Herbal Extracts Vs Tablets – Which Should I Choose?

Posted on December 4, 2017

A common question we get asked is, ‘why are herbal extracts preferable to tablets or capsules?’

Aside from being more convenient to consume, liquid extracts are preferred by herbalists and  aturopaths for several key reasons: they are more potent; they can be digested by the body at a much faster rate; they have as longer shelf-life; and dosages can be easily customised.


As we explained in an earlier blog post on alcohol-based tinctures, the use of ethanol in liquid extracts allows herbalists to create extremely potent extracts, whereby only a small dose is required to reap the benefits.

On the other hand, tablets and capsules contain a number of unnatural ingredients to preserve the shelf-life of the product, which also effectively ‘dilutes’ the potency of the active ingredients.


Herbal extracts are also extremely fast-acting, as the body can directly absorb the powerful properties of the herbs into the bloodstream. On the other hand, tablets and capsules need to be digested and broken down by the body, thereby delivering a slower release of the herbal properties.


Given that alcohol is an excellent preservative, herbal extracts can last for up to five years in some cases, while tablets and capsules may only last for up to two years.

Customised dosages

Another reason why most herbalists and naturopaths recommend extracts over tablets and capsules, is that doses can be easily adjusted. If you’re new to a herbal extract, and are unsure how your body will react, it’s easy to simply take half the amount of drops required. It’s difficult to halve tablets and capsules, which can not only be a messy and imprecise exercise, but can also result in an unpleasant aftertaste.

What’s more, liquid extracts can be customised to your specific ailments. Herbal complexes can be formulated to treat a range of ailments, all from a single dose. Such customisation just isn’t possible with tablets and capsules.

More than just being easier to swallow than tablets or capsules, liquid extracts are faster-acting and more readily absorbed by the body, making them the obvious choice when you’re deciding which form is right for you. Next time you visit your herbalist or naturopath, make sure you ask for liquid extracts, as they’re far more potent and will get you feeling better, faster!