Made using high proof alcohol, tinctures tend to burn, and contain strong, concentrated herbal flavours. While many can pinch their nose and take their tincture without complaint, it’s worth knowing how to make tinctures more palatable. Whether you’re trying to get a stubborn child to take a supplement or just can’t stand the horse-like taste of your ashwaghanda tincture, these 5 tips can help make tincture time less unpleasant.
If you’re interested in learning more about other herbalism-related topics, be sure to check out my beginner herbalist study guide! I have three months worth of study tips and journal prompts for you to go through! It’s also full of posts related to herbalism and getting started.
I’d like to note that some tinctures, including those made using bitters for digestive aid, (potentially) need to be tasted in order for them to work. The bitterness of the tincture is said to send signals to your digestive system to begin secreting specific enzymes. While these tips most certainly would help with masking the taste of bitters, it could potentially leave them ineffective. In this instance, the unpleasant taste is a major component of the medicine! Now, on to the tips!
- Dilute your tincture in water. For milder flavours, diluting your tincture in water can be an effective way to cut down on taste. You can add a small amount of your tincture to your water bottle throughout the day to boost your intake. This is great for herbs that require regular dosing.
- Dilute your tincture in tea. If you enjoy herbal tea, consider diluting a bit of your tincture into your favourite daily brew. Add honey or another sweetener to taste, and enjoy it this way. Often enough, tinctures can be masked well in teas. Other options for diluting your tincture include lemonade, fruit juice, or flavoured waters. Just be sure that your tincture’s phytoconstituents aren’t pH sensitive!
- Mix your tincture with a glycerite or herbal syrup. The sweet flavour of glycerites and syrups does an excellent job balancing out the tincture. You can pre-mix the two for ease of use, or prepare them separately. It’s worth noting that by mixing them together, you’ll increase the shelf life of your glycerite or syrup, but decrease the shelf life of your tincture, had it been kept separate.
- Mix your tincture into smoothies. For very strong tinctures, consider diluting them in smoothies or protein shakes. Add ingredients that will balance out the flavours of your tincture, such as sweet peaches to reduce bitterness, or a strong flavour like mint or peanut butter to mask the tincture. This is a great way to get your daily dose of whatever tincture you’re trying to take regularly. An added benefit to making smoothies with tinctures is that you can add other ingredients that boost their effectiveness. For example, you can add a small amount of black pepper to your smoothie to boost a turmeric tincture.
- Chase your tincture with something delicious. Whether you enjoy coffee, chocolate, or a sip of sweet tea, you can chase your tincture with something pleasant to make taking it a better experience. I like to take tinctures right before eating so I can wash the flavour away immediately.
I hope these tips make taking your tinctures more pleasant, and inspire you to get creative with your medicine taking methods! Let me know if any of these work for you, or if you have found another way to get them down! I’d love to hear from you in the comments.
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