Tinctures

Tinctures are liquid extracts made from herbs, which are taken orally. In order to extract the herbs value a potent solvent like alcohol is often used. Alcohol-based tinctures have a virtually unlimited shelf life if stored in a cool, dark location and don’t need to be kept refrigerated.

Tinctures can also be made using apple cider vinegar or vegetable glycerine. Whilst they don’t last as long, they’re are a great choice for children and pregnant or breastfeeding women.

Apple cider vinegar based tinctures have additional health benefits thanks to the known benefits of apple cider vinegar. Meanwhile vegetable glycerine tinctures are often popular with fussy kids thanks to their naturally sweet taste!

What's the Best Way to Take Tinctures?

Tinctures are best taken neat by placing drops directly under the tongue so they can enter the bloodstream quickly. It is also recommended to wait at least 15 minutes before eating anything. If you find the tincture too unpleasant you can dilute the tincture in a small amount of cold liquid, anything too hot may damage the herbs.

Positives of Tinctures

  • Fast acting. Quick absorption into the blood stream
  • Easier to swallow than capsules or tablets
  • Suitable for vegetarians. Unlike some capsules, tinctures contain no gelatin
  • Often cheaper than capsules
  • Contains no additives compared to many sugar coated capsules
  • Vegetable glycerin tinctures can be great for fussy kids

Negatives of Tinctures

  • Can have a bitter, unpleasant taste.
  • Non-alcohol based tinctures have a short shelf life.

Capsules

Capsules

A capsule consists of a powder or jelly enclosed in a dissolvable container. The casing, which makes up the capsule, is often made of gelatin but can also be made from plant polysaccharides, which are a better alternative for vegetarians.

What's the Best Way to Take Capsules?

Some capsules should be taken with food whilst others a few hours either side of meals. In order to make sure you're taking the capsule properly please consult your health care advisor or follow the manufacturers instructions. If you find it easier, you can take the medication with a sip of water.

Positives of Capsules

  • Capsule casing acts as an oxygen barrier prolonging the life of delicate ingredients.
  • Odourless, tasteless and smooth making them easier to swallow.
  • Easy to store and transport.

Negatives of Capsules

  • Large capsules may not be suitable for children.
  • Can cause gastric irritation

Tablets

Tablets

A tablet is a compressed powder in solid form which comes in a range of shapes.

What's the Best Way to Take Tablets?

Some tablets should be taken with food whilst others a few hours either side of meals. In order to make sure you're taking the tablet properly please consult your health care advisor or follow the manufacturers instructions. If you find it easier, you can take the medication with a sip of water.

Positives of Tablets

  • Chewable tablets are easily consumed by children and the elderly.
  • You can split tablets if they’re too hard to swallow or to split dosage.
  • Unpleasant taste can be masked by sugar coating.

Negatives of Tablets

  • Normal tablets may be hard to swallow for the young or elderly.
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