With our focus being on the production of Liquid Herbal Extracts, we have a unique quark that naturally comes with our products – FLAVOR!! Liquid extracts are like concentrated teas and teas are one of the original methods of taking herbs!
Our Tinctures, Glycerites, and Herbal Formulas are all taken orally, which means when taking our supplements, you get to taste each and every herb. To some, this may not be appealing, however to us herby nerds, this is one of the most fascinating aspects to support and maintain a balanced state of health. By tasting each herb, we feel better connected to the herbs’ actions and have a better understanding of their nature.
The second a drop of Tincture hits our tongue, our salivary glands kick into action. The flavor primes our digestive systems and reminds our bodies to do what comes naturally. Liquid Herbal Extracts are kind of like soup – being liquid, they are easily absorbed into the body and they are partially “digested” through the extraction process, making it easy for our digestion to assimilate the beneficial properties from the plants! Tinctures, being herbs extracted in alcohol, are even more readily absorbed into the body due to their alcoholic nature. Glycerites, are still easy to absorb, but they are treated similarly to a fat when digested and are slower acting on the body than a Tincture.
Encapsulated herbs are a bit different because they are more dependent on the strength of your digestion for assimilation. Capsules, can be made in several different formats, here are a few of the most common methods:
- Dried herbs are powdered and then put into a capsule
- Herbs are made into a tea and then the tea is dried, powdered, and encapsulated
- Tablets and tea pills are similar versions of what is listed above, but not in a capsule, simply held together with a binding agent
Herb strength is also preserved with liquid extracts; quality degrades faster with the processing of herbs into finer particles which increases the surface area of each herb. With Tinctures made from fresh or dried plant material, the quality of the herb used is instantly preserved when made into a liquid extract. This is not to say that capsules are not effective – there are many great herb capsule producers and they have excellent quality. With our experience and what we produce, we prefer the liquid form.
There are many good reasons to use capsules, such as taking Triphala, however we believe that tasting the herb is a very important part of connecting your body with the herb itself. Each herb has its own unique flavor or set of flavors. By understanding the importance of each flavor, we can better understand why the herb supports the organ/organ system that it acts on.
Here are some of the adjectives used to describe herb flavors and mouth feels, taken straight from our QA desk:
- Pungent or Aromatic
- Grassy or Green
- Mouth Feel
- Burning or Spicy
These are only a few of the commonly used descriptors for herb flavors. Flavor is a key component to our manufacturing process (part of organoleptics), as all herbs received for production and all liquid extracts approved for sale, must have a consistent flavor profile. Something like Gentian must have a bitter component and an herb such as Licorice must be sweet. If our herbs or liquid extracts don’t match their prescribed specifications, then we must question their quality or if they are even the correct herb.
Commonly associated herbs and flavors are as follows, for example:
- Digestive Bitters – Bitter
- Ginger – Pungent
- Licorice – Sweet
- Bupleurum – Acrid
- Wild Bergamot – Spicy
- Echinacea – Tingling/Burning
- Oak Bark – Astringent
- Schisandra – Sour
The herbs, flavors, and mouth feels listed above are just a small sampling of what we experience when taking liquid herbal extracts. The more that is learned about herb flavors and their organ associations, the more empowered you become to understanding their supportive nature. We often catch ourselves using organoleptics to dissect our meals at home and understand common culinary spices on a different level. Sage is aromatic/pungent, Oregano is spicy, Cinnamon is sweet, Parsley is bitter…