Oh, Christmas Tree

It's December! Although there is no snow yet on the ground, it is officially December!

As all of you may know or can read from my blogs, I am a busy girl! Along with keeping myself busy with school, board exams, clinic, etc., I also jam pack my weekends with seeing family and friends, which always makes me so happy. However, our first weekend to just spend time together, run errands together, buy a Christmas tree, watch movies, and make dinner together is priceless. And that's exactly what we had the opportunity to do this weekend.

2011-12-05_tree2             2011-12-05_tree1

I had an amazing weekend and now have a REAL Christmas tree in our house! I wish we had time to decorate it in time for me to show you a picture. Our theme for our gifts and tree this year is "Recycle," so I made some papier-mâchéornaments with newspaper and wrapped all of our gifts with brown paper bags and newspapers that I collected from my colleagues. I love the holidays!

Some of the gifts that I wrapped with recycled paper and a hint of lace. :)


This week, I had a patient that needed a tincture! What is a tincture you might ask? An example of a tincture is an alcohol- based (usually ethanol) solution with different botanicals (herbs) in it. The alcohol base acts as a solvent to extract out the constituents of the botanicals, which can be used instead of a capsule (pill). Since it's alcohol based, it cannot be used with patients who may have a history of alcohol/drug abuse, a type of liver disease (very severe) and children.


However, there are other forms of tinctures that may include vinegar bases or glycerin. Although they are not known to be very good solvents, they are still great options. The other great thing about tinctures is that you can CUSTOMIZE it for your patient for their own needs. If they have 2 or more chief complaints, you don't have to give tons and tons of supplements. Instead you can combine 2 or more herbs that may act on different parts of the body, and can cover complaints that range from musculoskeletal to reproductive all in one bottle. It's amazing, and since it's in liquid form, it has been seen to work in acute cases faster than the body breaking down and absorbing different capsules/tablets/pills.

However, there are limitations as well to using tinctures. COMPLIANCE! Since the tinctures don't taste very good, some patients may not always be compliant and use them as directed (example of a dose: 1 tsp. for up to four times a day!). The strong taste and bitter properties of certain botanicals has some people wanting to throw up. So, in theory they are great, but the patient needs to be made aware of the taste/compliance issue before purchasing it. Tinctures at our clinic for 100mL are $20, which can be expensive over time since 100 mL can last anywhere from 7 to 10 days if you are dosing up to 4xs/day.

Well, I hope you have learned something new today about tinctures! They are great and I love them, but like everything else, there are limitations! I've seen great results with my patients and myself, too, if the compliance is there. Have a great week everyone and enjoy time with your loved ones during this holiday season!!

Blissor: My weekend off to relax, start wrapping gifts, buy our first Christmas tree, and overall spend time with my husband! It's the little things in life! :)

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