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Author Topic: Tinctures  (Read 1197 times)

Shannon Carter

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« on: August 29, 2016, 07:13:33 pm »

I am interested in learning how to make my own tinctures. Is there a step-by-step guide for beginners?


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Re: Tinctures
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2017, 07:10:36 pm »

A basic quick technique for extracting herbs is what I like to call a three point extraction, or a simple spagyric. We divide the plant up into three parts, the first is the essential oil and the alcohol soluble resins. The second is the water soluble constituents which can include many of the same things as the alcohol soluble stuff, but is a bit more selective and tends to grab what the alcohol doesnt. The third part would be the sparingly soluble salts and leftovers, this isn't needed to be done but will provide for a greater yield and the closest representation to taking an herb whole.

Part 1, first you want to gather your herbs and put them into a vessel, I like large wide mouth glass mason jars. Soak your herb in alcohol, it is best to start with a ratio of about 80% ethyl alcohol and 20% water. Everclear diluted with a bit of water works and is preferred. You do this very similarly to how a tincture is made, however one can always speed up the process to a matter of hours instead of a month if heat is used. Just make sure not to heat a sealed vessel, and to do this on a surface stove, not a gas stove with a flame as the alcohol is extremely flammable. If you are extracting a fine powder, you will want to mix the powder up so it doesn't create pockets for the alcohol to expand in and crack the vessel when heating. Always use glass, and never heat the glass directly or subject glass to a harsh temperature difference all at once, instead change the temperature slowly as not to crack the glass. Once this has been heated, shaken, and stirred, let it cool for a bit and filter. Depending on your herb, you may actually want a little bit of the powdered pieces to fall through your filter, so if your end product ends up more oily or resinous than solidified, this is the way to go as it gives the oil a substance to bind to. If your end product is assumed to be a solid however it may be best to filter out all leftover herb powder for a cleaner and more pure product. Evaporate this alcohol with a fan in a glass pyrex baking dish with a fine mesh screen covering the top of the dish.

Part 2, the water soluble constituents, aka the tea. There will still be some alcohol left in your herb mash from your alcohol extraction. This will help pull out any leftover resins and oils, and increase the strength of the water you are now extracting with. if you are careful, you can move your extraction to a stainless steel pot and boil, but there is alcohol still left so your concoction is flammable. Be careful not to cause a fire if heating it up this way. Alternatively you can keep the herb mash in the jar and simply perform an extraction as per the the first step, but using water instead of alcohol. Pour and filter this into a new pyrex tray, and evaporate this in the oven at 200-250 until it is a thickish liquid or close to 3/4 of the way evaporated. Evaporate the last bit with a fan.

Part 3 is optional, but would involve using lots of water, preferably distilled, and boiling the herb mash hot and hard. This pulls anything leftover, and can extract the mineral salts from the plant as well. This provides some nutritional support with your alkaloids, resins, and essential oils making your end extraction more of a tonic than a simple extraction of the actives. Filter and boil this liquid down similarly to step 2. Once all have solidified, scrape up with a razor blade or knife and keep either separate or combined depending on your preferences.

Tinctures can also be made very similarly to this, but instead of evaporating and extracting multiple times, you simply mix your herbs with vodka in a glass jar and let them sit for a month, shaking daily and then filtering at the end of the month. Tinctures are very weak compared to real extracts, but much easier to make.

Take these extracts as made above, and find a suitable tincture to mix the extract with. I like using either the same herbs for concentrates, or different herbs for elixirs. I find 6-12 grams of resin can be dissolved in a 1 fl oz size tincture. I have not evaporated a plain 1 fl oz tincture yet to compare the yield of resin, but the concentrates are without a doubt a magnitude of times more potent this way.

To make honeys, I think it would be similar to the above, however your medium would be honey instead of alcohol. Just mix the herb resin in with the honey and it will keep preserved like a tincture, concentrate, or elixir.

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