Welcome to my blog!!! I have been an herbalist & an aromatherapist for over 20 years!! My blog is over 8 years old & there are over 100 informative blogs here. Everything from herbs to some personal blogs. Not only do I have hopes of teaching the masses, I too, have learned a lot during my research on different topics! There's always new & updated information in the herbal & essential oil worlds. There are blogs on herbs, essential oils, nutrition, supplements, different modalities of healing and just a little bit of everything!! Maybe in reading my blogs, just one person will come away with a bit of knowledge that they might be able to help themselves or another human being, I would consider that to be a great blessing.....

Over the years I have had several businesses. It seems I can't get away from seeing if a certain herb or essential oil can help a fellow human and that's usually how it starts. So now, I am in Arizona, I was asked again if I would be interested in starting another herbal biz!! So we now have Herbs 4 Health!! Numerous herbal blends....single essential oils...essential oil blends....supplements....tinctures all to help the body to heal itself.

The information in these blogs is not meant in any way shape or form to plagiarize, for I have never said this is all MY work. It is a compilation of reputable informative websites, my 'go to' books I have always depended upon & my own knowledge. I gather & put together information to help people learn & this way they can come back here to help remind themselves of said information instead of 'where oh where did I find that on the world wide web'. Seems to me it's just better & easier.

DISCLAIMER: This information does not diagnose, treat or heal any type illness or disease.

























Monday, March 26, 2018

Tinctures Tried & True

Menstruums: There are three basic menstruums, mediums or solvents used to extract the chemical compounds of herbs into tinctures: alcohol, glycerin, and vinegar. Alcohol is the most used because it can extract fats, resins, waxes,most alkaloids, and some of the volatile oils, as well as many other plant compounds. For centuries, tinctures have been used in many systems of integrative medicine. Water is also necessary to extract the water soluble plant chemicals. Using an 80 to 100 proof alcohol such as vodka, brandy and gin provides the alcohol-water ratio you need without having to add anything. If pure grain alcohol, AKA everclear (190 proof) is used, water will have to be added. Don't use city tap water that contains chlorine, use either distilled or pure spring water.

Herbs: Either fresh or dried finely chopped herbs can be used. Use of one pint of menstruum to two ounces of dried herbs, or about two handfuls of fresh.
The important thing is to completely cover the herbs, leaving a couple of extra inches of liquid about the herbs to allow for swelling as the herbs absorb the liquid. Leave some headroom in the jar. If using vinegar, warm first before pouring it over the herbs.

Procedure for making an easy tincture:

     1. Place chopped herbs in a glass jar, labeled with the current date and name of the herb
     2. Add sufficient liquid menstruum/medium to completely cover the herb
     3. Cap with a tight fitting lid, put the jar in a dark place at room temperature, and shake at least once daily.
    4. After 4 to 6 weeks, strain the contents through several layers of cheesecloth, if needed. Roots don't usually need any type of filter.
    5. Store in a labeled, amber glass bottle away from light and heat.

For stronger tinctures a suggested time can be 4 to 6 weeks. The duration depends on the mixture and on your patience, in time you will develop your own style. I keep mine out on a counter, but not in direct sunlight so I don't forget the shake the jars twice daily. Tinctures will keep for years! Only 3 drops is equal to a cup of herbal tea, it's that potent. The recommended dosage is anywhere from 20-60 drops 3x/day.

Alcohol has mostly displaced vinegar as a menstruum for making liquid herbal extracts/tinctures, as it is far more efficient in extracting and preserving the medicinal properties of herbs. Vinegar is however passable medium and useful in cases where you wish to avoid alcohol. When used in conjunction with alcohol, vinegar can sometimes assist in the extraction of alkaloid (base) substances from herbs. Such an extract containing both vinegar and alcohol is known as an acetous tincture. IMHO, alcohol is just a better medium.

Commercial Herbal Extracts: It is important to understand the labels on commercial extracts. The information should always include the ratio of herb to the medium, the percent of alcohol content along with a complete list of ingredients, and instructions for storage and use. This is not a place you want to shop for bargins. Only buy proven brands you trust.
Strength is expressed in a ratio. Preserving the full range of medicinal properties often depends on using fresh plant material. Extracts made from fresh herbs generally use equal parts of plant matter to solvent, resulting in a ratio of 1:1. Dried herbs are more concentrated and the ratios range from 1:2 to 1:4.

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