Tincture Method Extraction V/S Cold Process Extraction
Created by Dr. Razak clinical Pharmacy scientist
Bill Soukup formulator
| Article at a Glance
•A Tincture is a concentrated herbal extract dissolved usually in an alcoholic solvent.
•An Extract is dissolved in non-alcoholic solvents such as water, glycerine, vinegar, etc. Thus, an extract is made through cold process extraction.
•Tincture method employs alcohols which preserve the preparations through denaturation, which kills the value-added constituents, leading to decreased potency and effectiveness for anti-aging products.
•Cold process extractions employ non-alcoholic solvents like water, glycerine, etc., which are safe, economical, and beneficial for preserving the herbal constituents.
•Alcohol is mainly used as a solvent for medicinal purposes, while non-alcoholic solvents are used for the cosmetic industry.
There is a little difference between extracts and tinctures but with distinctive pros and cons. Following are the differences between extracts/cold extraction and tinctures/tincture extraction.
- All the tinctures are extracts, but all extracts are not tinctures.
- Tinctures are the subsets of extracts. We can say that a tincture is a concentrated herbal extract dissolved usually in an alcoholic solvent. While an extract is dissolved in non-alcoholic solvents such as water, glycerine, vinegar, etc., thus an extract is made through cold process extraction.
- Basis of extracted material itself is another difference.
- Traditionally, an extract is made from dried plant material as the starting material. While tincture is usually, but not always, made from fresh plant material taken straight from the field or source and processed without drying. Usually, tincture extraction is processed within a few hours of harvest to avoid deterioration or loss of the active ingredients.
- Tinctures can be prepared from traditional extracts using the alcoholic as a solvent. The typical solvent is ethanol (ethyl alcohol) at 25-75%. Extracts are not usually made from tinctures, but if needed, then alcohol is mixed with water, vinegar, glycerine, etc.
PROS OF TINCTURE EXTRACTION
- Very fast extraction.
- It employs alcohol as a solvent, which is a disinfectant, so it protects the product from microbial contamination.
- Alcohol is used to isolate desired compounds.
- Is better suited for medicinal purposes.
- Alcohol is an excellent preservative. So, it is used as a solvent for a wide variety of medicines, cosmetics, and food coloring and flavoring.
- Alcohol evaporates faster as compared to solvents used in cold process extraction.
CONS OF TINCTURE EXTRACTION
- Alcohol is flammable.
- Alcohol is highly toxic to living cells.
- Alcohol will denature proteins, amino acids, and enzymes.
- Alcohol denatures the value-added constituents of plant material, so it will lead to the overall reduction in the efficacy and potency of the final product ready to be used.
- Cheaper grade alcohols contain several impurities which can damage alcohol when it goes for metabolism.
- Alcohol needs to be listed as an ingredient in cosmetics.
- It is non-economical extraction as compared to cold process extraction.
- Alcohol has a sterilizing action that kills bacteria and contaminating organisms. The sterilization action of alcohol is not biased, however, and affects the biological usability of what’s being isolated. Herbal products processed with alcohol will contain many extracted constituents and compounds that have been rendered useless by alcohol’s denaturing action.
- Will not contain water-soluble vitamins B and C.
- Will not contain proteins, amino acids, peptides, and enzymes, all of which are very important in anti-aging products.