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There are 5 basic schools of medicinal herbalism listed in chronological order here based on the earliest records of each.
Chinese, Ayurvedic, Roman, Arab and Western herbalism.
Many native methods, including the Australian Aboriginal systems are much older but are only now being documented and therefore are relatively incomplete at this stage.

I will refer to each of these when appropriate.




Water soluble:

A few alkaloids, some gums, sugars, proteins/enzymes, some vitamins, tannins, glycosides, saponins, bitter compounds, some starches, polysaccharides, pectins and some tannins.



Bitter compounds, glycosides, sugars, some tannins.


Diluted Alcohol: 50/50

Some alkloids, bitter compounds, enzymes, glucosides, salts, sugar, some tannins and some vitamins.


Straight Alcohol:

Some alkaloids, balsam, fats, volatile oils, resins sugars, some tannins, some vitamins and waxes.



Some bitter compounds, glucosides, dilute saponins and some tannins.



The percentages below are taken from the US Pharmacoepia which we use as a base for all of our calculations, both herbal and homeopathic.


it is difficult to know what percentages to use when using an alcohol/water extraction method to make tinctures from fresh or dried plant materials.The percentage amount refers to the percentage of absolute alcohol in relation to water of the total solvent liquid. I have only included the plants that we have dealt with directly and I would recommend paying for access to a reliable Pharmacoepia if you need more information.


Alfalfa leaf 40-50%
Angelica root 70-75%
Arnica flower 50-70%
Barberry root 50-70%
Bayberry bark 35-60%
Betony 35-50%
Black Cohosh (root) 60-85%
Blessed Thistle 45-60%
Burdock (root) 40-50%;
Calendula (flower) 50-80%
Catnip (leaf) 50-60%
Cayenne fruit 80-95%
Chamomile (flower) 45-65%
Chaste berry 40-60%
Chickweed 35-65%
Cleavers 30-65%
Collinsonia (roots) 40-75%
Comfrey (leaf) 50-65%;
Corn silk 35-65%
Cramp bark 50-60%
Dandelion (root) 35-65%
Dong quai 20-65%
Echinacea (root) 45-75%
Elder flower 35-65%
Elecampane root 45-70%
Eyebright 35-50%
Fennel (seed) 60-70%
Feverfew (leaf/flower) 50-75%
Figwort (leaf/flower) 50-60%
Fringetree (bark) 55-70%
Garlic 65%
Ginkgo (leaf) 55-75%
Ginseng (root) 25-70%
Goldenrod 45-65%
Gotu kola (herb) 25-60%
Hawthorn (berry) 40-70%
Hops (strobile) 50-75%
Horehound 35-65%
Horseradish 40-55%
Horsetail 35-65%
Hydrangea (root) 30-50%
Hyssop (herb) 35-60%
Juniper (berry) 60-75%
Kava kava 60-75%
Licorice root 20-75%
Lobelia (herb) 40-70%
Maidenhair fern 60%
Marshmallow 20-65%
Milk thistle (seed) 70-95%
Motherwort (herb) 45-70%
Mugwort 40-50%
Mullein (leaf) 50-60%
Myrrh (gum) 85-95%
Nettle (leaf) 35-50%
Oats 40-65%
Oregon Grape root 45-70%
Periwinkle 35-50%
Passionflower 40-65%
Peppermint 45-60%
Plantain (leaf) 35-55%
Poke root 40-65%
Prickly ash (bark) 55-70%
Pulsatilla (flowering plant) 70%
Red clover (flower) 40-65%
Red raspberry (leaf) 35-50%
Red root/New Jersey Tea 35%
Sage 50-75%
Shepherd's purse 40-65%
Skullcap 45-65%
St.Johnswort (leaf/flower) 55-65%
Uva ursi 40-65%
Valerian (root) 50-65%
White Oak bark 15-50%
White willow (bark) 35-50%
Wild Geranium (root) 35-55%
Wild Ginger (root) 60-75%
Wild Indigo (root) 50-65%
Wild yam root 55-65%
Witch hazel (bark) 40-65%
Yarrow (flower) 35-65%



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