- by Seneca
Essence Preservatives: Brandy vs Vinegar
Brandy is Freedom Flowers' preservative of choice in our flower essences and used in all our off the shelf products. If you order a Custom Combo, you can request an alcohol-free version made with apple cider vinegar instead at no extra charge, and if you're willing to pay extra because we have to make it to order, you can also get any of the regular essences in a vinegar base. But please read the details below before you decide.
It's natural, tastes good in the minute doses and most importantly, gives a very long shelf life. Flower essences, by design have so much life force within them that a hefty preservative is needed as well as the colored glass to inhibit light absorption. Brandy allows a properly stored flower essence to last indefinitely.
In a glass of water with a standard 4 drop dosage, brandy wins. It makes water taste like really good water. Vinegar has a slight vinegar taste that cats and kids are not generally fans of. I doubt either preservative would be perceptible in any flavored drink.
Alcohol Percents and Dosage
"Wait wait wait! You're giving brandy to cats and kids?" Let's put this in perspective. In a 1 oz flower essence bottle, 20% of the volume will be alcohol. You need 2-4 drops for a dosage and it will be diluted in a glass of water or other choice beverage. How big a glass is up to you. I also doubt you're going to down all that at once.
Have you ever had a glass of orange juice? I'd be more concerned about your blood alcohol levels from that than properly dosed essences. You will get more alcohol in your bloodstream through the natural process of digestion and fermentation of food. No one's getting drunk off flower essences.
I was at an event where the cops came and shut down the Kombucha stand for serving alcohol but they let me stay. If you are concerned about the alcohol content of an essence, to be fair, you should also eliminate baked goods containing vanilla or other natural flavor extracts, (2/3rds remain after cooking) mouthwash, dijon mustard, malt vinegar, wine vinegar and cooking spray.
Allergic to alcohol?
I have seen people with allergies react with that small of an alcohol content. It amounts to a little bit of flushing. In that case if it's not a contact allergy, you can still use a brandy-based essence externally by dotting on pulse points, or areas of tension. You also can special order any of our essences with a vinegar base instead. If it helps for allergy concerns we use Christian Brother's Brandy because it goes straight from oak to glass. Brandy also is naturally gluten free as it made from grapes.
Plenty of recovering alcoholics are using the brandy based essences without falling off the wagon. It's up to you to judge your level of healing in the process and what you think is ok for you personally. The amounts are again, really small. I think the biggest concern for recovery is that there are some potential sensory triggers such as smell. Again, these are not essential oils, and if you have an alcohol problem I would advise against putting the bottle up to your nose and taking a whiff. It smells like booze and scent is a powerful trigger. I also don't think it's wisdom to squirt essences straight from the bottle into your mouth, although I know recovering alcoholics that do and it never goes any further than that. If your drink of choice was beer or wine, you're probably safer than if it was hard liquor.
Most major religions allow a small amount of alcohol for medicinal purposes. Motive with alcohol is generally more the issue.
Still need alcohol-free?
You can request a special order of any of the essences here with an ACV base. It will be made to order which means a slightly longer order processing time. ACV is the only alternative we offer and even if stored properly it will only last about a year, brandy base stored properly lasts indefinitely. We do not offer vegetable glycerin as a base because we find it is too thick a preservative for a vibrational product like flower essences.