Another way to use herbs and utilize their benefits in your formulations are extracts. There are three different types of herbal extracts.
Alcohol Based Extracts/Tinctures
These extracts are made using 80 proof or higher grain alcohol and herbs. These types of extract are used for medicinal purposes i.e digestion,acne, etc. They are to be ingested by blending into your beverages or even just taking the drops. These are the types of extracts you will typically find in Whole foods and other health food stores if not marked otherwise. Shelf life is estimated to 1-2 yrs and should be stored in cobalt/amber glass jars.
These types of extract are NOT to be used for most cosmetic applications.
Glycerin Based Extracts
These extracts are water soluble and can be used in the water phase of cosmetics. They are also good for giving to children, those sensitive to alcohol etc. The self life of these extracts are much shorter and should be used within 6 months.
Apple Cider Vinegar Based Extracts
These extracts can be used for herbal hair rinses or added to facial mud masks. They also have a very short and should be used within a week.
When purchasing extracts pay attention to if they are made with alcohol and are water soluble or oil soluble for your formulations.