Glycerine is a clear, odorless liquid made from vegetables in this case coconut oil, and it can be used to extract herbs in a non-alcohol format. Alcohol works great for some components of herbs and in general is a highly effective way to deliver herbal medicine. Glycerine is a bit subtler but I like using it with bamboo because it tends to extract water soluble elements and minerals a bit better than alcohol and silica is water soluble.
It has a sweet flavor but is not processed by the body like a sugar and so is safe for small children, diabetics, pregnant women, and others who have sensitivities to sugars. It has a demulcent effect and can be very useful for sore throats or coughs.
This glycerine extract can be taken orally under the tongue or added to drinks or smoothies. It will sweeten anything it is added to without taking the sugar hit 🙂
I have really been diving into extracts because not everyone is a tea drinker and they are really easy to take. I love that a small bottle can be easily carried to work and in seconds you have all of the bamboo benefits. Just be sure to keep your extracts in a cool, dark place or refrigerate them for a longer shelf life. The glycerine extract should be viable for 2-3 years but hopefully you will use it faster then that to get all of the great nutrition.
Glycerine is used topically too so go ahead and use it in your own skin formulas.