A mother tincture is the extract through alcohol and water (hydroalcoholic) of the medicinal parts of a plant (leaves, roots, stems, flowers, etc.), which is macerated in a dark place for several days until the principles are concentrated in the liquid (it is dyed), then it is filtered and bottled.
For a mother tincture to be considered homeopathic, under the paradigm established by Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843), the product must adhere to the standards established in the applicable homeopathic pharmacopoeia (in addition to that of Mexico, the main ones are that of Germany, France and the United States). These tinctures generally have certificates of analysis, purity tests for aflatoxins, heavy metals, pesticides, microbiological tests, and even manufacturing and harvest records.
However, in Mexico there is a very old herbal tradition, which precedes the Spanish Conquest and that we can see clearly illustrated in the Codex Badiano. Over the years, there has been a cultural exchange between the homeopathic tradition, which incorporated Mexican herbs into its pharmacopoeia, and traditional medicine, which incorporated the use of tinctures among its tools to treat illness.
A similar process also happened with the Native American cultures. Although the alchemical influence was even greater in them, since several of the European colonizers of what is now the United States of America brought the idea of establishing a new alchemical republic in America. One of them was John Winthrop Jr., who not only popularized the use of tinctures, but also the use of metals such as antimony (influenced by Paracelsus) for its medicinal use.
The main characteristic of traditional mother tinctures is that they are made with medicinal plants in an artisanal way, by healers, traditional doctors or even by the patient himself. Another important feature is that these tinctures are usually made with a proportion of alcohol and water in equal parts, unlike homeopathic or spagyric tinctures that use an alcohol concentration greater than 70%.
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2. Bye, Robert. Linares, Edelmira. (2013). Códice De la Cruz-Badiano. Arqueología Mexicana. Primera parte. Edición Especial 50. Editorial Raíces
3. Bye, Robert. Linares, Edelmira. (2013). Códice De la Cruz-Badiano. Arqueología Mexicana. Segunda parte. Edición Especial 51. Editorial Raíces
4. Dulanto Gutiérrez, Enrique. (1979). La Medicina Primitiva en México. Artes de México. N°135, Año XVII.
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6. Anónimo. (2003). Recetario Medicinal Azteca. Editorial Época
7. Garlow, Aponi. (2021). Native American Herbal Apothecary, The Ultimate Herbalist Encyclopedia and Herbal Remedies& Recipes Dispensatory to Heal and Improve your Wellness With the Native Americans Spiritual Tradition.
8. Woodward, Walter W. (2010). Prospero´s America, John Winthrop, Jr., Alchemy, and the Creation of New England Culture, 1606-1676. Green Press.
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