- This article is about alcoholic liquids. For the colors used in a coat of arms, see tincture (heraldry).
In medicine, a tincture is an alcoholic extract (e.g. of a herb) or solution of a non-volatile substance (e.g. of iodine, mercurochrome). Solutions of volatile substances were called spirits, although that name was also given to several other materials obtained by distillation, even when they did not include alcohol. Some examples that were formerly common in medicine include:
- Tincture of Benzoin
- Tincture of cantharides
- Tincture of ferric citrochloride (a chelate of citric acid and Iron(III) chloride)
- Tincture of green soap (which also contains lavender)
- Tincture of guaiac
- Tincture of iodine
- Tincture of opium (laudanum)
- Camphorated opium tincture (paregoric)
- An herbal extract
- The multiple plant extract Iberogast
Examples of spirits include:
- Spirit of ammonia (also called spirit of hartshorn)
- Spirit of camphor
- Spirit of ether, a solution of diethyl ether in alcohol
- "Spirit of Mindererus", ammonium acetate in alcohol
- "Spirit of nitre" is not a spirit in this sense, but an old name for nitric acid (but "sweet spirit of nitre" was ethyl nitrite)
- Similarly "spirit of salt" actually meant hydrochloric acid,
- "Spirit of vinegar" was glacial acetic acid and
- "Spirit of vitriol" was sulfuric acid.
- "Spirit of wine" or "spirits of wine" is an old name for alcohol (especially food grade alcohol derived from the distillation of wine)
- "Spirit of wood" means methanol, often derived from the destructive distillation of wood
- Nalewka - An infusion is a water or oil based extract with similar historical uses to a tincture.
- Elixir - A pharmaceutical preparation containing an active ingredient that is dissolved in a solution containing some percentage of ethyl alcohol.