A botanical extract is a plant material that is mainly used for medicinal and therapeutic properties. Products created from botanical extracts are used to improve overall wellness and health. Individuals who want to improve their skin, overall health, and wellness should try botanical extract products. Botanical extracts can be extracted from plants through various methods, including:
- Steam distillation
- CO2 extraction
- Oil infusion
- Solvent extraction
- Alcohol infusion
- Glycerol extracts
Types Of Botanical Extracts
There are many different types of botanical extracts. Here are a few:
Since water is not a very strong solvent, there aren’t many botanical extracts made using water. However, there are a few that are commonly used in skincare. They are:
- Green tea extract
- Aloe extract
- Cucumber extract
These water-based extracts can be used in skincare routine in the form of toners, spritzers, or emulsions. Water-based extracts like green tea and aloe extract can also be used in teas and juices.
Alcohol is a much more effective solvent compared to water. It is used in making tinctures. Some tinctures can be made using part water and part alcohol as well. Some common alcohol-based tinctures include:
- Horse Chestnut
Most alcohol and alcohol-water-based tinctures are water-soluble. Besides skincare, some of these botanical extracts can also be used as medicines. For instance, Arnica is widely known for its ability to soothe aching joints and muscles.
For CO2 extracts, plant material is usually extracted using supercritical carbon dioxide. A supercritical fluid refers to the fluid that is kept at a specific temperature and pressure. As a result, it behaves like most commonly used solvents such as chloroform, acetone, or ethyl acetate. The benefit of a supercritical fluid is that it quickly evaporates and does not leave behind any harmful residue. As a result, you get only the pure extract of the plant. When extracting botanical material using CO2, the temperatures used are typically very low, making the process less risky and harmful for the active components of the plant material.
CO2 extracts are oil-soluble and are commonly found in:
- Essential oils because they contain a high amount of volatile aromatic molecules
- Carrier oils
- Very concentrated oil extracts
You can also find CO2 extracts in lotions, creams, and emulsions.
Glycerites are extracted using glycerin or a glycerin-water mixture instead of just alcohol or water. Some examples of glycerites include:
- Horse Chestnut
Since Glycerites have a glycerin base, they help hydrate the skin and keep it moisturized.
Uses Of Botanical Extracts
One of the most popular uses of botanical extracts is for skincare. Due to their natural sources, botanical extracts have many positive effects on the skin. They are used in manufacturing lotions, skin hydrating oils, cleansers, toners, and face washes. They are also used in making scrubs that lead to clear and soft skin. Many cosmetic brands today offer organic makeup made using botanical extracts. These kinds of makeup are preferred by many worldwide since they cause little to no reactions and stay longer in the skin compared to other types of makeup.
Botanical Extracts As Medicines
The usefulness of botanical extracts is not limited to skincare alone, as it has numerous medicinal benefits. We will mention some of them below:
- Eucalyptus has been used for centuries to relieve symptoms of colds and chest congestion.
- Plants like black cohosh help manage symptoms of menopause.
- Ginger can be used to improve digestive health and immunity
- Turmeric can be used as an antiseptic.
Botanical ingredients are an important part of aromatherapy. Commonly known as essential oil therapy, aromatherapy focuses on the holistic use of essential oils extracted from various plant sources to promote physical and mental well-being. These oils can be used in pure form or in the form of body butter, candles, inhalers, incense, and more.
Many botanical extracts can be used to add additional benefits to food as well. They are sold and consumed in dietary supplements or as organic food such as honey, syrups, and more.
Evidently, botanical extracts have several benefits. They can be used in different types of products in skincare, cosmetics, dietary supplements, or medicines. You can research more about various botanical extracts online.