Alcohol Extraction and its Importance
No one really know's for certain when and where alcohol was first produced. Scientists and archaeologists have found that alcohol has been intentionally made by humans as far back as 10 thousand years ago. It was seen as a crucial medicinal ingredient. The ancients also practiced infusing their medicinal herbs in wine. This is basically the process of what we now call "extraction”.
The ancient healers eventually realized that wine, when infused with herbs, somehow absorbed the medicinal properties of those herbs. Now we know that organic alcohol is a natural extractor—that is, the alcohol extracted the natural essences and active compounds of the herbs. By the time of the Middle Ages when distillation became widely known, apothecaries grew in number selling their tinctures of herbs for a wide variety of medical conditions.
Today, of course, we don’t use wine for such things. Now we use food grade alcohol if we want to produce safe medicinal extracts. That’s because the lesser grades contain too many impurities, and these impurities are simply difficult for our livers to process.
In fact, the use of alcohol actually maximizes the bioavailability of the active compounds we extract from the medicinal plant. Our bodies make more effective use of the active compounds.