the decanted liquid that you discarded was cloudyFebruary 1, in 3. Although in pharmacy definitions exist that encompass a broad range of manufacturing procedures and materials, for our purposes a tincture is the liquid preparation produced by macerating prepared plant material in a mixture of alcohol and water at room temperature over a prescribed period of time, which is then pressed and filtered to yield a fluid into which eecanted constituents of the herb have dissolved. In the The decanted liquid that you discarded was cloudy, tinctures have for a long time been the most used form of medicine by herbal practitioners and are growing in popularity with the public. They are widely available, economical to thatt and use, compact enough to stock in considerable variety testomax 200 reviews have a good keloid steroid injection pain life. Decabted can be mixed with each other in almost any combination, and are convenient to take.
the decanted liquid that you discarded was cloudy
February 1, in 3. Although in pharmacy definitions exist that encompass a broad range of manufacturing procedures and materials, for our purposes a tincture is the liquid preparation produced by macerating prepared plant material in a mixture of alcohol and water at room temperature over a prescribed period of time, which is then pressed and filtered to yield a fluid into which active constituents of the herb have dissolved.
In the UK, tinctures have for a long time been the most used form of medicine by herbal practitioners and are growing in popularity with the public. They are widely available, economical to produce and use, compact enough to stock in considerable variety and have a good shelf life.
They can be mixed with each other in almost any combination, and are convenient to take. Within reason they can be mixed with other liquid preparations such as fluid extracts, syrups and juices. They can also be incorporated into many forms of preparation for external use. Effectively any herb can be converted into a tincture, but tinctures are not appropriate to all therapeutic strategies.
A main consideration here is that they contain a significant amount of alcohol, which is in itself warming and stimulating. Tinctures are thus the preparation of choice for tonics, carminatives and circulatory stimulants and generally any situation where warming and energising are appropriate.
It is noteworthy that tinctures have probably met their maximum popularity in the UK where the cold damp climate will tend towards a variety of ills for which warming and stimulating will be common remedial objectives. Nevertheless situations will arise where a cooling effect is demanded. A little alcohol is unlikely to defeat the powerful cooling properties of the intense bitters such as Gentian, Gentiana lutea or Wormwood, Artemisia absinthium.
Where more gently cooling herbs are concerned, while these may still be therapeutically useful in tincture form, the cooling potential is reduced or lost. Mucilage , the cooling and soothing constituent par excellence, is certainly damaged by the presence of alcohol. Enough survives in a high quality tincture of Comfrey leaf, Symphytum officinalis to play its part amongst the other healing constituents of this remedy; in the case of Marshmallow root, Althaea officinalis which bears little else but mucilage, a cold decoction or syrup may be preferable.
Tinctures are likewise a poor medium for diaphoretics , where a hot infusion is called for to promote a therapeutic sweat. Standard formulae appear in the British Pharmacopoeia and British Pharmaceutical Codex, particularly pre-war editions , in the British Herbal Pharmacopoeia, and other derivative texts and foreign equivalents. Commercial manufacturers also list the formulae they use, which may serve as a better guide, the modern trend being to deviate from official formulae, wherever practical and sensible, to achieve a product of greater therapeutic potency.
Within prudent limits, a small scale production can take advantage of an even more flexible approach to formulation than commercial practice. To establish an optimum ratio of marc to menstruum, one is looking for a minimum viable proportion of liquid in order to derive a concentrated product, the absolute limitation being the volume that will just cover the herb material , conventionally so that the herbs lie about an inch below the surface of the liquid.
Herbs not adequately submerged will be subject to undue oxidation. Note that if one has been caught out by this phenomenon, additional menstruum can be added a day of two later.
However, aside of these exceptions a small scale production lends itself to a policy of maximum strength and quality, employing finely comminuted material and minimising the volume of menstruum.
Experience of social beverages demonstrates that beers, wines, etc. The following brief table gives the most common range of strengths with the nominal strength first and the actual alcohol content in brackets: The presence of alcohol is not merely required as a preservative. It helps to break down plant cells thus releasing their contents, and is destructive to enzymes, these points are critical when using fresh herbs — see below. More important, there are many herbal constituents, e.
Glycosides and many other constituents are also more stable in the presence of alcohol. As noted, alcohol is required to dissolve oleaginous oily or waxy constituents.
As the relatively insoluble constituents of some remedies such as certain alkaloids may not be apparent to the inexperienced, it is prudent to follow the example of commercial manufacturers or official monographs, until you can judge for yourself. Maceration should take place in a suitable sealed container excluded from light and at a comfortable household temperature. Glass sweet jars are traditionally used for this but are getting hard to find; buckets made of volatile-proof plastic e.
The period of time chosen for maceration is largely a matter of common sense, and will usually be between 10 — 14 days, less for light materials and more for dense. In most cases no further action is required until pressing. Some leafy herbs will float on the menstruum, and must be shaken or stirred daily until they settle to avoid undue oxidation at the surface.
Seal the jar and shake gently to remove trapped air bubbles. Place in a dark cupboard and leave for 10 — 14 days. Remove and pour into a press fitted with suitable filter bags. Press to full tension, running the tincture off into a jug; leave for a minute or two, after which it will be found that further pressure can be applied. Repeat until no further significant amount of tincture can be expressed.
If the result is murky you may wish to stand the tincture for a few hours to let the sediment settle before decanting into an amber glass stock bottle. Note that the yield will be somewhat less than a litre, depending on the efficiency of the press, due to fluid remaining in the spent herb.
This will give as good a quality as any other method but an understandably modest yield. This is quickly evidenced in subjects such as Ginger root, Zingiber officinalis , or Barberry root, Berberis vulgaris.
The result will obviously be stronger than a straightforward tincture, which must be allowed for in prescribing but is worth the extra effort to avoid wastage, especially of expensive subjects.
You may also find from time to time that roots, for instance, arrive in a partially comminuted state and are too tough to reduce further with non-industrial equipment.
Specific tinctures are made from freshly gathered herbs immediately after collection. The approach is the same as for standard tinctures, except one would be encouraged to study the formulae used by manufacturers specialising in making specific tinctures, where you will find higher wt: For small-scale production, efforts are likely to be concentrated on producing specific tinctures. This is particularly so in the case of remedies containing high proportions of volatile constituents such as Elecampane root, Inula helenium or Thyme, Thymus vulgaris.
There are often subtle differences in therapeutic effect, and a broader range of uses, which one must be prepared to learn. Meanwhile, small-scale drying of herbs from the garden, or from the wild, is time-consuming, fraught with problems and may prove disappointing in terms of both yield and quality.
It is respectfully suggested that making specific tinctures from home gathering will be infinitely more satisfactory. It is best to avoid Schedule III herbs those restricted by law to practitioner use on the grounds of potential toxicity at relatively low doses unless very experienced — and remember to avoid herbs that are said to be toxic or too potent in the fresh state e.
Pasque flower, Anemone pulsatilla , or Frangula bark, Alnus frangula. Start with the same formulae recommended for standard tinctures, or better still follow the formulae used by specific tincture manufacturers, until appropriate variations suggest themselves.
Many fresh herbs will reduce to a fine mulch in a food processor or garden shredder, making it possible to increase the wt: Note however that fresh herbs must always be fully covered by the menstruum or they will rapidly decompose at the surface.
In theory, because one is increasing the proportion of herb, and that this in turn will have a high water content, one must consider increasing the alcohol content. In practice, this seldom proves necessary, but it may be advisable for very watery subjects such as Comfrey or Borage, or in general where the formula is 1: This appears to apply primarily to specific tinctures and is assumed to reflect an anxiety that it must be necessary to estimate or with the right equipment, to measure the amount of water present in fresh plants.
This is both unnecessary and simply leads to an expensive waste of alcohol. With pressing equipment appropriate to in-house manufacturing e. Excepting the provisos given in the previous paragraph, experience dictates that the water content of fresh plants can safely be ignored.
Aerial herbs must not have surface moisture on them. Likewise they should not be washed — but decayed, infested, blemished or soil-splashed parts should be left behind or picked off. Prepare aerial herbs as immediately as possible, ideally to have them macerating within half an hour. Roots and rhizomes are best collected a few days after rain when the soil will be neither sticky nor concreted, so that after separating gentle rinsing in cold water or hosing down in the garden will suffice.
If you really do need to wash anything, do a little at a time to avoid wetting any longer than necessary and shake off any surplus immediately. Some aerial herbs can be prepared for tincture-making entirely by hand simply by picking e. Many others can be reduced partially or completely by snipping with secateurs. A great labour-saving device is a garden shredder , the output from which is both chopped and crushed, so ready for maceration.
The attraction of all these methods is that they are conducted in the garden rather than indoors. This is largely a matter of trial and error.
Where aerial herbs have very woody stems, these should usually be stripped and discarded completely. Fibrous roots may need to be reduced to diagonally cut slivers first, and even then the processor blades must be very sharp.
When ready, blitz to a fine mulch. Use the chopping blade, not grating discs. It usually works best to feed in a little at a time, but do not overload. Some materials, particularly roots, adhere to the sides of the processor before they are fully chopped, in which case the introduction of a small measured volume of premixed menstruum will restore a satisfactory flow. If the marc tries to float to the surface, stir or shake daily until the herb subsides.
In all other respects proceed as for standard tinctures. Note that the yield may be slightly higher than the equivalent standard tincture, or even higher than the volume of menstruum employed, due to recovery of some of the water content of the fresh herb. Fluid extracts are alcoholic extracts with a weight: The alcohol content is usually the same as for tinctures although, curiously, sometimes lower in commercial production.
They are really nothing more than concentrated tinctures. One confusing modern feature is the appearance of extracts e. These are still referred to as fluid extracts, although unimaginable to those who first devised the term.
Originally tinctures were produced by maceration and fluid extracts by cold percolation — the appeal of a 1: Nevertheless, fluid extracts have their uses because they are more compact. There are a small number of herbal remedies that must be employed in high doses to achieve a drug-like action from a relatively mild herb, and in this role would often require an unmanageably large volume if dosed in tincture form.
As fluid extracts are so much more condensed, a more convenient dose range is possible. A common problem is the need to use several remedies in a mixture, with the attendant conundrum as to whether one should in consequence accept relatively weak actions from the standard ml per week dosage, or whether to increase the dose and therefore the cost and inconvenience.
One may still find in antique shops the hand-blown glass percolation funnels once used to make fluid extracts by allowing menstruum to trickle slowly through a column of the powdered herb.
This required patience and very considerable expertise, which must really be abandoned, however wistfully, as a technology of a bygone age. An excellent method, popular commercially and, of greater significance, viable in small-scale production, is repeat maceration. To explain, if one macerates g of herb in 1 litre of menstruum, the result will be approx.