Why glycerin tinctures vs. alcohol tinctures?

Q:  Which is better, glycerin tinctures or alcohol tinctures?

If done correctly glycerin pulls out more water soluble constituents than grain alcohol and more than just water and allows for a very stable shelf life. We do not add flavors or sweeteners to our extracts like found in many other brands. We use Kosher vegetable glycerin from palm kernel oils and/or coconuts. Unlike alcohol it doesn’t have ill effects on diabetics, alcoholics and the liver, making it a great product for adults and children.

Glycerin                                                                                     Alcohol

Glycerin tincture

alcohol tincture


Ethanol, also called ethyl alcohol, pure alcohol, grain alcohol, or drinking alcohol, is a glycerin vs. alcohol tincturesvolatile, flammable, colorless liquid. It is a powerful psychoactive drug and one of the oldest recreational drugs. Best known as the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages, it is also used in thermometers, as a solvent, and as an alcohol fuel. In common usage, it is often referred to simply as alcohol or spirits.
It is also used as a fuel when in it’s solid form.

Why do we use Glycerin instead of Alcohol?

We wanted to offer family herbal products that we could feel 100% good about, with safe ingredients that would raise no concerns over possible negative side effects, especially in regards to children and those with dietary restrictions. We use pure Kosher vegetable glycerin to extract, enhance and preserve our herbal formulas. Though it tastes sweet, glycerin is not a sugar and does not raise blood sugar levels. It is a non-toxic food substance, a natural component of all fats and oils, a good solvent of herbal constituents and also a preservative.

One herbalist, Dr. Edward Shook, believed glycerin tinctures to be superior to alcohol and especially beneficial for removing toxins and inorganic drugs from the body. Some research indicates that glycerin may have a cleansing and anti-oxidizing effect.

As a natural product of normal digestion, it can be converted into carbohydrates and burned as fuel, or stored for later use. Also, glycerin masks bitter tasting herbs, enhances flavors and eliminates the nasty taste of alcohol altogether, which most children and many adults find disagreeable. Using our unique 3 Stage Liquid Light Extraction Process,  Using our unique 3 Stage Liquid Light Extraction Process, glycerin vs. alcohol tinctures we believe our glycerin tinctures to be exceptionally potent. As a natural product of normal digestion, it can be converted into carbohydrates and burned as fuel, or stored for later use. Also, glycerin masks bitter tasting herbs, enhances flavors and eliminates the nasty taste of alcohol altogether, which most children and many adults find disagreeable.we believe our glycerin tinctures to be exceptionally potent.

For family use, the great taste and advantages of glycerin-based herbal formulas far outweigh those extracted in alcohol.

Note: TriLight Health employees are not licensed practitioners and cannot prescribe which products you should use. Our comments are educational. If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, please see our pregnancy safe section. As with all our formulas, especially if you are pregnant or breast-feeding, please consult your healthcare practitioner before using products with any other medications. Our statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Our products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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17 Responses to Why glycerin tinctures vs. alcohol tinctures?

  1. Rachel says:

    Glycerin is great-tasting and avoids the issue of giving children alcohol. It’s also a good option for those avoiding alcohol because of religious reasons or a history of addiction. However glycerin is a mucosal irritant (why it works for stimulating bowel movements as a suppository) and for that reason may not be the best option for those with damaged guts, such as those with IBS or other digestive issues, candida, leaky gut, etc. Alcohol-based tinctures can be added to hot water to let the alcohol dissipate before taking.

    • You’re right Rachel. Consider however, the words you hear over and over again about glycerin is that it is “mild”, “safe and effective” and this is for 99% out there. Those with severe leaky gut problems need to be treated by a doctor and on special diets as most everything is an issue with them. Our formulas are supplements, not a meal and designed for are those looking for preventing serious health issues by being preventative. That being said most would agree that on the list of those products of being safe glycerin is high on that list and as an ingredient that is mild and NOT a strong irritant and used in MANY bowel formulas because it is the safest. If someone finds glycerin is an issue then they NEED to find a DOCTOR to have special treatment. Probiotics are still a good alternative for those with digestive tract issues.

    • Tania says:

      True, glycerin should not be ingested that much, and I don’t think 30 drops of alcohol in hot water, even 3x/day, is a problem to give to kids or for our livers. And if it comes from palm trees than are they sustainable palm plant because if not there is a big palm tree-environment issue going on people should be aware of.
      Call me old fashion, but alcohol has been used for tincturing for a long time for a good reason.

  2. Lisa Nichols says:

    I am still wondering how it effects people w/diabetes. I haven’t found how it works vs. sugar. Do our bodies work better w/glycerin or other carbohydrates? I use glycerin based tincture for patients on the Oregon Medical Marijuana Plan. I’ve had several patients ask me the value of glycerin. Against alcohol infusing I think that glycerin is safer & less dangerous on your body. My IBS & Crohn’s patients love it in capsule form. It tends to be less harsh on their systems than the prescriptions from the doctors. I would love any extra input that you can help me with. We just want to be safe & as natural as possible. Also, if you have a catalog that I could browse via email or snail mail.

    • Hi Lisa,

      Most would agree with this statement:
      100% pure Vegetable Glycerine is a safe and has a low glycemic index. Under normal circumstances a normal dose would have little effect on blood sugar levels.
      Approximately 27 calories per teaspoon.

      If a diabetic was having serious problems or had confusion or dehydration then glycerine being slightly dehydrating wouldn’t be a good idea and they should be seeing their doctor, not on herbs without supervision. We agree it is the best alternative but we always advise on being on the safe side and coordinating with one’s health care provider.

      As for a catalog, in an attempt to be as green as we can we stopped printing catalogs awhile back, so all we have is our website http://www.trilighthealth.com

      If you have any other questions please let me know.

      Have a wonderful day!
      Lyle Bennett
      TriLight Health

  3. dan says:

    Alcohol certainly has its advantages. The absorption rate is far higher than glycerine. This is the very reason that chinese medicinals (the expensive ones especialy) are mostly extracted with alcohol, to ensure the most efficatious use. Glycerine is certainly the best route for some folks

  4. Steve says:

    I agree with Dan, alcohol drives the active constituents into the body faster and more effective when compared to glycerin. In my professional experience making both high quality dual extracted alcohol and glycerin tinctures I’ve noticed a deeper extraction and a higher efficacy with the alcohol based tinctures. Having said that there are occasions when an alcohol based extract might not be the optimal delivery method but for 95 percent of of us I would say alcohol is the preferred solvent.

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  6. Karam says:

    It’s horrible to see the bias here. Alcohol vs. Glycerin. Is anyone sane and not a panicked sales person who sucks selling? Why not say why both are good and simply highlight the differences in a friendly way? I understand that takes intelligence, courage and non- black and white thinking.

    From what I’ve read Glycerin is best for kids and anti alcohol ‘needs’ people. I like that it cuts the taste of the herbs. That’s a neat help at times. I personaly feel the Alcohol would leech far better and quicker than the G. Also Flower Essences are always bottled “Mother Tintures” with brandy and those flower powers have power when used correctly. You can then cut them with G for a tincture treatment bottle. This article seams to bash other alcohol related tools for a ‘touch of profits’ and ‘being different’. How Neanderthal.

    I’m sure Glyerine is fine and have a bottle of it here I’m trying out with Echinacea from Gaia Herbs and it requires vast amounts of shaking while still not blending well. I’m flexible. Whatever 😉

    • Amanda O. says:

      Thanks for your feedback, we always appreciate comments from people who are passionate and curious. We have chosen to use glycerine in order to make our product friendly and available to everyone including children and people who can’t consume alcohol. Our liquid light process ensures that the vitamins and minerals are properly extracted from the herbs in our finished product (which doesn’t require much shaking either!). Thanks again for your feedback and feel free to reach out at support@trilighthealth.com if we can answer any other product questions for you.

  7. Colleen Hamson says:

    I am new at this, so please be gentle. I have to lean toward the glycerin as I will be making it for kids. I have used alcohol and glycerin both, and where cost is concerned alcohol beats glycerin hands down. Would like to find the least fatty glycerin at a good price. Any thoughts?

    • Amanda O. says:

      Hi Colleen,
      Many local herb shops are now selling glycerine as well as a number of other online retailers. It really depends on what you want the glycerine to be made from and how much you’re purchasing. We don’t typically suggest specific brands for anything.

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  10. Young herbalist says:

    This was very helpful for a project that I’m working on! Thnx!

  11. Colleen says:

    Thank you for this. I’m also going to try coconut oil.

  12. Luna Bleu says:

    A small percentage of people have horrible reactions to glycerine. It gives me migraines. Just bought a $70 tincture with small print that I can’t use because it has glycerine in it. I’d like to know how to remove it!

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