Posted on: December 5, 2018
You’re not the first person to have questions about herbs and herbalism. So, we brought in one of our experts to help answer some of the most common questions and concerns. David Bunting, Herb Pharm’s VP of Botanical Affairs, began studying herbalism in 1979 and has been making herbal medicines professionally since 1982.
QUESTION: Why do Liquid Herbal Extracts have an expiry date?
When properly made, whole plant extracts are not generally subject to the microbial degradation that is common in many foods and especially liquids. They are, however, subject to precipitation. Precipitation usually occurs as visible particulate sinking to the bottom of the bottle or coating the pipette. Precipitate is evenly distributed when the bottle is shaken and is not a cause for concern when taken as part of the extract. Over time, the amount of precipitate can increase beyond what is normally considered acceptable. This is the primary reason for the expiration dating on liquid extracts. When extracts are properly stored according to labeled instructions, degradation of phytochemicals or extractives is typically slower than the formation of precipitate.