What is a Dropperful?

Tinctures are usually taken by the dropperful (also known as a squeeze). A dropperful is the amount of liquid that fills the glass tube of the dropper top when the bulb on the dropper top is squeezed and released. The liquid may fill the glass tube only a small portion of the way, but that is considered a “dropperful”. A dropperful equals approximately 30 drops.

On all dropper tops, no matter how large of a tincture bottle it comes with, the bulb (the thing you squeeze) is standard on them all. The bulb is what determines how much liquid fills the tube, not the length of the tube itself.

A standard suggested adult dosage for tinctures is 2 dropperfuls two to three times a day. For children check with a qualified herbalist. With this standard dosing suggestion (for adults) of two dropperfuls three times a day, a 1oz. bottle of tincture will last about one week, a 2oz. bottle will last two weeks, and a 4oz. bottle will typically last about a month.

Dosage for some herbal tinctures will vary. Read the label for the dosage for the specific tincture. If the dosage and/or timing is within a range, consider weight of person taking the tincture and the reason for taking that tincture (as a tonic take the lesser amount and/or less often whereas for conditions that are severe or came on suddenly take more and/or more often). Always stay within the range on the label. To be sure that there is no allergy to the herb, begin slow by taking a small dosage and then waiting 24 hours to make sure that there is no reaction.

To take a tincture, it is best to take the drops directly under the tongue. This gets the herb directly into the bloodstream. If necessary, it is fine to dilute the tincture in a small amount of water or juice to drink. It may be flavored with lemon or honey to disguise the taste. (Note: never give honey to a child under one year of age.) You may also put the dropperfuls of tincture into a cup of warm or hot water for an instant cup of herbal tea. Heat your water first, before adding the herbs. Heating the herbs in a microwave may kill or weaken their healthful benefits.

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