Mother tinctures, tinctures, hydroalcoholic solution .. let’s make a little bit of clarity. We propose a deepening on the Mother tincture how to prepare and how to use it.


The mother tinctures (TM) are preparations based on plant drugs that are generally obtained from fresh plants grown in their natural habitat and collected in their balsamic time, strictly defined by the French Pharmacopoeia VII and, by the German Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia 2000-2008 and in part also from the European Pharmacopoeia 7th ed.

Tinctures, Mother Tinctures, Hydro-alcoholic Solutions: what they are

Tinctures are defined as hydro-alcoholic tinctures, or “alcohols”, that is hydro-alcoholic solutions of dry, simple or compound medicinal plants, depending on whether they contain one or more drugs, obtained by simple maceration or percolation. Given the high alcohol content (the drug / solvent ratio is 1: 5, with the exception of very active drugs, called “heroic” in which the ratio decreases to 1:10), the dyes are preserved for a long time , even if, due to the action of light, air or at different temperatures, they can change color, form precipitates or become cloudy. Therefore it is preferable to store tinctures in darkly closed glass containers in cool environments.

Mother Tinctures (T.M.) are defined as solutions of phytocomplexes of fresh medicinal plants, in ethyl alcohol with different grades (from 60 ° to 80 °), reported in the French Pharmacopoeia. In the past they were defined alcohol-based, that is alcoholic tinctures obtained from fresh plants. They are obtained by maceration or by percolation and usually the ratio drug / solvent is 1:10, with some exceptions, as in the case of  Marigold T.M., which is prepared at a ratio of 1:20, due to its high activity. The term “mother” is used because often these products constitute the starting point of homeopathic preparations, obtained following successive dilutions (hahnemannian dilutions).

As the name of T.M. reported in the pharmacopoeias currently in force refers specifically to the “T.M. for homeopathic preparations”, these products are classified among the medicines and can be prepared only by the pharmacy or by the laboratories authorized for the production of medicines. In the food / cosmetic sector, similar hydroalcoholic preparations obtained from fresh vegetables, produced and marketed under the name of “hydroalcoholic solutions from fresh plants” have become widespread.

The term alcolaturo refers instead to all the tinctures obtained from fresh plants without necessarily following certain weight ratios and extraction times.

When do you prefer the form of Mother Tincture and how to prepare it

In choosing the extractive form of any officinal plant, it is necessary to have in mind what are the active principles of this and their chemical characteristics. If I have a plant with mineral salts, mucilages, sugars, it will be useless to use a mother tincture which, having an alcohol content between 45 ° and 65 °, will bring very little of these substances into solution. If the plant is composed predominantly of bitter substances, organic acids or alcohols, this form is well received.

The preparation of the mother tinctures provides an alcoholic degree different from plant to plant, according to reference tables: this seems to favor the extraction of the active ingredients that qualify the activity of the drug (phytocomplex) and also leaves unchanged the typical characteristics of each plant, for regarding color and fragrance and taste that really refer to the fresh plant, such as fluid extracts and low alcohol preparations.

Mother Tincture: how to use

We recommend taking 30-50 drops in half a glass of water 2-3 times a day. Do not exceed the recommended daily dose.

The mother tinctures most used and their use

Here is the wide range of Hydro-alcoholic Solutions from fresh plants – Mother Tinctures Method that we have selected for you:

  • Pansy (Viola tricolor, fresh flowered aerial parts, 45% V / V)): pansy is traditionally known for its purifying action;
  • Fumaria (Fumaria officinalis, fresh flowering aerial parts, 45% V / V): the fumaria is a herbaceous plant appreciated for its purifying properties;
  • Sage (Salvia officinalis, fresh flowering aerial parts, 55% V / V): may be useful to counteract menopausal disorders;
  • Dandelion (Taraxacum officinalis, fresh flowering whole plant, 45% V / V): promotes digestive and liver function;
  • Artichoke (Cynara Scolimus, fresh leaves, 55% V / V): useful for digestive and hepatic function;
  • Echinacea (Echinacea angustifolia D.C., whole fresh flowering plant, 55% V / V): useful for the body’s natural defenses;
  • Eleutherococcus (Eleuteococcus Senticosus, root, 55% V / V): useful for its tonic-adaptogenic function;
  • Escolzia (Eschscholtzia californica, whole fresh flowering plant, 45% V / V): promotes relaxation in case of stress;
  • Valeriana (Valeriana officinalis (rhizome, from plants at least 3 years old in spring or autumn, 55% V / V): promotes relaxation in case of stress;
  • Burdock (Arctium Iappa, fresh root, alcohol content 55% V / V): useful for the purifying functions of the body and for the well-being of the skin;
  • Birch (Betula Pendula Roth (or “alba”), leaves, alcohol content 65% V / V): promotes drainage of body fluids and urinary tract function;
  • Centella asiatica (H.A.B. 2000-2011, dried aerial parts, 70% V / V): useful for microcirculation functionality;
  • Horsetail (equisetum arvense, fresh sterile stems, 55% V / V): traditionally used to favor the elimination of excess liquids.

Mother Tincture: how to prepare associated, some examples in scientific literature

  • Mother Tinctures to naturally favor the purifying functions of the organism (skin) (Tetau):

Viola Tricolor T.M.
arctium Iappa T.M.
taraxacum T.M. aa to 125 ml
method of use: 50-70 drops, diluted in a little water and sipped slowly, fasting in the morning and before 2 meals. For any topical treatment, use hypericum oil. Variant (Bettiol): Viola Tricolor T.M. 34%, birch leaves T.M. 33%, fumaria T.M. 33%. Method of use: 70 drops, 3 times a day, before meals.

  • Drops for acne (Bergeret, Tetau):

arctium Iappa T.M.
taraxacum T.M. aa to 125 ml
profile: 60 drops in half a glass of water to drink slowly before the 3 meals.

  • Antirheumatic mother tinctures (Ch. Bach)

Betula alba, T.M.
Salvia officinalis, T.M. aa p.u.
Use: 15-20 drops per dose; 4 to 5 times a day on an empty stomach.

  • Mother tinctures against cellulite:

Betula T.M.
Centella T.M. aa p.u.
Dose: 30 drops in a little water, 3 times a day between meals

  • Mother tinctures to assist the physiological functions of the liver (Bergeret, Tetau):

Cynara T.M. 50 drops on awakening, Taraxacum T.M. 25 drops in a little water.

Mother tincture: a precisation

  • Keep out of reach of children;
  • like all supplements, they are not intended as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle;
  • are extracts intended for use other than the preparation of liqueurs.

Dr. Laura Comollo

For any clarification or for more information Contact us.

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  • Manuale dell’erborista, I.Morelli, G.Flamini, L.Pistelli, ed tecniche nuove, 2005
  • Manuale delle preparazioni erboristiche, F. Bettiol, F.F. Vincieri, Ed. tecniche nuove, 2009
  • Manuale delle preparazioni galeniche, 3°edizione, ed tecniche nuove, 2010

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