It has come to our attention that certain folks in the herbal community have been spreading the fake news that our tinctures are made with grain alcohol, a very common solvent used in the herbal extracts industry. In the pursuit of absolute honesty, fairness, and both values of science and tradition, we wrote this blog post to explain to you why this is far from the truth.

All of our alcohol-based extracts are made with 100% organic cane alcohol (as in sugar cane), a gluten-free alternative to grain alcohol that we have found sits better with our ethics, customer preferences, and extract preparation methods than grain alcohol. We've had many requests to use GF ingredients in our extracts and want to honor our GF customers by doing so. We value those who live with celiac's disease and want them to be able to use our preparations without any discomfort or concern, and we also value those who may be gluten sensitive or avoid gluten for other reasons. 

In the spirit of truth and information, we want to share with 100% transparency our herbal extract making methods. Let's be real - we've been doing this for over 25 years and we know the difference between cane alcohol and grain alcohol, and we feel like it's important that you guys/gaias know, too. 

So, here's the nitty gritty. We use 100 proof organic (non-GMO) cane alcohol from PharmCo to make all of our alcohol-based herbal extracts. Let's dive deeper into our process: when making a batch of extract, we dilute 190 proof cane alcohol with filtered water to arrive at a trusty, neutral 100 proof organic cane solution which is just the right strength for effectively extracting all of the desired phytochemicals from the plant without having an overly 'alcoholic' sting on the tongue. Side note: we do recommend you add your tinctures to water, juice, or tea if you are taking them regularly to reduce the direct exposure of the tongue and throat to such high proof alcohol. We choose not to use a higher proof because regular use of 190 proof alcohol may potentially harm the kidneys and liver and we want our trusted herbal extracts to be taken regularly - when that's appropriate (with tonic or long-term use herbs, for example). Want more information on how much alcohol is in our herbal extracts? See here.

Straining Herbal Medicine

The fresh plant material dilutes the 100 proof extract even more to take most bottled extracts to a final proof which is between 60-80 (30%-40% alcohol by volume). In days gone by, we used 100 proof vodka (which is usually made with whatever grain is available) and 100 proof organic grain alcohol (corn or wheat). Our switch to cane alcohol was catalyzed by several factors: (1) we found numerous customers who mentioned their sensitivity to the corn or wheat which make grain alcohol (2) supporting the conventional corn or wheat industries is not something we found complied with our values (3) cane alcohol is said to be produced 3x more efficiently than grain alcohol and the massive green impact of the sugar fields has a net positive effect on carbon levels. In other words, one acre of sugar cane may produce 2-3 times the amount of alcohol that one acre of corn would produce.

Making and Pouring Herbal Medicine Extracts in Red Moon Herbs Apothecary Lab

We use fresh plant material harvested at its peak and processed immediately in a 1:2 ratio with almost all of our extracts to make them as potent as possible - the exceptions to this rule are the few herbs that have been proven to extract better when dried, such as some of the beneficial mushrooms (which we make double extractions out of with both alcohol and water) and usnea lichen (which we lightly heat). Any plant that has been dried before extracting will have that information on its product page, but otherwise you can assume that all of our extracts are fresh, which is a point of pride and quality for us. Many herbal companies make extracts from dried plants, which may be taken in higher doses and do not typically contain the full range of constituents (not to mention the 'energetics') of the plant in the same ratios as the fresh extracts.

The 'energy', 'vibrations', or 'qi' - whatever you want to call it - of the aerial portions of fresh plants are most potent in the spring and summer as they bud and bloom. Motherwort, dandelion, and violets are in this category. Late flowering plants - lobelia and goldenrod, for example - are at their best towards the end of summer and beginning of autumn around the time they begin to seed, while the roots of a plant, such as burdock and yellow dock, are typically at their peak potency post-frost in the early winter. We are sure to harvest each individual plant in accordance with its own cycle within the wheel of the year. 

Please let us know if you have any questions concerning our preparation making methods. We are here for you and are honored that you have put so much trust in our manufacturing process. 

May 05, 2020 — Red Moon Herbs


alice said:

are your tinctures kosher? if so, who certifies it, thank you

Heather Wood Buzzard said:

To answer your questions:

The shelf life has to do with alcohol proof and percent rather than type of alcohol.

Again, cane alcohol may have a similar effect on the nervous system as any other type alcohol if the proof and percentage is the same.

Yes, any type of excess use of alcohol may be intoxicating.

The amount of alcohol in one dosage size of our tinctures is about the same as what is in a ripe banana. It is extremely miniscule and generally considered safe even for those who are avoiding alcohol.

We source our cane alcohol from a trusted local supplier of 100% organic cane alcohol.

Cane alcohol does not have the same effects on the body as cane sugar because it is alcohol, not sugar.

Thank you!

Vivian Spiker said:

Is 100 % pure cane alcohol in a tincture safe for alcoholics?

chris mysinger said:

More of shelf life of tinctures made w/cane alcohol..same as made w/grain alcohol??
Thank you

Hillda G said:

Hi, I saw recently that cane alcohol was used in a herbal sleeping product, and that that was pretty much the only ingredient. Does it have the same effect on the central nervous system as grain alcohol? In other words, are they just trying to talk up having a couple shots before bed at a crazy inflated price? Oh wait forgive me, I believe there may have been some kind of glycerin in Super super top shelf alcohol Lol. Thank you for your time… I sure hope this still gets checked!!! 😟 🤞🏻

AlisonBardo said:

I am a recovering alcoholic and want to avoid alcohol of any kind if it is possibly intoxicating. I realize that large quantities of your cane alcohol might be necessary to achieve intoxication. But I haven’t found an answer to my question:
Does cane alcohol possess intoxicating qualities if taken in excessive quantities?

Wendy said:

Is cane alcohol the same as any other that you drink? I am dealing with acid reflux and not sure if I should be using the product.

Katlyn Hookstra said:

Hi! I was looking for a gluten free alternative to grain alcohols and noticed you used cane. I was wondering if having cane alcohol has the same effect on the body as cane sugar would since it is produced from cane sugar?

Annie Bancroft-Parvin said:

I Love thos so much. Where do you source your cane alcohol and can you share. I make tinctures and extracts and would love to switch to a cane alcohol that is trusted and well sourced.
Thank You

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