Botanical medicine is one of the oldest and most popular therapies worldwide for promoting overall wellness. Well before this age of modern medicine, our ancestors relied on the sacred gifts provided by Mother Nature—herbs—to heal. The archeological evidence of plant medicine dates back nearly 60,000 years to the Paleolithic age.
In this article, we will explore what botanical extracts are, the top botanical extract benefits, and why we rely on these powerful botanical supplements at Wise Woman Herbals.
What Are Botanicals?
We’ll get to botanical extracts in a moment, but what are botanicals? A botanical is a plant or plant part sought after for its medicinal or therapeutic properties, flavor, or scent. There are many different ways to prepare a botanical, including teas, infusions, tinctures, and extracts.
What Are Botanical Extracts?
A botanical extract is a result of soaking an herb, or botanical, in a liquid-like alcohol, glycerin, or water to extract the desired ingredient.
One of the reasons botanical extracts are so effective is their purity and potency. We isolate a single compound within the herb, also known as a phytochemical, which provides a much higher concentration.
You can find hundreds of botanical and herbal products on the market today that are used to promote health and longevity for those suffering from acute and chronic illnesses. In fact, you might be surprised to know that many of today’s pharmaceutical drugs are derived from plant sources. For instance, aspirin derives from willow bark, and morphine derives from the opium poppy.
What Is the Difference between Botanical Extracts and Essential Oils?
While both botanical herbal extracts and essential oils come from plants, their main differences are rooted in their production, potency, fragrance, and usage:
- Production: Botanical extracts are made by soaking an herb in liquid to create a "whole plant" extract in a tincture. Essential oils utilize a distillation process to extract just the volatile oils, only one compound from the plant.
- Potency: Botanical extracts are extracted in liquids such as water, alcohol, and glycerin, while essential oils are not, making the latter much more potent and not always recommended for internal consumption.
- Fragrance: Essential oils are made by distilling only the volatile oils from the plant. These are the aromatic compounds we use in aromatherapy.
- Usage: Because of the concentration level of essential oils, they need to be diluted with another liquid to be safe and effective for use. On the other hand, Botanical extracts are gentler and safe to use alone.
Can You Use Extracts in Diffusers?
The herbal extract will often have very different notes of fragrance due to the complex chemical structure and is not always aromatically pleasing in a diffuser. For aromatherapy, stick with essential oils.
What Are the Top 3 Botanical Extract Benefits?
At Wise Woman Herbals, we’re on a mission to provide a gentle and natural way to improve your quality of life through quality botanical supplements. Here are the three main benefits botanical extracts provide.
One of the biggest botanical extract benefits is that the phytochemicals are potent and highly absorbable. This is primarily because they bypass our digestive process and are absorbed directly into the bloodstream. The effects tend to be more immediate as a result.
Plants have always had powerful healing properties, which is why a diet rich in a variety of colorful vegetables, fruits, and fresh-cut herbs has benefited many people suffering from chronic illness. But sometimes it can be difficult to absorb all of the nutrients and beneficial compounds like antioxidants from food-based sources, especially if our digestion system is compromised or we have underlying chronic infections.This is where botanical extracts come in. They can provide an added layer of healing properties that complement a well-balanced diet and lifestyle.
Another great botanical extract benefit is the fact that these liquid tinctures are so versatile. They can be taken directly from the bottle using a dropper, added to foods or beverages, and combined with other botanical extracts to create healing elixirs, syrups, teas, salves, essential oils, and more.
If you’re someone who has trouble swallowing capsules or tablets, a botanical extract is a great option because it’s liquid-based and easy to consume. And there are plenty of options to suit your needs when it comes to the tincture base, such as alcohol, glycerin, water, or even vinegar.
For example, if you are suffering from digestive upset like bloating, gas, indigestion, and so on, but an alcohol-based solution irritates your mouth, the Wise Woman Herbals' Tummy Glycerite is a great option. It combines three botanical extracts (fennel, lemon balm, and chamomile) in a sweet glycerin and spring water base to help promote digestive relief and an overall sense of calm.
3. Targeted Healing
Lastly, the ability to isolate certain bioactive compounds and combine certain herbs offers a highly customizable and targeted approach to your health. For a lot of people with chronic illness, less is more when it comes to dietary supplements. Too many ingredients can overwhelm the system, and some of the ingredients may not even be necessary for you.
Botanical extracts provide targeted healing properties for specific health concerns, combining various products for optimal healing. For example, if your goal is to better support your adrenals while also promoting healthy liver function, you might focus on two single plant extracts like ashwagandha and milk thistle.
Why We Rely on These Powerful Botanical Supplements
We rely on botanical extracts to help individuals support their mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing. Our team preserves nature’s ingredients by tapping into ancient European practices to craft pure and effective botanical products. These powerful natural supplements can support you at every stage of your wellness journey.
The Wise Woman Herbals Promise
Manufactured on site at our FDA-inspected facility in Creswell, Oregon, we process over 325 whole-herb supplements with the highest quality ingredients that are certified organic, kosher, and non-GMO. Our proprietary blends and traditional handmade processing techniques have been handed down through generations.
It’s always been incredibly important to us that we preserve the integrity of the plant constituents, which we believe are required to provide a completely beneficial botanical product as nature intended. Read more about the Wise Woman Herbals story here.
Nicole Cieslak is a functional nutritional therapy practitioner and certified personal trainer at Fit Foodist Nutrition, specializing in gut health and hormone balance. Every day, she strives to help people overcome chronic digestive and hormonal issues by getting to the root cause of their health imbalances. Through personalized diet, lifestyle, and nutritional supplement recommendations, she empowers her clients to find freedom from suffering so they can reclaim their happiness and health. Learn more about her and get free nutrition, fitness, and nontoxic living advice at thefitfoodist.com.