What is Mother Tincture?

Mother tincture is a simple combination of natural botanical extracts with a particular quantity of alcohol. The quantity of alcohol used for dilution of the botanical extract is decided by the Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States (HPUS). The natural botanical extract is being made with water or alcohol in a fixed proportion. Mother tinctures are actually considered to be a physiological dose and they do not undergo any process of drug dynamization. They are generally indicated only in the end stage of the diseases that is only for the pathological changes. Mother tinctures follow the law of symptom similarity. They are considered to be a sure-shot prescription for disease condition, which hardly fails. They are useful in a vast range of diseases.

The homoeopathic medicines which are soluble in water or alcohol are first prepared in the form of mother tincture and then from the mother tincture further potencies are made. A mother tincture is composed of the lowest possible potency of any specific homoeopathic preparation. Mother tincture forms the base from which further homoeopathic potencies are prepared. It considered as the mother or base of a homoeopathic remedy. It is the first stage in preparation of a homoeopathic remedy dilution. It is denoted as ‘Q’. As mother tinctures are prepared from alcohol, it is readily absorbed in stomach and intestine hence, it offers a fast action.

Mother tincture is used in treating several mild to severe health conditions. There is a huge range of mother tinctures available. The selection of mother tincture for treatment is dependent on the symptoms expressed by the patient. They should be used only under the supervision and advice of a qualified homoeopathic physician.

Mother tinctures are a desired mode of treatment as they –

  • Produce a quick action, action commences within 3 to 4 minutes;
  • Are effective for several hours and
  • Are easily accepted and absorbed by the stomach and the intestines as they are prepared from natural botanical extracts and alcohol.


The natural sources from which mother tincture is prepared are:-

  • Plants;
  • Animals;
  • Minerals;
  • Nosodes and


  • Mother tinctures are prepared as per the guidelines of Dr. Hahnemann.
  • Distilled water or alcohol is used in the preparation of mother tincture.
  • Mother tinctures belonging to the plant kingdom are prepared from fresh plants as the medicinal properties are intact in them as compared to dry ones. In case, fresh plants are unavailable then dry ones are used. Homoeopathic mother tinctures are prepared from the whole plants, leaves, fruits, etc.
  • Methods used in the preparation of mother tincture are maceration and percolation.
  • The plant or animal source is cleaned and finely chopped, while other sources are dissolved in water or are grounded.
  • This substance is put in a clean, large jar, into which a solution of alcohol and distilled water is poured in the ratio 90:10, though the ratio differs based on the substance.
  • Mixture is left to stand for varying amount of time and must be stored in a dark place so that the light avoids changing the chemical properties of the dilution.
  • Mixtures that are macerated for longer periods are shaken at intervals. During this stage the properties of the plant are completely drawn into the alcohol and water. Alcohol is used as a preservative to avoid rotting or breeding of bacteria. The mixture is later strained which separates the residue and a tinctured solution saturated with the chemical properties of the original plant. This drained tinctured solution is known as mother tincture.


Mother tincture is selected on the basis of symptom similarity. Though, the outcome of usage of mother tincture is to control the symptoms or distressing stage. Mother tinctures cannot cure any disease. It can only offer a palliative treatment.

The symptoms of the patient are matched with the symptoms of the mother tincture. The symptoms of mother tincture which closely corresponds to the symptoms of the patient is prescribed.


Mother tinctures are used externally or internally. They are indicated in various conditions. Mother tincture is beneficial in:-

  • Acute diseases;
  • Acute exacerbations of the chronic diseases;
  • Pathological conditions and
  • Emergency cases.


Mother tinctures can be used externally as well as internally. It is used either as a local application or is consumed internally. Mother tinctures are available in the following forms:-

  • Tincture
  • Oil
  • Ointment
  • Liniment


Potency/ Dosage

There is no drug power or potency of mother tincture. It is available in only one single potency. It is available in the liquid (tincture) form. Dosage is in the form of drops. The quantity of drops to be consumed and the repetition of the dose shall all be dependent on the phase; intensity and severity of the disease condition. Hence, the dosage shall differ from patient to patient, depending on the need of the disease condition. A qualified Homoeopathic physician shall be the best person to assess the dosage. Therefore, mother tinctures are to be taken under the supervision of a qualified Homoeopathic physician.

How to Take

Mother tinctures can be prescribed singly or in alternation. Two, three or even more mother tinctures can be prescribed in alteration, depending on the need of the disease condition. They are either administered internally or externally.

  • For External Use – A small quantity of mother tincture, ointment, oils or liniment is to be applied at the affected part. It is used as local applications.
  • For Internal Use – Appropriate number of drops of mother tincture is to be mixed in water and is to be consumed. Repetition of dose shall be as per the advice of the Homoeopathic physician.

Dose Adjustments

Dose adjustments are made as per the phase; intensity and severity of the disease condition. The dose varies from disease condition to condition.

Recommended Treatment Duration

Treatment duration differs from patient to patient as it is based on the disease condition. The mother tincture is taken till the distress is not controlled. Though, it offers a temporary relief.


Side Effects

  • Mother tinctures are considered to be harmless as it is the lowest potency and is a less diluted tincture.
  • It can be used for any disease condition following the principle of symptom similarity.
  • Long term use of mother tinctures containing poisonous plant enzymes, glycolides, alkaloids and other phytochemicalingredients is not advisable as it may prove to be detrimental to health.
  • If taken in the crude form, it may produce new pathological symptoms.

Allergic Reactions (Allergy)

Mother tinctures produce no allergic reactions.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

Mother tinctures are harmless for use in pregnant and nursing women, even the alcohol-based mother tinctures.


No noted contraindications. Long term use is not advisable.

Drug Interactions

No drug interactions noted.

Warnings & Precautions

Mother tinctures should be used only under the prescription and supervision of a qualified Homoeopathic physician.


Few advantages of mother tinctures are as follows:-

  • Easy and convenient to use;
  • Acts quickly. Its action starts within 3 – 4 minutes and last for longer duration;
  • It is a sure-shot prescription with lesser chances of failure;
  • It is harmless as it is a less diluted tincture;
  • Beneficial in any disease based upon symptom similarity;
  • Useful in emergency and acute cases;
  • They enter the bloodstream much more directly compared to any other mode and
  • It is used as a palliative medicine in several disease conditions.


Few disadvantages of mother tinctures are as follows:-

  • They fail to offer permanent solution, they only offer temporary relief;
  • They are not able to activate the deranged vital force and
  • Long use is not advisable.


For effective action of mother tincture, proper storage of mother tincture is a must.

Some of the steps for proper storage are as follows:

  • Store in a clean, dark, airtight, neutral flint glass bottle;
  • Store in a dry and cool place;
  • Store in a cool and dark cupboard;
  • Avoid keeping the tinctures in hot area for long duration as heat hampers the quality of mother tincture;
  • Avoid exposure to strong light, direct sunlight, strong odour, damp, smoke or dust;
  • Avoid exposure to cold for long duration as the tincture may become turbid with muddy sediment or may even form crystals;
  • Avoid storing in amber-coloured bottles and
  • Avoid blue-coloured bottles, as they have dynamic effects which are harmful to the tincture.




Acts as Physiological doseDynamized dose
PreparationFails to undergo any process of potentisationUndergoes a process known as potentisation
ActionFast actionSlow action
ResultsOffers temporary reliefOffers permanent cure
Vital forceFails to activate the deranged vital forceCure takes place by action on the deranged vital force
PrescriptionPrescribed on the basis of the illnessTreats the body as a whole and not only the illness
DilutionLess dilutedHighly diluted