Hate swallowing pills? Try liquid extracts instead!

Lots of people have trouble swallowing pills. The experience is far from pleasant and can cause gaging, vomiting, or choking. This can turn into a fear of swallowing pills, tablets, and capsules, which hinders people from getting the vital compounds they need.

From difficulty swallowing, sensitive gag reflex, oral sensory disorders, or other reasons, taking daily supplements or medications can pose a challenge. While certain drugs are only available in tablet or capsule format, many herbal supplements like Burbur-Pinella are found as liquids – making swallowing pills unnecessary.

Why Try Liquid Extracts

The fear and inability to swallow pills is one thing but missing out on valuable benefits from supplements or medications is not ideal. Luckily, many herbal supplements are available as liquid extracts.

Liquid extracts are easier to swallow

For obvious reasons, herbal liquid extracts are easier to swallow than their solid counterparts. Not to mention, the anxiety that comes along with mustering the strength to choke down pills. Sometimes the thought of gagging on a pill is enough to make you gag.

Many pharmaceuticals and supplement ingredients provide an unpleasant bitter taste in the mouth. This can be jarring and another reason to avoid tablets or pills altogether. Studies show that reducing perceived bitterness of medications and supplements can enhance the likelihood of someone taking them.[1]

Liquid herbal extracts often taste sweet, earthy, or are unflavored. And if placing a few drops of the extract in your mouth isn’t your thing, liquid extracts are easily mixed into water or your favorite beverage.

More potent and better bioavailability

Pills, capsules, and tablets container fillers and other ingredients that help them keep their shape. Because of this you need a much larger dose to get the same benefits from a few drops of liquid extract.

Liquid herbal extracts contain no added fillers or ingredients making them more powerful at a much smaller dose.

Plus, liquid herbal extracts are available to your body immediately, within a few minutes of consumption. On the other hand, pills, tablets, and capsules take at least 30 minutes to begin absorption and could take up to 2 hours. That means you’re going to have to wait to find relief.

The alcohol or water-alcohol base that’s used in liquid extracts helps ensure the nutrients are delivered straight to the cell, so you get the full benefit of the compound.

Bioavailability is how well a drug or compound moves throughout the body and ends up where it is intended to go.[2] The route of administration (solid, liquid, or intravenous) has a massive impact on how well a compound is absorbed and available to the cell.

Liquid extracts begin digestion and absorption when they enter the mouth and continue in the stomach. Pills, capsules, and tablets do not begin absorption until they reach the stomach and move on to the small intestines. Much of the effectiveness can be lost in that process.

The faster a compound is absorbed, the better the chances you have of benefitting from the intended use.

Can be combined with other liquid extracts at the same time

Sometimes taking more than one kind of pill, tablet, or capsule, at a time can negate the effects of any one of the compounds you took.

The process of making liquid herbal extracts and the way they’re absorbed allows you to take as many liquids as you want at the same time without hindering or losing benefits.

You can even take them with a meal and still reap the same results.

The Bottom Line

If the thought of taking your daily vitamins makes you want to gag, it may be time to reevaluate your product choices. There’s no need to suffer while trying to choke down a handful of pills, capsules, and tablets to get nutrients when you could use liquid herbal extracts instead.

Talk with your healthcare provider if you are struggling with taking your daily medications and multivitamins. They can offer you alternatives for your prescription medications and determine which over-the-counter options may be right for you.



  1. Mennella JA, Spector AC, Reed DR, Coldwell SE. The bad taste of medicines: overview of basic research on bitter taste. Clin Ther. 2013;35(8):1225-1246. doi:10.1016/j.clinthera.2013.06.007
  2. Price G, Patel DA. Drug Bioavailability. [Updated 2021 Sep 3]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK557852/