In medicine, a tincture is an alcoholic extract (e.g. of leaves or other plant material) or solution of a non-volatile substance; e.g. of iodine, mercurochrome). To qualify as a tincture, the alcoholic extract is to have a ethanol percentage of at least 40-60% (sometimes a 90% percent pure liquid is even achieved). [Groot Handboek Geneeskrachtige Planten by Geert Verhelst] Solutions of volatile substances were called spirits, although that name was also given to several other materials obtained by distillation, even when they did not include alcohol.

General method of preparation

A general method of preparation on how tinctures can be prepared is the following: [ [http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-tincture.htm How to make a tincture] ]
*Herbs are put in a jar and a spirit of 40°C pure ethanol is added
*The jar is closed and left to stand for 2-3 weeks. It is shaken every once in a while.

To make a more precise tincture^, more extensive measuring can be done by combining 1 part herbs with a water-ethanol mixture of 2-10 parts, depending on the herb itself. With most tinctures, however, 1 part water at 5 parts ethanol is used. [Groot Handboek Geneeskrachtige Planten by Geert Verhelst]

Examples of tinctures

Some examples that were formerly common in medicinefact|date=February 2008 include:
* Tincture of Benzoin
* Tincture of cantharides
* Tincture of ferric citrochloride (a chelate of citric acid and Iron(III) chloride)
* Tincture of green soap (which also contains lavender)
* Tincture of guaiac
* Tincture of iodine
* Tincture of opium (laudanum)
* Camphorated opium tincture (paregoric)
* Tincture of Pennyroyal

Examples of spirits include:
* Spirit of ammonia (also called spirit of hartshorn)
* Spirit of box, or ethanol, which was derived from the destructive distillation of boxwood
* Spirit of camphor
* Spirit of ether, a solution of diethyl ether in alcohol
* "Spirit of Mindererus", ammonium acetate in alcohol
* "Spirit of nitre" is not a spirit in this sense, but an old name for nitric acid (but "sweet spirit of nitre" was ethyl nitrite)
* Similarly "spirit of salt" actually meant hydrochloric acid
* "Spirit of vinegar" was glacial acetic acid and
* "Spirit of vitriol" was sulfuric acid
* "Spirit of wine" or "spirits of wine" is an old name for alcohol (especially food grade alcohol derived from the distillation of wine)
* "Spirit of wood" means methanol, often derived from the destructive distillation of wood

See also

* Nalewka - a traditional Polish category of alcoholic tincture.
* infusion - a water or oil based extract with similar historical uses to a tincture.
* Elixir - A pharmaceutical preparation containing an active ingredient that is dissolved in a solution containing some percentage of ethyl alcohol.
* Extract


External links

* [http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-tincture.htm How to make a tincture]

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  • Tincture — Tinc ture, n. [L. tinctura a dyeing, from tingere, tinctum, to tinge, dye: cf. OE. tainture, teinture, F. teinture, L. tinctura. See {Tinge}.] 1. A tinge or shade of color; a tint; as, a tincture of red. [1913 Webster] 2. (Her.) One of the metals …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Tincture — Tinc ture, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Tinctured}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Tincturing}.] 1. To communicate a slight foreign color to; to tinge; to impregnate with some extraneous matter. [1913 Webster] A little black paint will tincture and spoil twenty gay… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • tincture — index minimum, penetrate Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • tincture — (n.) c.1400, from L. tinctura act of dyeing or tingeing, from tinctus dye, pp. of tingere to tinge, dye, moisten, soak, from PIE root *teng to soak (Cf. O.H.G. dunkon to soak, Gk. tengein to moisten ). Meaning solution of medicine in a mixture of …   Etymology dictionary

  • tincture — n *touch, suggestion, tinge, suspicion, soupçon, shade, smack, spice, dash, vein, strain, streak …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • tincture — ► NOUN 1) a medicine made by dissolving a drug in alcohol. 2) a slight trace. 3) Heraldry any of the conventional colours used in coats of arms. ► VERB (be tinctured) ▪ be tinged or flavoured with a slight trace of. ORIGIN Latin tinctura dyeing …   English terms dictionary

  • tincture — [tiŋk′chər] n. [ME < L tinctura < tinctus, pp. of tingere, to dye: see TINGE] 1. Obs. a dye 2. a light color; tint; tinge 3. a slight admixture or infusion of some substance or quality; trace, smattering, etc. 4. Heraldry any color, metal,… …   English World dictionary

  • tincture —    An extract, usually herbal, and usually made with a mixture of water and alcohol, although there were official tinctures that also used acetic acid, chloroform and glycerin. Only a few tinctures are still official in the U.S., including… …   Herbal-medical glossary

  • tincture — UK [ˈtɪŋktʃə(r)] / US [ˈtɪŋktʃər] noun Word forms tincture : singular tincture plural tinctures 1) a) [countable/uncountable] a medicine made by mixing a small amount of a drug with alcohol b) British humorous an alcoholic drink 2) [singular]… …   English dictionary

  • tincture — /tingk cheuhr/, n., v., tinctured, tincturing. n. 1. Pharm. a solution of alcohol or of alcohol and water, containing animal, vegetable, or chemical drugs. 2. a slight infusion, as of some element or quality: A tincture of education had softened… …   Universalium

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