Plants and herbs hold a tremendous amount of energy and beneficial compounds within their cells. But how do you access that? Ingesting raw plant materials is one way of tapping in, but it's not practical to eat 3 pounds of spinach or 2 dozen apples to obtain the enzymatic benefits or aromatic constituents. The useful parts must be isolated and concentrated.
Healthful compounds in herbs or botanicals can be isolated from the cellulose and plant material when they are combined with a solvent. The desired parts "dissolve" within the solvent, leaving behind the bulk of the plant material, and are then ready to be concentrated. Alcohol and glycerin extractions are both effective but separate processes with different methodologies. Glycerin, however, offers certain advantages over alcohol.
Vegetable Glycerin and Alcohol Have Different Preservation Mechanisms
Alcohol preserves through a denaturing, sterilization action. Denaturing is a process that alters the protein structure of cells, and in the case of living cells, may kill them. Effectively, alcohol wipes out the biological usability of many constituents  whereas glycerin preserves herbal and botanical characteristics.
How Vegetable Glycerin and Alcohol Respond to Contaminants
Alcohol has a sterilizing action that kills bacteria and contaminating organisms. The sterilization action of alcohol is not biased, however, and also affects the biological usability of what's being isolated. Herbal products processed with alcohol will contain many extracted constituents and compounds that have been rendered useless by alcohol's denaturing action. Glycerin, on the other hand, has a desiccant action that neutralizes contaminating organisms. In other words, glycerin deprives contaminants of water.
Safety of Vegetable Glycerin
Glycerin is a safe and effective preservative and aseptic agent when produced according to stringent standards that use the highest quality ingredients available. Conversely, alcohol can be toxic to the body and has a number of potential, adverse side effects.
Advantages of Vegetable Glycerin Based Extracts
As a solvent, alcohol is mechanically conducive to processing herbs, fresh botanicals, and resinous compounds. However, the denaturing characteristic of alcohol, while natural and sometimes beneficial, is detrimental to a plant's extracted aromatic components, and makes them unusable. This prevents a product from offering the full benefits of the plant matter in question.
I have studied and researched vegetable glycerin's micro-encapsulating properties and created the most effective extractive process possible with Global Healing Center's groundbreaking Spagyrex® production process. Using vegetable glycerin to preserve the biological usability of herbal constituents and compounds, the natural energy of the full spectrum of a herb's compounds and constituents is harnessed. Spagyrex® products are high-quality extractions that include the full spectrum of beneficial ingredients!
- Dog, Tieraona Low. Healthy at Home: Get Well and Stay Well without Prescriptions. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.
- United States. Department of the Interior. National Park Service. Storage Concerns for Fluid-Preserved Collecetions. N.p.: n.p., 1999. Print.
†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.