Herbal extracts include the derivatives of herbs and medicinal plants. They contain principle substances or plant alkaloids that have healing benefits. They have potent action as compared to crude herbs and plants.
An herbal extract is a pure and concentrated solution or a substance obtained after extracting the chemical constituents of the herb or medicinal plant. The process may involve pulling and washing of the herbs using a solution of water and alcohol or water and glycerin.
An herbal extract is in a liquid form and needs to be prepared and preserved well in order to ensure that the aroma, biological activity and the taste of the herbs from which it is obtained is not lost. Dry herbal extracts are generally concentrated water decoctions.
Herbal Extract Preparation Method
An herbal extract may be prepared from a single herb or several herbs. The components present in the specific formula are represented in exact amounts usually expressed as a percentage to ensure the final product is standardized to derive maximum health benefits. Standardization of the formula also ensures that the chemical composition of the product is consistent for each batch.
To begin with, the parts of the herbs are chopped and blended well. Later, the recommended amount of a mixture of water and alcohol is added to this blend. The mixture may be blended again well to ensure all the contents are mixed well.
The contents are poured into a wide-mouth jar and allowed to stay for a period of about 2 weeks. The jar should be shaken every day. After 2 weeks, the liquid is strained through a muslin cloth to extract as much of the liquid as possible. The herbal extract obtained is stored in a clean container for future use.
The concentrated water extracts are prepared from the herbal decoctions and evaporating the water and preserving the solid substance.