The Old-School Beauty Treatment That's Making a Comeback

Why it's time to try herbal tinctures. 

herbal-tinctures
Photo by Elysia Berman

This article originally appeared on MIMI.

I stumbled across herbal tinctures while deep-diving holistic beauty offerings on Google at
4am. And it seems the newest beauty remedy on my radar is actually quite old. In fact, herbal tinctures have been used for over a hundred years to turn herbs into medicines—many of which benefit health ailments just as much as it does the wellbeing of your skin, hair, nails, and body.

A tincture is a highly concentrated liquid herbal extract that offers an alternative to ingesting pills. This way, the medicinal components are absorbed into your body almost immediately, whereas encapsulated herbs "need to be broken down and assimilated through your digestive tract," explains holistic nutritionist Maddie Laberge. The trippiest part? You can actually taste the properties of the herb, which aids to stimulate digestive juices. Laberge says, "Imagine the taste of sour lemon juice in your mouth right now. Really picture yourself squeezing lemon juice straight onto your tongue! See how much more you begin to salivate? Different tastes stimulate different physiological responses. It's a much more intimate way of working with the medicinal properties of the herb."

In order to make your own tincture, place fresh or dried herbs in a large jar and cover with either alcohol or glycerin. Then, leave the mixture to soak for weeks to extract the active compounds. "After straining out the fibrous parts of the herb, the liquid extract is ready to be bottled and ingested," says Dr. Laurie Steelsmith, the author of Natural Choices for Women's Health and Growing Younger Every Day. The blends are also easy to mix with other botanicals "to create the perfect herbal formula for your specific needs." If you're not interested in making your own elixir, don't fret! They are readily available at health food stores and pharmacies.

These tiny, bottled brews help to balance and support your body, whatever it may need. Plus, they provide more of the entire plant, rather than just one active ingredient. There are hundreds of herbal tinctures on the market that can address essentially any health imbalance, and specific combination of herbs that are traditionally used for different conditions. Steelsmith says, "If you suffer from acne, you can use blood cleansing herbs like burdock root along with liver cleansing herbs like dandelion to support skin health. If you have low energy or a hormonal imbalance, you can mix together chase tree berry and adrenal boosting botanicals like Siberian ginseng or rhodiola to create the perfect 'health cocktail'" She continues, "One of the best companies producing herbal tinctures is Herb Pharm. They have been making high quality products for decades."

I did a little research of my own, and found Kypris, a company that offers six innovative serums and elixirs designed to balance, hydrate, protect and repair your skin.

The three potions that focus most on beautifying your skin are Beauty Elixir I (to fight hormonal blemishes and pollution), Beauty Elixir II (for inflamed, unruly skin), and Beauty Elixir III (for sensitive skin), but the other offerings are worth checking out as well.

You don't have to be a vegan yoga master who survives solely on green juice to indulge in a natural beauty routine. I certainly am not. But, mapping out your own choices based on good ingredients and even better results will improve the way you look. Just think, you could have your own apothecary by fall. Hey, a girl can dream.